Have you ever thought about why Jesus prays in a garden before His arrest? Obviously, we know that it was his custom to retreat to this grove of Olive trees to pray regularly to his Father. Otherwise, how would Judas have known where Jesus was that evening. But, beyond his regular custom for evening prayer, I think there are other reasons why Jesus chooses a garden in which to pray.
Human history began in a Garden (Gen. 2:7–25). So did human sin (Gen. 3). For the redeemed, our life story climaxes in a “garden city” where there will be no sin, sorrow, pain, or death (Rev. 21:1–22:7). But between the Garden where man failed and the Garden where God reigns is Gethsemane, the Garden where Jesus accepted the cup from the Father’s hand… the cup of God’s undiluted justice on sin.
D.A. Carson beautifully and succinctly declares:
- “In the first garden “Not your will but mine” changed paradise to desert and brought man from Eden to Gethsemane. Now “Not my will but yours” transforms the desert into the kingdom and brings man from Gethsemane to the gates of glory.”
In Eden, the first Adam rebelled and succumbed to temptation resulting in sin and death. In the garden of Gethsemane, the second Adam submitted and prevailed over temptation resulting in life and salvation. In Eden, the effects of the curse begin. In Gethsemane, Jesus consents to the cross where the effects of the curse begin to be reversed.