I often reflect on the Atonement Jesus made for us, and enjoy digging through articles, books and scriptures for more information about it. I really didn't know much about what had happened when He prayed in Gethsemane. I knew He had asked the eight Apostles to wait near the entrance, and took Peter, James and John further into the garden with Him. Admonishing them to watch and pray, He advanced a "stone's throw" beyond them, and knelt and prayed. In the record He prayed three times, twice returning to wake the Apostles, and asking them to pray with Him. The third time He told them to sleep on-until the traitor, Judas, arrived to betray Him.
I knew there must be more that happened, but how could I discover what it was? The records of Mathew, Mark, and Luke are second hand because Matthew never went beyond the entrance, and Mark and Luke had not yet been called as Apostles. John who did go into the garden, but says nothing at all about anything that happened until Judas arrived. I determined to dig in the scriptures for references, prophecies, or types that pointed to Gethsemane, and try to infer from them what happened.
I find that taking the scriptures literally gives me ideas to sketch and to paint that taking them metaphorically didn't even hint at. It became a process of finding new questions I wanted answers to. The following are some of the questions, and some of the answers I came up with.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sit Ye Here, Watch and Pray

Upon reaching the entrance to the Garden, Jesus asked eight of the Apostles to remain there while He proceeded further into the darkness of the hillside garden with Peter, James, and John to pray.  Matthew 26: 36-38  36¶Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called aGethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and bpray yonder.  37And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and abegan to be sorrowful and very heavy.  38Then saith he unto them, My soul is aexceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and bwatch with me. 
 How tall was the wall around Gethsemane?  The wine and olive oil used in the temple was grown and harvested there so the Priests would have wanted to preserve the sanctity from wandering livestock and unauthorized wanderers.  I chose to show a high wall with a narrow gate that very probably provided a very limited access.  It was known, I am told, as a Miphkad (sp) gate, or place of gathering.  So who was allowed entrance?  Who gathered there, and for what purpose?  Were there benches, or low walls for seating?  How were they dressed?  Later (John 18: 18) tells us it was cold that night.  Did they have heavy woolen cloaks, blankets, to ward off the cold while waiting in the garden?  It was dark as they left the upper room so I show the light as if from a full moon which always signaled the beginning of Passover.

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