The Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem is a 1200 square meter garden near the Mount of Olives. The name means “oil press,” and olive trees grow in the garden to this day. Since we were children, we’ve all heard the story of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His betrayal.
We read in Matthew 26:39 “And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.’ ” In verse 42 He continues: “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
At this point, we see the human side of Jesus. He is about to die an excruciating, horrible death — one which He did not deserve — and His human side was terrified. Luke tells us that Jesus sweated blood. This is medically possible and occurs only under extreme anguish.
So what does Gethsemane teach us?
It teaches us that Jesus knows on every level how it really feels to submit to God’s will, and He expects no less from us.
It teaches us that it is not a sin to sometimes be reluctant to follow God’s will, as long as we submit to it anyway.
It teaches us the magnitude of His love for us: in order to completely take our sins upon himself, He was to be completely destroyed — physically, spiritually and emotionally.
But it teaches us something even more profound: He prayed …”if it is possible.” If there was some other way for mankind to be saved from their sins, Jesus prayed for the alternative. And then he prayed “…if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
It was not possible.
And to this day, it is still not possible. The ONLY way for our sins to be cleansed is to be washed away by the blood of Jesus. In His own words: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6