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The Thing To Do in Gethsemane

Matthew 26:36 Then Jesus went with his followers to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, “Sit here while I go there and pray.” … And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”

The story of Jesus throwing Himself down in anguish and praying in a garden before He was led away to be crucified isn’t some nice, safe, trite little story. It’s real, it’s dangerous, it’s gritty … it’s challenging.

I was talking the other day with a well-known photographer by the name of Ken Duncan about a series of photos that he’s published in his book, “Where Jesus Walked”.

Now, one of the photos that really grabbed my eye was the one that he took in the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus prayed just before He was betrayed and crucified.

In the garden there’s an olive grove. But these olive trees don’t look like the ones down at my local nursery. They look really, really old and gnarled. In fact, Ken was telling me that these are likely the very same olive trees that Jesus prayed under.

Matthew 26:36,39 Then Jesus went with his followers to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, “Sit here while I go there and pray.” … And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”

No wonder they looked old. If only they could talk. Two thousand years on they’re still there. And in all that time, the powerful message that they saw unfolding beneath them hasn’t changed. Jesus died on a cross for you and for me to pay the price of our rejection of God.

And as I looked at those trees in the photo, they seemed to stand there like ancient messages, like a living invitation.

Jesus died and rose again for you. His forgiveness, His grace, His mercy is for you. This invitation … is for you.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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