Friday, April 2, 2010

My Musings on the Garden of Gethsemane

First and foremost I want to state right up front: I AM NOT A BIBLE SCHOLAR! These are just my thoughts and I do stand to be corrected if there are some other thoughts!

Jesus' experience in the Garden of Gethsemane has always interested me. I'm a girl with all the feelings that goes with being made female. I do read the Bible with that perspective.

So here it goes my thoughts:
First off I want to start in Matthew 16:15-19 there is a discussion with Jesus and the disciples about who Jesus really is. Simon Peter says that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus then replies: "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

So here we see Jesus refer to Simon Peter as "Peter". I think that when a name is changed in scripture, it usually means that there has been a turn or change spiritually. Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah..... so Simon Peter has become "Peter".

Jump forward a few days to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus in Mark 14:27-41 tells the disciples that they will fall away and He will rise again after His death. In part of that passage He takes Peter, James and John to the interior of the garden and pours out His heart to them. He tells them :"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death" and then He tells them "to stay here and keep watch".

No here is where the female mind doesn't understand.....When my closest friends tell me that they are distressed I'm right there with them. We pray, we talk, we talk and then we talk some more. Obviously the King of Kings did not need a bunch of wringing hands around him, but He was asking them to keep watch.

I don't know if they knew what "keep watch" meant or not. But if my friend in need needed something I would be there. As a woman I would have probably brought a casserole or her favorite ice cream! But these were guys.

So here it is, Jesus' real time of need and His best friends GO TO SLEEP! They go to sleep with him sorrowing to the point of death! Forever in history these guys are known as the ones who couldn't tarry! They couldn't keep watch not one time but twice! Peter had even been told that that very night he was going to deny Jesus three times! When Jesus came back to the sleeping men, He did not refer to Peter but to Simon. Did this mean that Peter had forgotten who Jesus really was. Did he forget that Jesus was the Son of the Living God in his own humanness? Often I have forgotten who Jesus is in my own frailty. (Again these are just my thoughts, don't build any doctrine on them!)

I so don't understand this. I wonder if this is a "type" of man. The state of being asleep spiritually. Or is it the fact that we really don't understand the deity of Christ? I know we can't humanize Jesus. But it amazes me that after all the teaching that had been poured into these men, they still didn't get it!

Peter had been told that he would have so much power that the gates of hell could not prevail. Had he prayed that night and bound back the powers of darkness would things have been different? No, no, no, I'm not trying to change the course of divine history here, I'm just questioning the power that has been given us. I know Jesus had to go to the cross. It just makes me wonder what would happen if I took the power that was given to me from that same victory on the cross, how would my life be different? No, no, no, I'm not trying to come up with a "name it and claim" message either. I believe in the divine will of God.

So back to the garden, where do I take this besides labeling these guys as "loosers"? I think it shows me that however much I think I know, I best lay it at the foot of the cross and say Lord this is your deal and whatever happens, I want you to be in charge and get the glory!

Jesus did ask the Father to let the cup pass if at all possible. God did not let the "cup pass". There are times that God says "no". But on this Good Friday, I don't want to be found "asleep". I want my soul and spirit to WAKE UP to anything that is asleep!

Sunday morning as the sun rises in the eastern sky, I want my spirit to be alive to Christ and more than ever, welcome His coming and His resurrection power in my life! I want the cross to be the key to unlock the sleeping places in my heart. Perhaps the scene with the three disciples was to prophetically show us that without the cross we can't be fully awake to its' power! I don't know, but my heart goes out to those men, who later fully grasping the power of Jesus, changed history with their determination to proclaim the goodness of God and the fulfillment of Christs' victory at Calvary!

We have victory in Jesus, let us go forth this week and all the weeks to come proclaiming the power of the cross. Blessings to you on this Resurrection weekend. Enjoy the fellowship of family and friends.

Hilltop Blessings,

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