The Garden

The tension in the room during dinner had been steadily climbing. Jesus knew that this was to be his final meal with his disciples. During the course of the evening, he had mentioned that one of those sitting around the table would betray him.  The disciples were horrified at the thought and immediately began to question Jesus about who might do such a thing.

Later that evening, Jesus told the disciples that they would all disown him. They all replied, “Never!” Peter was most put out by the suggestion, and said, “Even if everyone else falls away… I never will.”

Jesus turned his head toward Peter, and spoke softly to him… , “Peter, before the rooster crows this very night, you will deny three times that you even know me.”

Jesus then took his disciples to the garden called Gethsemane.  He asked them to wait while he went a little further into the garden to pray.  Peter, James, and John went with Him… but it was clear that he was becoming more and more distressed. 

Jesus confided in them, “My soul is so overwhelmed with sorrow that I feel like I could die.  Please stay and watch over me whilst I go and pray.”

So Jesus went a little further into the garden, where he fell with his face to the ground, and poured out his heart… “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.”

After some time, he returned to his disciples, only to find them sleeping.  He asked Peter,  “Couldn’t you even keep watch with me for one hour? Keep watch, and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

He went away a second time by himself to pray.  “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it… then so be it. May Your will be done.”

Jesus was so overwhelmed by the thought of what was to come, that his sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood.

Returning a second time to his disciples, he again found them sleeping because they were so tired.  So he left them to sleep and went back into the garden to pray for a third time. Again his prayer was, “Father… your will be done.”

When he was finished praying, he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come and I am about to be betrayed!  Get up quickly, we need to go! My betrayer is here.”

Take a moment to reflect on the story you have just read.
(sometimes it is helpful to read it again, slowly)

*Was there something in this story that you discovered—or thought about—for the first time?
*As you think about the story, what questions do you have? What do you wonder about?
*How might this story change your perspective / beliefs / behaviors?

I would love to hear what you are discovering as you think through these questions.
Comments are moderated to ensure they are relevant to the story and questions above.

If you would like to dig a little deeper into this story, you will find some further thoughts and questions here.

Easter Story
Return Of The King | Last Supper | Garden | Accusations | Denial | Sentenced | Crucifixion | Burial | Empty Tomb | Appearance

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