The most moving sites from our family’s trip to Israel a few years ago were those relating to the last days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, His crucifixion, and His resurrection.

In these days leading to this year’s Resurrection Sunday, I’m posting a different kind of series—a picture from this trip, especially from the Jerusalem area, with a few thoughts relating to that scene. Most of the pictures will not fall on the day of the week in which the correlating event occurred, but I trust they will turn your thoughts toward Christ in this week leading to the Resurrection. 

Garden of Gethsemane: Matthew 26:36–46, Mark 14:32–42, Luke 22:39-46, John 18:1–2

You and I try to escape burdens. But in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus endured an emotional and physical burden we will never understand—for us.

Hours before His trial and crucifixion, Jesus sought out the solitude of prayer, and he went to a place where He was known to frequent for this purpose. Visiting Gethsemane today, it is easily conceivable why Jesus loved to pray here. Near the old city of Jerusalem but not within the city, it is peaceful and restful.

Yet the rest and peace Jesus needed in these hours could not be found among the quiet olive trees. It could only be found in fellowship with the Father and submission to His will. We will never fully understand the intensity of Jesus’ spirit in these moments or the cost of the words, “Not my will but thine be done.” But we will be eternally thankful for them.

Because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we have constant and direct access to the throne room of Heaven—to Jesus Himself. He understands our needs, the needs of our loved ones, and the burdens of our soul. Do we make time to seek His help?

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.—Hebrews 4:15—16

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