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Gethsemane is a name of a garden in Palestine that was often visited by Jesus. The exact location of the garden of Gethsemane is not known. This spot was situated somewhere on the lower slope of the Mount of Olives (Matthew 21:1; 26:30), directly across the Kidron Valley from the Temple and about ten minutes’ walk from the city. Today, the site that is visited by tourists is backed by a tradition that cannot be traced earlier than the days of Constantine the Great, 3 cen. after the death of Christ. Bible scholars believe that the original Gethsemane was situated higher on the mount.
The word Gethsemane is an Aramaic word meaning “oil press.” The garden was probably an orchard of olive trees. It was a quiet spot where Jesus often visited for prayer, meditation and rest. There, Jesus often spent the night (Luke 22:39; John 18:2) especially during the week of the crucifixion (Luke 21:37; Matt 21:17; 24:1, 3; 26:17, 18).
At the night of His betrayal, Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray and He beseeched His disciples, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Luke 22:40) but the disciples were overtaken by sleep.
Jesus prayed with anguish saying, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38) being under the weight of the sins of the world (Luke 22:43). His agony was so great that “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44). He pleaded three times saying, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (v. 38, 42,44).
There, at Gethsemane, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders (v. 47). And in an effort to defend Jesus, Peter struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear (John 18:10). But Jesus healed the servant’s ear (v. 50,51). Ignoring the miracle, the chief priests seized Jesus and took Him for trial that He may be killed.
In His service,
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