Christ Went By The Garden On The Way To The Cross
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Saturday, 28 April 2012
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. 2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
After His pastoral prayer for His disciples in the upper room, Jesus went to a garden over the brook Cedron, which was the Garden of Gethsemane. Why did He go there?
Firstly, it was where He wanted to be with His disciples before His crucifixion. He could have wished that no one disturbed His quietness before the horror of the cross. But the Lord was full of compassion that He allowed His disciples to be with Him to the end.
Secondly, it was the appointed place of betrayal. Judas, who would betray Him, knew that it is a place that Jesus loved to retreat when He was in the vicinity of Jerusalem. It also presented an opportunity for the disciples to see how all that He foretold about the betrayal of Judas and His arrest, which would lead to His death were being fulfilled to every detail.
Thirdly, it was a preferred place of prayer. John said in verse 2b that “Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.” It had been Jesus’ custom throughout the years of His ministry to spend His evenings on Mount Olives in this Garden. Read John 7:53-8:1 and Luke 21:37. It was home to Him because there He could be alone with the Father and rest from the trials and the conflicts of the people. And on this occasion He again went to the garden in the Mount of Olives; and agonized in prayer (Matt 26:36-46; Mk 14:32-42; Lk 22:39-46). Jesus teaches us through His habit of Prayer that without prayer there can be no spiritual victories over temptation and trial. In fact, Jesus said in the garden, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
Even the tiredness of flesh should not be a cause for not praying, if we wish to have victory over temptations and trials.
Teach me, Lord, to pray and find my spiritual victories.