Summary: Jesus had His Gethsemane and so will each one of His children. Yet, without those Gethsemanes, many times we do not pray and place our faith and our trust in Christ. There are BLESSINGS found in sufferings and hardships that cannot be found in the times o
Subject: The Sufferings of the Christain Life
Luke 22: 44 ’And being in agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
--------- <>< <>< <>< -- <>< <>< <>< --------<>< <><
We often refer to Gathsemane as a "garden" but in reality it was not a garden but an "orchard." It was an orchard filled with olive trees, which even today still has some olive trees growing within it.
During the days of Jesus, Gethsemane was a "busy place." Olives were picked from the trees and placed within a press and then the oil was poured into vats.
The word "gethsemane" means in the Hebrew language, "GAT" -- or " a press" -- or " a large five feet tall stone pillar. It also means "a seman" or "a semane" meaning "OIL." On the night of Jesus’ betrayal by Judas Isacariot, Jesus carrried with Him, Peter, James and John into the orchard. And it was no accident or chance that Jesus went into this orchard of olive trees to pray.
People in that era of the 1st century --- would gather their olives and then place them in a "gethsemane" -- "a press." First the olives were placed into a bag and then placed on top of this pillar like table. It was a round five feet tall table that curved downward and turned into a trough. The trough turned into a pot which holds the oil. The pot was designed to hold the ’gethsemane", the oil and then placed into a basket and for hours its weight crushes the oil from the olives.
No, it was not by chance that our Lord chose to go there to this olive orchard on this night of His betrayal. From this place Jesus would be betrayed and then delivered into the hands of the Roman soldiers and then within a few hours he would be forced to the cross. The weight of the world’s sins , past, present and future was placed upon Him. The gethsemane for our sins! Blood would be forced, pressed from His tortued body and would run down the cross onto the ground down below. Listen as the disciple and physican, Luke explains the heavy anquish Jesus suffered within that olive orchard. Luke 22:44 " And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood, falling down on the ground."
Ever since that night, Gethsemane has become kown as the place of "suffering." Throughout time our world has has many Gethsemanes. Countless numbers have given their lives for the sake of God and the furtherance of the Gospel.
Brother Job was a perfect example of having a Gethesmane. Sores were from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. In pain he lloked for the presence of God but he could see Him or feel Him. However, Job knew that God had not foraskan him. He declared, " I look to the left, and I look to the r ight. I look in front of me and I look behind me, but I cannot perceive Him. But He knows the way that I take, and when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold, that has been tried in the fire." Job had been placed in the gathesemane press and was crushed until the oil of dedication and commitment poured from his flesh nad from his soul.
In Psalm #71, the writer asks several questions about God in the times of our sufferings. He asks: "Will the Lord cut off forever? Will He be favorable no more? Will His mercy clean you forever?
Does His promise fail forever more? Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? Hath His anger shut up His tender mercies? and I see that this is my infirmity." ( This is my gathsemane.)
Who is there to run to when this life is like a powerful press? God, how long hold on when God seems to be absent? In this Psalm 71 the writer is asking: Is there no comfort, no consolation, no strength, not even in God when your soul has been placed in the presses? But even in that great pressing and tormenting, something wonderful is is taking place. even when we cry out to God and it seems that He is not present for the moment, we reveal our deep dependency upon God!
In Gethsemane, we do just as Jesus did. That is why Jesus asked His disciples to pray. Prayer prepares the soul for its sufferings! Jesus understood that what lies ahead requires prayer to prepare the soul for the sufferings. Prayer was the only way to prepare His disciples.