Thursday, June 07, 2007
He saw the temple from the garden
This picture was taken from the Garden of Gethsemane. Just to the right of the tree you can see the Muslim Dome of the Rock. When Jesus spent the night in this dark place, he could look across the Kidron and see the white, gleaming temple Herod had refurbished. It was in the same spot, the land of Moriah, where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac, and where the Temple stood. You can see the olive trees in the lower right hand corner.
He had not long before that night predicted the fall of the city and the Temple. "Not one stone will be left upon another." How the Lord must have wept over Jerusalem and their rejection. "How often I wanted to gather your children as a hen gathers her chicks, but you would not."
As he spent the night praying to the Father, "not my will but Thine be done," I wonder if he dreaded not only the scourge and nails but also the way they would treat him. Perhaps in his heart, their rejection hurt worse.
He with the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame. He knew the terrible ordeal of the cross would not last forever, but living with believers who loved Him would last on and on. The joy set before him, the love He had for you and me, and His marvelously strong will to do the Father's will kept Him strong. I thank God that He was so strong and so determined to bear the cross for my sins, but I am so sorry he had to bear it.