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A Place Called Gethsemane

Do we know this place? Most of great events of Jesus centered around this place. Jesus and his disciples ate together. Jesus taught about love and showed them His love. Satan entered Judas, and he left to get the soldiers to arrest Jesus. And much much more. A few days earlier, Jesus had entered the city to cries of "Hosannah".

John 18:1-3
1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.
2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
3 So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Luke 22:39-48
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.
40 On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation."
41 He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,
42 "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.
46 "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,
48 but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"

Matthew 26:36-46
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray."
37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.
38 Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter.
41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
42 He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.
44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46 Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

1. Place of Pressure

Gethsemane means "oil press". Drops of blood fell from Jesus, like drops of oil from the olive press. Living a Christian life is a life of pressure. Denying ourselves and carrying the cross daily. That's what we hate about it. Jesus was held accountable as well. He passed the test. We crash too much under pressure. Jesus felt more than we ever will.

2. Place of Weakness

Jesus himself was tempted to be weak in Gethsemane. The three loudest apostles were helpless here. They all tripped up, they all fled. Gethsemane is where confront our weaknesses, and are still forgiven. Only thing that can hold us back is lack of forgiveness. If Jesus can forgive, who are we? Spirit is willing, but flesh is weak.

3. Place of Service

Jesus gets the towel and serves at the table. We've had our bath, but part of us still gets dirty. Our feet is where we come in contact with our world. Our charge is to wash one another, to keep each other clean. Let us speak the truth in love.

4. Place of Loyalty

Mount of Olives in the Old Testament:
- Zech. 14: Messianic prophecy of restoration of Jerusalem.
- 2 Samuel 15:30- David comes weeping and crying because of betrayal. Ahithophel hanged himself when exposed, as did Judas.

Anguish of separation is like anguish of betrayal. So painful. Let us leave pain of betrayal move to loyalty.

5. Place of Sacrifice

We remember this phrase, "God himself will provide". In Mark, Jesus uses "Abba Father". Jesus cried to his Dad. Isaac cried, "Don't, Abba! Don't!". God sacrificed His only beloved son. Being a Christian is living a sacrificial life.

6. Place of Prayer

We all have to do things we don't want to do. Need to change our hearts at that point. We've lost that in our life. OK to ask for alternatives. Not OK to have a bad attitude.

Jesus takes Peter, James and John. "Watch and pray". What's the greatest enemy of prayer? Sleep. Couldn't you keep watch for one hour? Do we? Let's never fall asleep as a Christian. Let us stay on our knees, praying.