Praying Though the Bible #148
Have you ever faced a decision or a task that you knew at the outset would be difficult, painful, or costly? A task so fear-inducing that you would have opted out of it if you could? Perhaps you can identify with a soldier going into battle knowing that he would die, a woman getting ready to give birth to a child, a believer about to be executed because he refuses to deny his faith, or a person diagnosed with a terminal illness who is faced with a painful path that will only end in death.
What do you do in times like these? What did our Savior do (who was just as human as we are, though divine) when he faced the ultimate path of pain? He prayed.
Today, let's look at principles from Jesus' prayer just before he embarked on the quest which he had been sent into the world to fulfill. We enter this passage just after Jesus and his disciples celebrate the Last Supper. At this supper, Jesus institutes the communion ritual, Judas is revealed as the prophesied betrayer, and Peter and the other disciples declare that they would never forsake Jesus Christ. Afterwards, Jesus leads the disciples out of the city.
Notice the place where Jesus went. The Bible says, "Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane..." The name Gethsemane means "olive press." It is a place filled with olive trees where workers would go to press the olives in order to make olive oil. The imagery of the olives being pressed is significant because the Bible uses the symbolism of the violent crushing of olives or grapes to represent the wrath of God being poured out just as it was about to be poured out on Jesus Christ.
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