“Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus to Peter and his friends in the Garden of Gethsemane
Living in the Garden
The Bible opens up with us in a garden. When God began, he put us in the middle of a beautiful garden. Garden’s are peaceful places. Life is all around you. Birds are flying, animals are playing, life is beautiful. Adam and Eve, no doubt had their share of peaceful times there in the Garden of Eden. It was a place of communion with God. It was a place of deep, intimate relationship with the Father and, at the same time, it became a place of dark harrowing betrayal.
There can be no doubt, it was no accident that the place of Jesus final communion with God was also in a garden. We don’t really know how long after the last supper Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane. We do know, however, that it was brief. Just like Adam and Eve’s time in the garden was short lived, so also Jesus had little time to really be intimate with His father in that moment.
Of course the major difference in these two stories was that Adam and Eve invited betrayal into the Garden of Eden, it was Judas who brought betrayal into the Garden of Gethsemane. In the Garden of Eden, the evil came from within. In the Garden of Gethsemane, the evil came from without.
Two gardens: Eden and Gethsemane.
Two outcomes: Death from life in Eden. Life from Death in Gethsemane.
The contrast is clear.
- In Eden, we found out quickly that death comes from our own thirst for the knowledge of good and evil. In Gethsemane, we found out that life comes from God’s triumph over that knowledge.
- In Eden, we see what life in relationship with our Father is like. In Gethsemane, we see how much it costs God to stay in relationship with us.
- In Eden, we learn that we really do have all we ever needed. In Gethsemane, we learn the tremendous cost of our betrayal.
Jesus talks to his disciples in Gethsemane about where their sustenance spiritually comes from. He intertwines the spiritual life and the physical world and draws a metaphor from the vines on the branches of the trees and olive shoots in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus gives them the core teaching of his ministry, the power of abiding in Him.
Whatever you do, however you choose to live…the very core vitality of your life has to be rooted and grounded in a deep, thriving relationship with your Father, through Jesus Christ. If Jesus is the vine, then we are the branches. We draw our life, our sustenance, our very existence off of the vine. Cut off from the vine, we are just a dead stick. Do you see this?
Where is your spirit today?
How is your soul doing?
Get grafted back into the vine, your sustenance. Learn how to abide in Jesus today. Stop, hit the pause button on your life for a moment, for this moment. Open up the Word of God to John 15 and read this chapter in the Passion story. Let Jesus’ words cleanse your heart today. He is the vine. You are the branch.
Apart from Him, you can do nothing.