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The Garden of Betrayal

Have you ever been in a wonderful relationship with someone, in a place in life where all seemed bliss? Me either but I have had good friendships that went bad! I have also been in places that I once loved and had fond memories of only to find them filled with grief from the pain of betrayal. The garden of Gethsemane was referred to as the olive press, probably because it was filled with olive trees. This garden was a place that Jesus often slipped away to so He could commune with His Father. He likely spent many hours in this area and perhaps it was a place of lamentation, supplication, and praise as He sought to be with the Father.

The olive press is used to extract the oil present in the olive. The olive oil is produced in the mesocarp cells, and every cell contains a tiny olive oil droplet. There is a process the olive must go through before the precious oil can be separated from the other fruit contents and the vegetation water. After a lengthy process of pressing, the pure oil begins to flow and is distributed all over the world as a precious commodity.

Jesus went through a pressing that night in the garden; the result was the salvation of mankind, should we accept it. There is also an offer of a pure and Holy oil to flow upon all those who would believe on the name of Jesus. Oil is understood as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38

This word anointing implies rubbing or smearing with oil. Because Jesus underwent the pressing of the life as a man and was then crucified, buried, and resurrected to the Father we have the privilege of having the Holy Spirit and His anointing with us always. Jesus said it was good for Him to go away so the Advocate or Comforter would come (John 16:7).

I gave you this little bit about the Holy Spirit so that you will first understand that even in times of betrayal the result can manifest as a sweet flowing oil upon our hearts if we allow God’s will to be done in the trial.

Jesus wrestled to fulfill this last, but hugely important part of His call here on earth though He didn’t struggle to the degree we tend to; the Scriptures describe that night in the garden as exceedingly sorrowful and heavy for Jesus. First, we must remember that Jesus was betrayed by a man that was called alongside Him to be one of the first disciples of His and a minister of the Good News of salvation. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver! Believe it or not, this was not a large sum of money, even for those days. It was the price paid for the capture of a Savior.

Sometimes people will betray us for a monetary price (greed), perhaps they betray for the attention of another person (jealousy), perhaps for a spouse (adultery) or a friend, maybe someone has betrayed you for a job promotion or ministry opportunity (idolatry). The sad thing is people betray each other for minimal payoffs time and time again.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? - Mar 8:36-37 KJV

Some people have suffered betrayal in multiple forms, including the rejection of loved ones or friends. Living in this world will bring suffering but Jesus told us to rejoice for He has overcome the world. Sometimes this offers us little comfort until we read His story. Look what happened after Judas betrayed Jesus.

Back in the Garden

We are told in Matthew 26 that Jesus went to the garden with His disciples He then told them to sit and pray while he went to pray (vs. 36). He took Peter, James, and John with Him a little further where He began to be sorrowful and very heavy. This is some unfathomable distress.

Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." - Mat 26:38 NKJV Then Jesus falls on His face and prayed saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matt 26:39

After this time of prayer, Jesus got up and went to His friends and found them sleeping. His disciples were no longer servants to Him because they had become friends for He had told them the secrets of the kingdom of God (Jn 15:15). Jesus told Peter, “What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? He then went away to pray for a second time only to return and find them sleeping again. This scenario happened three times during the night, and every time Jesus prayed the same words, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Finally, and regardless of His friends not being supportive, Jesus came to full submission and readied Himself for His capture.

45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, "Are [you] still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 "Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand." - Mat 26:45-46 NKJV

There are times when we are on life’s journey that we are commissioned to things that seem to be too much for us to bear, then our friends or loved ones bring even more challenge to the situation by betraying us in endless ways. It is during this time that the best of us can come forth, every cell in our bodies can undergo the pressing of pain, but in the end, if we will submit to it beauty will be poured forth.

Let’s pray,

Heavenly Father, thank You for the love You have bestowed on this world by sending Your Son Jesus Christ to bear the weight of our sins. Thank You for sending me the Comforter who can help me in times of betrayal and in the times of spiritual growth when I don’t think I can stand. Help me to remember that no temptation will ever overtake me that is not common to others and you will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able. Remind me that You will make the way of escape from every temptation so that I may be able to withstand. Help me this day as I sit under the burden of pain, trials, and tribulation to do everything I can to stand and then…stand. In the name of Jesus, Amen

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