Jesus Prays in a Peaceful Garden

Jesus Prays in a Peaceful Garden

A long time ago, olive oil was prepared by crushing olives in a large wooden or stone bowl called a mortar. Oil presses were also used. “Gethsemane” comes from the Hebrew for “oil press”. The Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus went to pray before He went to the cross, may have held an oil press. Numerous olive trees grew on the Mount of Olives, which is the hillside where the garden was located, outside of Jerusalem.

From the Mount of Olives, Jesus had a great view of Jerusalem and the Temple to the west. Bethlehem was to the south. The Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley were on the east. Bethany was located on the Mount of Olives where Jesus often visited Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha.

Luke 21 tells about the final week before Jesus’ death on a cross. He taught at the temple daily and spent the night on the Mount of Olives so He may have slept in or near the Garden of Gethsemane.

In Matthew 26 and Mark 14, we learn that Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray. Luke 22 tells us Jesus went with His disciples to the Mount of Olives. In John 18 Jesus and His disciples crossed the Kidron Valley and entered an olive grove.

These scriptures show that Jesus went into an olive grove in a place called Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. So there must have been olive trees around Jesus as He prayed.

A Garden of Gethsemane exists today, but is it the one where Jesus prayed? A few locations claim to be the real garden where Jesus spent those last quiet hours before His arrest.

The many olive trees on the Mount of Olives were chopped down by the Roman emperor Titus in 70 A.D. when he destroyed Jerusalem. Today, olive trees again grow on the hillside, although not as plentifully as in the time of Jesus.

 

— Sandra Merville Hart

“An Outline of the Story of Jesus Using Maps,” Maps of New Testament, 2015/04/03 https://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/CP051GOSPELMAPS.htm.

“Gethsemane,” See The Holy Land, 2015/04/03 http://www.seetheholyland.net/gethsemane/.

“Jerusalem At The Time of Jesus,” Jerusalem Experience, 2015/04/03 http://www.jerusalemexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Jerusalem-Map-at-time-of-Jesus.pdf.

New International Version Women’s Devotional Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, 1994.

“Olive Trees,” Bibleplaces.com, 2015/04/03 http://www.bibleplaces.com/olive-trees.htm.

“The Garden of Gethsemani and Mount of Olives,” Israel Yesterday and Today, 2015/04/03 http://www.rc.net/wcc/israel/mtolivet.htm.

“The Garden of Olives,” Gerusalemme San Salvatore Convento Francescano St. Saviour’s Monastery, 2015/04/03 http://www.gethsemane-en.custodia.org/default.asp?id=5646.

 

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