I can’t explain why in this season of great joy I would bring into the Pew such a question but it is worth pondering a bit. Most of us think of two things when we hear the word garden in biblical writings. There is the “Garden of Eden” where the trust and relationship between man and God was broken. Then of course there is the “Garden of Gethsemane” we read of in Mark 14: 32-42, where Jesus, in total obedience to the Father, chose to stand and not run from the Father’s will. Thus the crucifixion, the resurrection and the process of the restoration of the relationship of the people with the Father through the mercy, grace and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God.
Two things we might consider at the first of these verses. The first being that to have stayed in the upper room would have been dangerous because the authorities would be looking for him along with the fact that Jesus knew what Judas was going to do, he needed a safe place to go. The safest place would be anywhere outside the city. This was no ordinary garden and because Judas knew where to find Jesus it is apparent that Jesus was in the habit of going there. Because the city had a weird law that its sacred soil might not be polluted with manure for the gardens, many wealthy people maintained private gardens outside the city to get away from the crowds and just rest. One of these wealthy people must have given Jesus the privilege of using his garden at night. There were two things that Jesus wanted on this night. He took his disciples with him because he wanted human fellowship and even more the time to fellowship with God. The agony of Jesus at this time was intense. When you are in times of trouble and uncertainty do you not want human fellowship and most of all to be close to your God?
As we continue through these verses we know that Jesus did not want to die, he was still a young man and there was so much more to be done in this world so full of sin; we also would be mistaken to think that Jesus did not know of the pain and shame of the crucifixion. How many times have you been in a situation in which you had to compel yourself to go on? At this point Jesus did not fully understand why and there are times I am sure that all of us have wondered why things in our life had to be a certain way, but knew we had to go on. Here is a lesson we who call ourselves Christian can learn from. Although he did not fully understand his Father’s will, he knew it was the will of his father. He accepted it and then with faith, continued on.
So some questions to for all of us. Where is our garden? Can we go there and in fellowship with others find God, seek his will and then follow in faith that which he has asked of us? Here is a quote from William Barclay’s Daily Bible Study.
“If we can call God father everything becomes bearable. Time and again we will not understand, but always we will be certain that ‘The Father’s hand will never cause his child a needless tear.’ That is what Jesus knew. That is why he could go on – and it can be so with us. “ (William Barclay, DBS, Mark page 401)
What about you? When you are in the garden, what will you do?
Will you stand and do the Father’s will…….or will you run?
Life is Good