Into the Garden, Lover of my Soul

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“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9).

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered loud tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered, and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:7-9).

“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering” (Hebrew 2:10).

Reverence, submission, obedience, suffering. These are not popular words in our time. I wonder as I read the Holy Scriptures about Jesus if we can draw near enough to listen to His last night in the lonely garden. We seem so far removed from His anguish there. Can we hear the depth of His suffering and distress? Can we understand what was rent for us in His ultimate sacrifice?

It is hard to breathe when I consider Jesus there that night. I know I am like the disciples. Sorrow-laden and heavy with sleep. Keeping watch is hard in the blackness of night. Jesus knew their temptation, and He sees our weakness. I find solace in knowing He understands the depth of my depravity. He went before me for this very purpose. Through the garden, to the Cross, to the joy set before Him beyond it; He opened the path of life and righteousness for us all.

Today, it is fitting to walk slowly through Gethsemane with my Jesus. To think on His overwhelming sorrow and distress, His surrender to the Father, His obedience unto death on a cursed tree. May we, even in our weakness and temptation, see Jesus today….really see what His suffering and death bought for us. By God’s grace, He drank our cup of death, that we might drink the cup of everlasting life.

“Let the King bring me into His chambers….I delight to sit in His shade, and His fruit is sweet to my taste. He has taken me to the banquet hall, and His banner over me is love” (Song of Songs 1:4, 2:3, 4).

Today, as we sit in the shadow of His death, may the fruit of His life and love be sweet to our taste. May we grasp the goodness and mercy following us all our days; the table prepared for us, His Kingdom that has no end.

As I finish this post, a storm has gathered outside. There are flashes of lightning, thundering booms, and a heavy downpour from the heavens. The rain seems fitting for the mood of today. It stopped as abruptly as it started, and I am thankful in this timing too. My heart responds, Send your cleansing flood, O Lord. Your healing mercy fills me with joy. Sorrow may last the night, but joy comes with the morning.

“Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:9-11). 

Enter the gates of Gethsemane with thanksgiving and praise. Into the garden with the Lover of your soul. See Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, lower than angels, but now seated firmly at the Father’s right hand. Eternal pleasures in heavenly places. Commander of wind and rain, and angel armies. The Lord Most High.

All glory, honor, and power to you, Jesus, forever and ever. Amen.