Easter and the Two Gardens
For those of us who have a faith, Easter is a very important time. I love chocolate as much as the next person (probably more!), but that is not where my focus is at this time of year.
It was recently brought to my attention that the truth of Easter involves two gardens. I’d like to briefly reflect on the first of these two gardens on the day we call ‘Good Friday’.
The Garden of Gethsemane
The Garden of Gethsemane was a place Christ went to reflect on the task he had ahead of him. It was a place of peace that he took a chosen few to in order to gain strength and succour in conversation with his Father.
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “sit here while I go and pray over there”
Matthew 26 v36
Christ was born of a human mother and is the Son of God. Going through with the sacrifice on the cross was not something he wanted to do. His human nature fought against what God required of him. Christ had to battle with this nature in order to deny himself and fulfil God’s will.
…he knelt down and prayed “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from me: nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done”
Luke 22 v42
Christ had to suffer the internal battle of knowing what the right thing to do was, but not wanting to have to put himself through it. And who could blame him? Jesus had already spent 33 years on the earth denying his human nature.
He had denied self at every turn, having nowhere to call home, putting up with the Pharisees and scribes and having his life threatened over and again.
He knew he was able to call on God to put an end to his suffering, but didn’t. This is what the Garden of Gethsemane is all about for me.
And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly. Then his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground
Luke 22 v44
I don’t think I have ever had to battle against my own desires so much that I physically responded by sweating. I think I am probably more likely to give in to my own desires and then justify them afterwards.
The battle Christ faced was huge.
I don’t know if he left the Garden of Gethsemane with any semblance of peace. He had an angel sent to comfort him (Luke 22 v43) before he set his face to the task ahead and resolutely woke the disciples from their slumber for the last time.
…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame
Hebrews 12 v2
Continue reading part 2.