Updated: Apr 2, 2021
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
Gethsemane (which means oil press) was an olive grove at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. This was also where olives were crushed that produced oil. Calvary, a skull-shaped hill also in Jerusalem would be the place where our Anointed One would be crushed for our iniquities.
Jesus and three of His disciples are in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. Jesus in His humanity was in deep anguish and distress over the things to come and His approaching death for the sins of the world. In His deep anguish, He took Peter, James, and John and told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.” Jesus was so deeply grieved that He felt that He was almost to the point of dying of sorrow.
Many of us have experienced deep sorrow. Never to this magnitude but poignant nonetheless. The intense grief from the death of a loved one. A devastating diagnosis. A sudden accident. Betrayal from someone you thought you could trust. Severe financial hardships result in losing a home. Heartwrenching pain of a divorce. The sting of rejection from a parent, child, or someone you hold dear. These among many other traumatic situations test our faith and can cause our souls to be crushed.
This picture of an olive press is not a pretty picture but it’s producing oil of great value. The crushing, pressing and immense weight is producing fresh oil. It's like that with us when we are going through difficult times it’s not a pretty picture. To be quite frank, in times of severe trial and testing it's an ugly situation. A lot like this picture. The hurt, distress, immense weight, crushing, crying out, confusion, doubt, betrayal etc. The pressing can be excruciating but we are never alone and Jesus left us a divine example and remedy when we are going through these life-altering traumatic times. Let's look to Him.
After expressing His deep anguish Jesus went on a little further and bowed His face to the ground, praying. In Luke's account, it says that Jesus prayed more earnestly and was in such agony of spirit that His sweat became drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22:44) This is the epitome of earnest agonizing prayer!
In times of deep distress, it can be very hard to pray. But like Jesus, we have to press and go a little further. When we’re under the press is when we must really press in. I know it’s hard I’ve been there. It can be very difficult when you're going through to muster one word of prayer but if you just say, “Jesus” that is more than enough. We must pray and don't give up! (Luke 18:1)
There may be times when like Jesus you may have to cry out with your face to the ground. Jesus prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Jesus yielded to the Father's will and demonstrated abandonment and allegiance to the Father even while carrying the weight of the world.
Oh, how in the midst of the crushing do we desire for the cup of suffering to be removed. But Jesus, though sorrowful almost to the point of death desired the will of the Father more than the removal of the cup.
Jesus was vulnerable and transparent as He beseeched His closest disciples to keep watch and pray. Though they failed miserably and fell asleep it still points us to the blessing of having a close inner circle of friends that we can be unguarded with. To stand in the gap on our behalf and keep watch in the spirit, and we reciprocate the same for them when they're under the press. For the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak especially when you're in a hard place. Praying for one another is essential and helps to carry one another's burdens in times of extreme trials when it can be difficult to pray ourselves.
Jesus prayed and was sustained by Abba Father. His immeasurable grace and power endowed Jesus with the strength to endure the Cross, disregarding its shame. His great love and gaze were ever before His Father in heaven. Jesus was in constant communion with Him throughout His earthly ministry. Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray. He fasted and prayed. Prayed in the morning. Prayed all night. Prayed in the wilderness. Prayed on the mountain. Prayed at His baptism. Prayed before going to the Cross. Prayed on the Cross. Prayer was woven into every aspect of His life.
Stripped from all godly power in His humanity He looked above to the Father for power from on high and through continual fellowship He was able to persevere under the extreme crushing of humiliation, ridicule, scourging, physical pain, emotional pain, betrayal, rejection, carrying the cross which scholars say weighed about a hundred pounds and then endured being nailed to it. Stripped of His garments. He hung in public view. His heart so burdened with love, compassion, and mercy He prayed, "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do." And then Roman soldiers gambled for His clothes by throwing dice."
Yes, we have a High Priest who understands our weaknesses for He faced the same testings and so much more. Yes, He thoroughly understands the crushing. He was crushed for our iniquities. Yes, He sympathizes with betrayal. He was betrayed by a kiss and thirty pieces of silver that resulted in Him being arrested and crucified. Yes, He knows all about the heartache of loss and being separated from someone you love. He grieved from being separated from the Father. He's very familiar with rejection from someone close. He was rejected by people from His own hometown. He knows about losing a home. He left the riches and glory of His heavenly home to come here only to have no place to lay His head. Yes, He understands _________ fill in the blank. He not only understands but He is with us. Fighting for us! Interceding for us! He has not stopped praying! And has not left us orphans.
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you, orphans. I will come to you. John 14:16-18 Bless Your Name, Jesus.
The pressing is producing patience, perseverance, steadfastness, Christ-likeness. The fruit of the Spirit. Oh, there is a cost for fresh oil! Not a pretty picture but the outflow is the beauty of holiness, refinement, love, joy, peace, and power in the Holy Spirit!
The crushing produces the anointing that breaks the yoke of bondage! The anointing that abides in us and guides us into all truth. The Spirit of the Lord anoints us to proclaim the good news to the poor. Proclaim liberty to the captives. Recovering of sight to the blind! The anointing that sets free those who are oppressed! The anointing that gives revelation and understanding.
The anointing that helps us to bear up under the weight of adversity and persecution! The anointing that empowers us to stand without compromise! The anointing that gives us discerning hearts. The anointing of the Spirit that helps us in our weaknesses, intercedes for us when we don't know how or what to pray with groanings that cannot be uttered! The Spirit of the Lord that anoints our heads with oil; and causes our cups to run over!
The Spirit of the Lord that anoints us to go out into all the world to preach the gospel and share His word and message of His finished work on the Cross so that people may believe and be saved, set free, delivered, and have everlasting life!
Thank You, King Jesus.
Lamb of God.
Great High Priest.
Risen and soon coming King.
You laid down Your life so that You would take it again. No one took it from You, but You laid it down.
If indeed we share in Your sufferings we will share in Your glory. To You and through You are all things. We give thanks to You Lord our God, with our whole hearts and we will glorify Your name. Jesus, the name above every name forever. Amen.
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