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The Garden of Gethsemane

Questions about Jesus

Reading: Matthew 26:36-46

When we think of the last evening of Jesus’ life on earth, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the Last Supper, where Jesus initiated the act of communion, the breaking of the bread and the taking of the wine, that is still celebrated today in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice.

But it is in the garden of Gethsemane, after the Last Supper, where we get the greatest glimpse of the emotional agony that Jesus was going through before ever He was arrested and taken to be beaten, flogged and crucified. More often than not, we concentrate on His physical suffering, as He died for our sins, but the garden of Gethsemane reminds us that whilst Jesus was fully God, He was also fully human, and He experienced the same emotional responses as any other man or woman.

Jesus told His disciples Peter, John and James that His heart was full of sorrow to the point of death. Have you ever felt that kind of sorrow and despair? If you have, if you are feeling it right now, rest in the knowledge that Jesus knows what it is to feel such deep levels of despair and anguish. He understands! He understands what it’s like to feel alone in despair, too, because although He told His disciples to watch and pray for Him, they couldn’t stay awake and three times He found them sleeping that night. He understands despair, sorrow, anguish and loneliness.

One astounding aspect of this passage, though, is the strength that Jesus shows. He understands what must happen even though the human aspect of Him is desperate for the cup of suffering (that is, His death) to be taken away from Him. He accepts the will of God, despite knowing what it will entail. Sometimes we face situations that we desperately wish could be taken away from us, but in those moments, when we are born again believers, we can share in that same strength that Jesus clung to in His despair in the garden of Gethsemane.


Father God, thank you for the sacrifice of your Son. Thank you that in the service of communion, we remember the price that was paid for our sins. Help us to be as courageous in facing our problems as Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, and to remember that He understands our anguish and pain. Thank you that through His sacrifice, we are more than conquerors in the trials of life that we face.

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