How to survive your Gethsemane

How to survive your Gethsemane

Mark 14: 36-42

36 ” Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. 41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

It means oil press.

You will survive your Gethsemane once you learn the:


When Jesus called out Abba Father, it wasn’t ‘daddy’, for that’s not what it means.

It was a call to the Almighty, the all-powerful One.

To Him who placed the stars in the sky and created the gardens of Eden and Gethsemane. The Father of Jew and Gentile, of all.

It was a call to the Covenant-maker.

Jesus was fully aware of the prophecy of Jeremiah in 31:31-33 where God promises a new covenant, for the old was broken. That’s why Jesus personally battles with the cup before him. He has Isaiah also racing through his mind where the prophet is alarmed at Gods people drinking the cup of terror (51:17). He knows he will drink the cup of wrath and judgment in order to create the new covenant made with his shed blood.

The prayer of dependency is the prayer to your Almighty God the Father who is in control of your life and God the Son who made the new covenant relationship possible.


Three times Jesus finds his closest 3 disciples sleeping whilst he is going through his trials. Though there was little chastising by him we can sense the disappointment.

Surviving your Gethsemane will mean that you need to keep on praying despite even the closest disappointing you. The key is ‘the spirit is willing but the body is weak.’

Salvador Dali has a painting which looks really strange at first sight. He paints the Gethsemane scene and Jesus is the central and largest figure on the canvas. He paints him in such a way that it looks like his spirit is larger than his body, like it is enveloping it. He also has painted the 3 disciples in the bottom right hand corner as very small figures revealing the weakness of the body.

The prayer during disappointment is the prayer that brings the eternal part of you, the God-focused, Christ-centred, Spirit-dwelt part of you to the surface and to make this the loudest voice, the clearest vision and the most powerful thought over what your body is experiencing.


When Jesus announces, “Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” He was not calling them to run for their lives. This was not a call to escape, ‘let’s get out of here!’. No, this was a call to run to the confrontation. Gethsemane gives such a determined approach. He has sacrificed his fears and has been strengthened in prayer and rises with determination to face the enemy, to be taken, to suffer and to die. The betrayer and the enemy do not spring on him as in an ambush. He knows. He understands the time and the season. He knows the moment.

Gethsemane will crush you. Your greatest trial to see whose will you follow, yours or His. Surviving Gethsemane is not to just come out of it but it is to submit to the destiny on your life. For that to happen you need to know the prayer of dependency, the prayer through disappointment and the prayer of determination.

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