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Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem, Israel

Discussing Jesus' Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane — From The Garden To The Cross

Welcome to a special edition of the Share Life podcast. In this episode, we partake in an interactive discussion about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, when darkness enveloped him, and he prayed that God would provide another way forward.

This discussion is part of my next book project discovery process, From The Garden to the Cross: Powerful Lessons from Jesus' Harrowing Journey. In this episode, we first discuss the following origin of this project. What I found looking across Christianity in the cultural landscape was a deep disconnect between what western Christians embody and what Christ embodied. Not only did I witness this dynamic, but I also saw a lack of interest and willingness to even move towards the suffering of the cross (to die to self and pick up our cross and follow Jesus), as if we Americans have embraced a form of prosperous Christianity that is more secular than Christ-like.

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." — Brennan Manning (Quote mentioned by Jim Karwisch in the subsequent discussion)

This discussion, and the book to eventually follow, is my exploration of this disconnect, and perhaps a guide for us to move back towards the source of life and transformation.

From there, I then read my harmonization of the story sequence (you can read along in the write-up below) from the different biographical accounts of Jesus' life (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John)  with quotes from the New Living Translation of the Bible. From there, we explore what we can learn about God, humanity, and ourselves from this monumental moment in time. This story of Jesus's journey to the cross starts in the garden of Gethsemane, three years after Jesus began his ministry and recruited the disciples to follow him.

Fellow Conversation Participants

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My Harmonized Account of the Garden Scene For Reference & Study — An Excerpt From The Book

John 18:1-2 | Mark 14:32-42 | Matthew 26:36-46 | Luke 22:39-46

In a place Jesus often met with his disciples, he and the twelve (minus Judas) traveled across the Kidron Valley into the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. 

After asking his followers to sit while he prayed, Jesus took Peter, James, and John (the latter two, sons of Zebedee) further into the garden. The stress and trouble of darkness weighed heavy on him.

“My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Jesus went deeper into the garden, a stone’s throw from the others, to plead with God for another way forward.

 “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

It was in this outcry that an angel appeared to Jesus to strengthen him. The weight of Jesus’ agony forced his body to sweat great drops of blood. 

While Jesus was shrouded in overwhelming darkness, the disciples in their own despair were found sleeping when Jesus returned to them rhetorically prodding their inability to stay awake and pray. Prayer was necessary for what was to come.

“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Jesus departed once again to repeat his conversation with God. 

“My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.”

And once again, he returned to his sleeping and speechless disciples before returning to one final conversation with God before their time was up.

In his third return, he found the disciples sleeping once more. This time he gives them permission to rest; they won’t be allowed because Jesus’ betrayer, Judas, arrived.

jesus, garden gethsemane, gospel harmonization, scripture graphic

Additional Resources

From The Garden To The Cross, Podcast - From The Garden To The Cross

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