|SECRETS IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE
I AM REVEALED
May 20 2012
(I Corinthians 15:45)
IN THE GARDEN OF Eden, the first Adam was not born through a normal birth process, and neither was the Second
Adam, Jesus Christ. The first Adam was formed from dust, and the Second Adam was formed in the womb of a virgin
(Genesis 2:7; Luke 1:27-31). The first Adam was perfect before the Fall, and the Second Adam was sinless throughout
his life (II Corinthians 5:21). The first Adam fell into sin while living in a garden, and the Second Adam had the sins of
the world placed upon him in a garden called Gethsemane. At the tree of the knowledge of good and evil the first Adam
experienced death, and at a tree called a cross the Second Adam experienced death. But through the cross, the
Second Adam conquered death, hell, and the grave and is alive forever more (Revelation 1:18). Eternal death began
in a garden, and the plan of redemption began near the temple in Jerusalem, in a garden called Gethsemane.
There is a powerful mystery surrounding that fateful night of destiny in Gethsemane. This Jerusalem garden, nestled in
a narrow valley between the Eastern Gate and the Mount of Olives, was a favorite retreat for Christ to come apart to
reflect and pray (John 18:2). Some have suggested this garden may have been owned by a rich follower of Christ,
perhaps Joseph of Arimathea, or Nicodemus, the rich man who visited Jesus secretly at night (John 3:1-15). Scripture
indicates that Christ resorted there often with His disciples. On this night, the retreat would turn into an all-night
It was in this very garden where Christ revealed to Nicodemus that, as Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness, so He
(Christ) would be lifted up (on the cross) to draw all men to Him (John 3:14). The story of the brass serpent in Numbers
21:2-9 is an amazing picture of the redemptive work of Christ. Israel had sinned and was bitten by serpents. As people
lay dying, Moses constructed a brass serpent on a pole. All who looked to the brass snake lived! God chose a brass
serpent to represent Christ, since brass represents humanity and the serpent represents sin. Christ became man and
bore our sins on the tree!
Christ entered the garden and invited three of His disciples – Peter, James, and John – to participate in an important
late-night prayer vigil. Weary from a busy week, the prayer support team fell asleep as Christ poured out His soul for
one hour. Christ understood the coming events. His prayer turned into an agonizing three hours of intercession, until
His sweat became as great drops of blood (Luke 22:44). This could happen only under extreme physical and mental
stress as the blood capillaries expanded and allowed red blood to mingle with the salty sweat. The word agony comes
from the root word agon, which alludes to a contest or a fight.
What was actually occurring? I believe that during these three hours, the sins of mankind were being transferred upon
Christ, just as in the Old Testament when Israel’s sins were transferred to the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement. We
see a reference to this transference of sins onto Christ in II Corinthians 5:21:
(II Corinthians 5:21, ASV)
As the sins of the world weighed upon Christ, I believe He experienced an unbearable burden, causing Him to pray that
if it were possible, that God would allow this cup of suffering to pass from Him (Matthew 26:42, 44). The two hours of
agony were so intense that Paul wrote in Hebrews that this event almost killed Christ and He had to seek God to spare
Him from premature death:
him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned
he obedience by the things which he suffered. (Hebrews 5:7-8)
the garden, as the agonizing pressure was pressing the blood through His face. This event was foreseen by Isaiah
when he wrote, “Thou shall make his soul an offering for sin…he shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:10-11).
Isaiah further wrote about the suffering Messiah when he said:
afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4)
healing the sick:
our sicknesses. (Matthew 8:17)
“infirmities” and “sicknesses.” He reveals that Christ bore (carried in Him) our infirmities and sicknesses. Therefore, in
the garden, He was made sin with our sins and sick with our sicknesses. Is it any wonder He was asking for this cup to
pass? It was not just the cup of the cross, but it was also the sufferings He was experiencing in Gethsemane.
Christ knew, however, that His sufferings would accomplish a divine plan – to bring salvation and healing to those who
would receive the new covenant. This atonement would impact the body, soul, and spirit of anyone who accepted the
full atoning work of Christ.
THE BODY, SOUL, AND SPIRIT
blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Thessalonians 5:23)
spirit can become tainted by sin through disobedience to God’s Word. The atonement sets out to redeem the
spirit, renew the soul, and restore or heal the body, causing a person to become whole or complete in Christ.
Isaiah breaks down how the sufferings of the Messiah will impact the tripartite nature of mankind:
1. The atonement of the body
Isaiah prophesied that, “With his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Isaiah looks forward to the atoning work of the
Messiah. Peter, however, looks back at the finished work of the cross and proclaims, “By whose stripes ye were healed”
(I Peter 2:24).
2. The atonement of the soul
Isaiah revealed the atonement for the soul when he wrote, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and
acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Christ was also oppressed and afflicted (verse 7). Oppression, sorrow, and grief
are all emotions that can wreak havoc on the emotions and minds of believers. Yet Christ carried sorrow and grief to
the cross on our behalf.
