DAY 228- BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE LAND
Reading: Matthew 26:36-46; Hebrews 12: 2-4
The Garden of Gethsemane overlooks the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus used to meet with his disciples there and it was to this garden that he retreated when facing his most intense spiritual battle. He took Peter, James and John with him and asked them to support him in prayer - but they slept instead.
Three times Jesus prayed that the cup of God’s wrath might pass from him. This was his great test. Satan had previously offered Jesus an alternative route to kingship that did not involve suffering. Satan had offered the easy road to popularity, power and acceptance. Jesus had chosen God’s path - the road of the cross - but would he be able to go through with it now that the cross was just hours away?
It is interesting to note that the Garden of Gethsemane was an olive grove. A gethsemane is a large stone that is used to squeeze the precious olive oil out of olives. This is a most fitting picture of what happened to Jesus, for he was pressed and tested in the garden. And he came through in victorious obedience to the Father he trusted.
According to Hebrews 12: 2-4, the reason Jesus managed to endure this temptation was because of the great joy set before Him. He knew that his sacrifice would result in the redemption of the people of God and make a new line of mankind possible.
The suffering you undergo as a child of God is also for God’s redemptive purposes. Don’t forget that.
Dear Lord, thank You for enduring the cross on our behalf and for making a future joy available to us all. We are looking forward to being a part of Your Kingdom forever. Amen
FOR THE FAMILY
Watch Jesus’ temptation in the Garden, taken from Mel Gibson’s film Passion of the Christ