Matthew 26:36 MEANING

Matthew 26:36
Verses 36-46. - The agedly of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. (Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1.) Verse 36. - Gethsemane (equivalent to "oil press"). Jesus retired thither for privacy and for prayer in anticipation of what was coming. St. John explains, "Where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples." This so called garden was situated a short distance from the bridge over the Kedron, at the foot of the Mount of Olives. It was a plantation of olives; and there are many of these trees, some of great age, still growing in the neighbourhood. The fanciful idea that some of these witnessed the agony of our Lord has no support whatever. In the first place, olive trees do not live two thousand years; and, secondly, it is certain that in the sieges of Jerusalem all surrounding trees were ruthlessly destroyed; and lastly, the exact site of this terrible scene is unknown, though tradition has fixed upon a certain spot now enclosed with walls, and containing a building known by the name of "The Chapel of the Sweat." The disciples. Eight of them - Judas having long ago departed - and three Jesus took with him deeper into the dim recesses of the wood. Sit ye here. Remain here, at the entrance to the olive yard. These might not behold even the beginning of his desolation. Their present faith and love were not equal to the strain. Go and pray yonder. One is reminded of Abraham at Mount Moriah, when he says to the attendants, "Abide ye here, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you" (Genesis 22:5). When the Lord says "here" and "yonder," he points to the spots indicated. He always retired to pray, even as he tells his followers to enter into their closets when they put up their supplications to their Father in heaven.

26:36-46 He who made atonement for the sins of mankind, submitted himself in a garden of suffering, to the will of God, from which man had revolted in a garden of pleasure. Christ took with him into that part of the garden where he suffered his agony, only those who had witnessed his glory in his transfiguration. Those are best prepared to suffer with Christ, who have by faith beheld his glory. The words used denote the most entire dejection, amazement, anguish, and horror of mind; the state of one surrounded with sorrows, overwhelmed with miseries, and almost swallowed up with terror and dismay. He now began to be sorrowful, and never ceased to be so till he said, It is finished. He prayed that, if possible, the cup might pass from him. But he also showed his perfect readiness to bear the load of his sufferings; he was willing to submit to all for our redemption and salvation. According to this example of Christ, we must drink of the bitterest cup which God puts into our hands; though nature struggle, it must submit. It should be more our care to get troubles sanctified, and our hearts satisfied under them, than to get them taken away. It is well for us that our salvation is in the hand of One who neither slumbers nor sleeps. All are tempted, but we should be much afraid of entering into temptation. To be secured from this, we should watch and pray, and continually look unto the Lord to hold us up that we may be safe. Doubtless our Lord had a clear and full view of the sufferings he was to endure, yet he spoke with the greatest calmness till this time. Christ was a Surety, who undertook to be answerable for our sins. Accordingly he was made sin for us, and suffered for our sins, the Just for the unjust; and Scripture ascribes his heaviest sufferings to the hand of God. He had full knowledge of the infinite evil of sin, and of the immense extent of that guilt for which he was to atone; with awful views of the Divine justice and holiness, and the punishment deserved by the sins of men, such as no tongue can express, or mind conceive. At the same time, Christ suffered being tempted; probably horrible thoughts were suggested by Satan that tended to gloom and every dreadful conclusion: these would be the more hard to bear from his perfect holiness. And did the load of imputed guilt so weigh down the soul of Him of whom it is said, He upholdeth all things by the word of his power? into what misery then must those sink whose sins are left upon their own heads! How will those escape who neglect so great salvation?Then cometh Jesus with them,.... The eleven disciples,

unto a place called Gethsemane; the Syriac version calls it Ghedsiman; the Persic, Ghesmani, so the Arabic; the Vulgate Latin, and the Ethiopic, Gethsemani: in Munster's Hebrew Gospel, and in the Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, it is called a "village"; and in the Ethiopic version, "a village of wine"; and in the Syriac and Persic versions, a place. Here, according to an Ethiopic writer, the Virgin Mary was buried by the apostles (d). Its etymology is very differently given: some read, and explain it, as if it was , "a valley of fatness", or "of olives", as it is called in Munster's Hebrew Gospel; see Isaiah 28:1; others as if it was , "a valley of signs", or a very famous valley; so Mount Sinai is called (e), , "Harsemanai", the mountain of signs: but, to take notice of no more; the true reading and signification of it is,

"an olive press", or a press for olives: so we read (f) of a chamber in the temple which is called "the chamber", , "Beth Semania", or "Bethsemani", where they put their wine and oil for temple service. It is very probable that at, or near this place, was a very public olive press, where they used to squeeze the olives, for the oil of them, which they gathered in great plenty from off the Mount of Olives; at the foot of which this place was; and a very significant place it was for our Lord to go to at this time, when he was about to tread the wine press of his Father's wrath, alone, and of the people there were none with him: for it follows,

and saith unto the disciples, sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder: perceiving a time of distress was coming upon him, he betakes himself to prayer, an example worthy of our imitation; in the performance of which duty he chose to be retired and solitary, and therefore left eight of his disciples at a certain place, whilst he went to another at some distance, convenient for his purpose; who perhaps might be the weakest of the disciples, and not able to bear the agonies and distress of their Lord and Master,

(d) Ludolph. Lex. Ethiop. p. 554. (e) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 89. 1.((f) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 16. 1.

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