3. The atonement of the spirit
The prophet then revealed that the Christ would be wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities
(Isaiah 53:5). In verse 10 he wrote, “Thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.” Sin is a spiritual disease that eats
away at man’s spirit. Christ’s ultimate goal was to redeem the spirit of a person and impart the gift of eternal life.
Isaiah sums up the sufferings of the Messiah in the last two verses of Isaiah 53:
many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the
spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the
transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:11-12)
Notice that He will bear their iniquities; Christ bore our sins. He poured out His soul unto death. He was numbered
(hung) on a cross between two transgressors (thieves), and He made intercession for one thief who requested to be
remembered when Jesus came into His kingdom (Luke 23:39-42). Jesus provided a complete redemptive work from the
whipping post to the old rugged cross! The stripes on His back were for my physical healing, the thorns on His head
provide for my mental and emotional well-being, and the suffering on the cross dealt a deathblow to sin and provided
eternal life for my spirit.
THREE MEN REPRESENT THE THREE LEVELS OF ATONEMENT
It is not by coincidence that Christ chose three men out of the twelve to be His inner circle that night in the garden. His
three closest disciples – Peter, James, and John – each have a character trait that parallels the emotional, bodily, and
spiritual atonement. Peter represented emotional atonement, James represented bodily atonement, and John
represented spiritual atonement.
First, look at Peter. He continually needed a renewing of his emotions. Before Peter received the Holy Spirit, he was
brash, arrogant, and self-centered. It was Peter who demanded to walk on the water with Jesus. Peter also rebuked
Christ for predicting He would die in Jerusalem. He insisted that he would never deny Christ, but had little confidence
the others would follow his strong stance for the Savior. To prove his loyalty, the quick and emotionally high-strung,
sword-swinging follower of Jesus whacked the ear from the head of a high priest’s servant. Hours later, however, his
burning passion turned cold, when out of fear he denied the Lord three times. And to prove the point, he cursed a few
lines (Matthew 26:69-75). Peter was an apostle, called of God, and yet he was emotionally unstable at times. Peter is a
picture of a person who loves Christ but lives on an emotional roller coaster and needs stability.
One of the most detailed instructions in the New Testament that outlines how elders in the church should minister to the
sick was penned by the apostle James:
in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he
have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another,
that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:14-16)
believers within the church. Sick individuals are to call for the elders. Please notice how confessing your faults one
to another is linked to receiving your healing. James, the second of the inner circle disciples, gives the details of the
physical or bodily atonement.
The third disciple was John. The gospel of John gives the clearest and most detailed description of the suffering of
Christ and His redeeming work through the cross. When new converts begin reading the Bible, ministers often suggest
they begin with the Gospel of John. This friend of Christ was with Him in the garden. He was a witness at the trial, and
he stood at the foot of the cross with Mary when the others were hiding out of fear (John 18:16; 19:27). Thus John is
the disciple whose theme is centered on the spiritual atonement of mankind.
The life and writings of these three disciples are significant because of the threefold impact that Christ’s complete work
would have on humanity: emotional healing, physical healing, and a complete spiritual redemption from sin.
MYSTERIES IN THE GARDEN
Not only was sin and sickness being placed upon God’s Lamb, Jesus Christ, but also Satan was interested in the activity
taking place. Jesus made this clear when He was preparing for the conflict in the garden:
The prince of the world was Satan himself. Apparently, Christ wanted His disciples to know that when His sweat became
blood and when soldiers arrested Him, that it was not Satan’s agenda but God’s plan from the foundation of the world
(Colossians 1:26). This heavenly plan had been hid from ages past, but it was about to be known. God, however, hid
the mystery from satanic powers:
glory. (I Corinthians 2:8)
When Judas entered the garden with a band of six hundred Roman soldiers to seize Christ, the Savior was now
prepared as the sin offering for the world (John 18:1-3). From this garden, situated just below the ancient temple altar,
the Lamb of God was ready to be slain as the final sin offering. Sin seized Adam in the Garden of Eden, and sin was
placed upon Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was not His sin but the sins of others that He would carry to the
Jesus was a substitute for us, carrying both our diseases and our sins. While many churches emphasize only the
forgiveness of sins, throughout the Bible and especially in the ministry of Jesus, He made no distinction between
forgiveness and physical healing. In fact, healing and forgiveness went hand in hand. Christ told a man, “Thy sins are
forgiven,” and then He commanded the man to rise, take up his bed, and walk (Luke 5:20-25). James said that when a
believer is healed, “if he hath committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:15).
The Passover Lamb in Exodus 12 and the brass serpent in Numbers 21 are just two of many types and shadows of
Christ’s atoning work. There is another picture of Christ as revealed in the manna that fell in the wilderness for forty
THE MEAL THAT HEALS, by Perry Stone, Copyright 2008, Charisma House.
|LIFE IN JESUS-MINISTRIES