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Gethsemane – Place of Revelation and Trepidation
Text: And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: …And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping… (Mark 14:32,37)
The elders in their wisdom say that “Let us close our eyes and pretend to be dead to confirm who will condole with our families, or let us intentionally hit our leg against an object to see the people that will genuinely empathise with us”.
When things are good, prosperous and promising, friends abound but when things get unfavourable, either through unavoidable human error, false cum malicious accusations, paucity of funds, reducing influences, avoidable error of disobeying the social distancing regulation during the COVID-19 season, friends either stand aloof, malign, castigate or turn their backs.
Human beings, in the words of the elders, enjoy the sweet taste of hands soiled with palm oil but detest the sight of blood-stained fingers, to affirm that human beings are not absolutely dependable and reliable – it is ‘Hosanna’ today and ‘crucify’ Him tomorrow.
When Jesus Christ knew that His time was at hand, He opted to pray alongside His trusted allies called the Boarneges, that is the sons of thunder (Mark 3:16). He took them to Gethsemane to intercede for Him.
Unfortunately, while He was busy praying and sweat was oozing from His body, His trusted ‘friends’ were sleeping. All His entreaties to them to lift Him up in prayers failed.
That experience marked the beginning of the mother of all betrayals from His closest allies in the ministry, starting with Judas Iscariot, to His most trusted ally, Simon Peter, who had vowed to die with Him if the need arose but denied very bluntly on three occasions that he ever knew Him (Matthew 26:59-75).
The only companionship Jesus Christ had for strength in His moment of agony and pain in that garden was not any of the Boarneges, who were His most dependable allies, but the angel of God who appeared to Him “…from heaven, strengthening him” (Luke 22:43).
The Garden of Gethsemane, besides being a real place in His time, still exists today as a place of tourist attraction in Jerusalem. It will however forever remain as a metaphor. The garden represents the limitedness of humans beings and the disappointments that always follow whenever things get awry.
It also depicts God’s unfailing support and closeness to His children, even when all have forsaken and abandoned. Brethren, God is the only One that has promised never to, and will never, abandon or forsake His children, no matter what they are passing through (Isaiah 49:15-16).
Garden of Gethsemane is a place where close friends deny ever knowing one; it is a place where a person you have assisted in times past turns his back on you. It is a place where people that spoke nicely about you yesterday, have unprintable words for you today.
On the other flip of the coin, the Garden of Gethsemane is the lowest point one can get to as a believer before a rise up. It is the baseline for a lift up. Jesus Christ has assured that “…Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit” (John 12:24).
David confirmed it that “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will pick me up” (Psalm 27:10). Gethsemane is the death point that leads to resurrection; it is that disappointment that leads to His appointment. It is the breaking pointing that heralds a divine rising. It is the seemingly ugly bridge that connects a person on a lower spot to destiny.
For Jesus Christ, Gethsemane was the needed step to the right hand of God and a name with eternal supremacy over whatever is in heaven, on earth and below the earth (Philippians 2:8-11).
After His betrayal and death on Good Friday, which was a time of Suffering of the Son was Easter Sunday which marked the supernatural intervention of the Father (Matthew 2:6; 1Corinthians 15:4). When He arose, He was given the keys of hell and of death ( Revelations 1:18).
Are you facing hard times at home, work or church? Are people ganging up against you to discredit you in your family, among your friends, at work or in your commission? Are trusted and very close friends turning their back at you at your moment of needs?
Are false witnesses rising up against you among the committee of your best friends? Are you being maligned unnecessarily in the social media because of a slip? Is it that people you are to lean on have laced their palms with thorns?
Is it that close friends that are supposed to assist blow off specks from your eye have pepper in their mouths to inflict more damaging harm? Brethren, don’t lose hope. You are already in your Garden of Gethsemane. I congratulate you because weeping may endure for a night but your joy is coming (Psalm 30:5).
Beloved in Christ, do you have people hovering around you and singing your praises today? Are you enjoying the attention of myriads of people around you at work, place of commission or the society?
Do you feel that you are appreciated, loved and celebrated? I have news for you, you are yet to get to the Garden of Gethsemane. I appeal to you, please be ready for the Gethsemane experience. It is an unavoidable situation of life.
It is a garden that you must necessarily get to before you can access where God has destined for you. And when the betrayals, disappointments, evil words and gang-up come from ‘friends’, don’t feel bad or be disappointed but rejoice in all because “better is the end of a thing than the beginning” (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
As we continue the Passion week today and we are on the verge of ending this year’s Lenten season, please be assured that no matter what you may be passing through now, every problem, even the happenstances of COVID-19, has an expiry date.
After the suffering of Good Friday is the supernatural intervention of the Father on Easter Sunday. What you need to do is to put your trust in God, He would intervene in your circumstances, and give you reasons to celebrate and be celebrated in Jesus’ name.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for this Lenten season, give me grace to remain in you forever and always stand by me in my moments in Gethsemane, in Jesus’ name,
Gethsemane – Place of Revelation and Trepidation