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April 01 – GETHSEMANE – AHEAD OF THE CROSS!
“And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).
Many saints in the Scripture had fixed exclusive prayer venues for themselves. Daniel always had the habit of going to his upper room, open the windows there and prayed, facing Jerusalem. Jabez had Misbah as his venue of prayer. The altar of the temple was the prayer venue for Hannah. But, for Jesus Christ, Gethsemane was a venue to pray.
Why did God choose Gethsemane as His venue of prayer? The reason is that the meaning for the word ‘Gethsemane’ is ‘oil press.’ When He saw the olive seeds being crushed and ground in the machine, He was inspired to pray with a broken heart. God never despises a broken and a contrite heart. Is it not? (Psalm 51:17).
There was another reason for Jesus to choose Gethsemane as His venue of prayer. It is nothing but numerous olive trees were there. The olive trees provide coolness, and moreover, the olive oil is the sign for the Holy Spirit. The spiritual life of the Israelites is compared, with that of the olive trees in the Scripture. When Jesus prayed under the Olive Trees, he felt the presence of the Holy Spirit joining with him in His prayers.
Further, there is another reason for Him to pray from Gethsemane. Since this garden was at the top of the Olive Hills, it was possible to see the whole of Jerusalem from there. From there, one could pray with tears for the countless divine people.
Even before man had crucified Jesus Christ and made Him shed His blood, Jesus Christ shed blood in the garden of Gethsemane. When He was praying in Gethsemane, the blood vessels burst out and His sweat dripped down along with blood. The blood has the characteristic of looking up to God and call Him (Genesis 4:10).
Dear children of God, though, Jesus Christ has gone from this world, the blood which He had shed in the garden of Gethsemane keeps on advocating for you. It keeps on praying for you saying ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’
To meditate: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls” (Leviticus 17:11).