Holy Week – don’t be giving up just keep going: for Edwin.
Waking this morning heavy hearted. Last night another of our wonderful Pastors went to be with the Lord. We were praying much. Again we contended for a shepherd, a wonderful man, fantastic husband and father to 2 sons. It is unthinkable, sobering, silencing. I cannot think in my time in one year of losing so many young Pastors who had so much more to give. Heaven rejoices but we weep.
I have just read the whole of John chapter 18 v1-11
Here are my thoughts.
He went into the garden of grief.
“When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.” John 18:1
John doesn’t tell us of the agonising prayer that Jesus went through, he doesn’t need to, he has already told us the many times Jesus’ heart was troubled of what lay ahead.
The first garden God walked in He ended up banishing us from it because of our sin. But here in what John simply calls an olive grove Jesus commences the road of redeeming us of that sin. Of course John will later get a Revelation of the end-time garden with the Tree of Life planted there.
The Olive grove garden is the battle with grief. A garden of betrayal. A garden of threat from the detachment of soldiers. A garden of revelation as Jesus responds with the ‘I AM’ that John has used throughout his gospel and which is attributed to the name of God in the Exodus. A garden of supernatural activity as the soldiers fall down under the revelation of Jesus. A garden of human activity that tries to take matters into their own hands as sword-wielding Peter did. We deal with all that activity in our lives. Pastors know this more than many as they carry the burdens of people, laying their lives down, battling the injustices and standing up for those who are rejected. One of the things people will say today about Edwin is that he was a shepherd, a caring, strong but gentle man.
The Olive grove was as we know called Gethsemane which means Olive Press. This garden has many emotions as grief locks us down.
The betrayer and the enemy do not spring on Jesus as in an ambush. He knows. He understands the time and the season. He knows the moment. How? It is in the hidden place.
This is the key.
John doesn’t mention it. The praying Jesus. No one needs to know your hiding place either. No one needs to know your cries for help, the battle with grief or your submission to Him. Gethsemane will crush you. It will be your greatest trial to see who’s 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. It happens through the place that you don’t have to even mention to anyone else.