As God’s people all over the world remember Christ’s death for the sins of the world at this time of the year, let us ponder afresh the meaning of Jesus’ experience in the Garden of Gethsemane....
Then Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane...and He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me."
Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will."...
He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done."...
So He left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
There at Gethsemane 2000 years ago, Jesus, the Son of man, having laid aside His glory above as the Son of God, struggled to obey His Father and His God. Yet it was already prophesied by Isaiah in Isaiah 53:1-8.... "Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him as a young plant,
And like a root out of dry ground;
He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him,
nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.
He was despised and rejected by others;
a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity (weaknesses);
and as one from whom others hide their faces
He was despised , and we held Him of no account.
Surely He has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases;
Yet we accounted Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our trangressions, crushed for our iniquities (sins);
Upon Him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by His bruises we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
He was oppressed, and He was afflicted,
yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so He did not open His mouth.
By a perversion of justice He was taken away.
Who could have imagined His future?...."
Therefore, is derived the essence of the Gethsemane message:
That Christ's victory on the cross and the resurrection commenced at Gethsemane. It was there that He, as the Son of Man, almost gave up fulfilling the agreement He made with His Father before He became a man. The very thought of Him being separated from the Father who had never left Him alone was too disgusting, horrifying, paralysing and depressing. How could He stand being torn apart from One who loved Him so much and whom He loved dearly! Wasn't the taste of grief for His human father, Joseph, enough? Yet,
It was at Gethemane that we understand how secure He was in His Father's wisdom, love and faithfulness that, finally,
He obeyed Him in being made sin for the world...and thus lived without God for us. He trusted His Father to raise Him from the dead...to be with Him again...!
The Call to Gethsemane
When the Lord Jesus first confirmed the vision for ReconRe in January 1995, it was by the giving of the name "Gethsemane" to the first retreat centre to be set apart for His workers in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. He said that it was to be set aside for those who may need a place to seek Him face to face and thrash out some critical issues in their lives with Him. It was to be a symbol of retreating to be with God in order to be more real and effective in our service in His Name.
Pause for silent reflection:
"Am I willing to become of no account in the eyes of fellowman for His sake?"