The Garden of Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemane

Israelites used olive oil for cooking, in lamps, and for anointing kings. Jesus, the King of Kings, might have thought of this when entering the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.

Leaving the other disciples near the entrance of the garden, Jesus asked Peter, James and John to come in with Him. Filled with sorrow, Jesus fell facedown and poured out His heart to God. He didn’t want to face the trials, the angry crowds, the beatings, and the cross. Yet He prayed for God’s will. Jesus was born to die for us.

painting-1023419_960_720After praying, Jesus found Peter, James, and John sleeping. After praying a second time, His three closest friends were sleeping again! Have you ever been so sleepy that you couldn’t keep your eyes open? Maybe the disciples felt this way. After praying once more, Jesus woke his friends for the last time as Judas approached the garden.

Judas brought a large crowd of soldiers and officials carrying clubs and swords to prevent Jesus’ escape. Then Judas, His disciple and friend, kissed Him to show the soldiers who to arrest. This must have hurt Jesus.

A noisy crowd armed with weapons filled the garden. Peter cut off someone’s ear with a sword. Jesus put the man’s ear back in place, explaining that God would send more than twelve legions of angels to help if He asked. A legion contained six thousand soldiers — more than seventy-two thousand angels were ready to help Jesus if He asked.

Most of all, Jesus wanted to do whatever God asked Him to do.

The disciples scattered. The soldiers arrested Jesus.

cross-1149878_960_720He died on a cross to save us from our sins and rose again on the third day.

Christians celebrate this special day every year on Easter.

The olive tree is a symbol of peace. Olive oil symbolizes goodness and purity. The phrase “extending an olive branch” means to make a peaceful gesture.

With all the symbolism of peace, goodness and purity, it seems fitting that Jesus’ final moments of freedom were spent in an olive grove. Jesus, who never sinned, was our olive branch from God.


— Sandra Merville Hart

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

“Olive Trees,”, 2015/04/03

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