Friday, December 29, 2006

An Ending Like No Other...Part 2 (Holy Land #14 of 14)

This blog entry is a continuation of yesterday’s entry. If you did not read yesterday’s entry you would do well to read it before continuing with today’s writing.

The Garden of Gethsemane is also a place of “intensity”. This is where the agony of Jesus started. The name of the garden meant “place of the press.” A large oil press would have been in the garden used to crush the olives to get out of them every drop of precious oil. How fitting that Jesus would choose this place to begin His passion. He would be in such agony that he would sweat drops of blood. The writer of Hebrews says that He prayed in this garden with great groanings and tears. Gethsemane should remind us of how our prayer lives should be today…times of intimacy and intensity with God.

I ended my devotional in the garden by speaking of how Jesus concluded His prayer. He knew what horror awaited Him both physically and spiritually, yet he prayed, “Not my will but Your will be done.” To me, that is the lesson of Gethsemane. We do not know the future. We do not know what pain and suffering might come into our lives. Yet, we must be willing to say, “Father, not my will but Your will be done.”

I told the group that I had really just one major goal in coming to Gethsemane. I wanted to kneel in the Garden of Gethsemane and recommit my life to seeking, finding and doing the will of God no matter what it might cost me and no matter how much it might hurt. As I knelt to do just that I gave the group the opportunity to do the same if that was their desire. This was a moment I had anticipated for quite some time. Following that special time of consecration we gathered in a circle, joined hands and sang:

When peace like a river attendeth my soul
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, It is well with my soul!

My sin, O the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord O my soul!

And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
Even so it is well with my soul!

If I never make it back to Israel in my lifetime I know that one day I will return to the Mt of Olives with the Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords! “Come quickly Lord Jesus!”

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