Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Two Gardens and The Olive Press

A post about heaven just didn't seem fitting for today so instead I offer these two posts from my first year as a blogger.

The Two Gardens:

The fall began in the Garden of Eden; our redemption began in the Garden of Gethsemane. Adam and Eve fell through the sin of pride, " will be like gods". They went against God's will. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus, in his humanity completely surrendered his will to the Father, bitter though this cup was. After Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from God. When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, he did not hide. Rather, he handed himself over in complete conformity with God's will. Both gardens contained betrayals. In Eden, Satan tempted Adam and Eve and they betrayed God. In Gethsemane, Judas betrayed Jesus (God) with a kiss. It is in Eden that Jesus and Mary are mentioned for the first time in Gen. ch.3:15.
"I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
He will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel."

In both gardens was a rejection of God by humans, but in the second garden was also the ultimate acceptance and abandonment to the will of the Father - the beginning of the atonement that ends on the cross, where Jesus, the new Adam, returns the fruit stolen (an act of pride and rebellion) from the tree by giving his human will to the Father in the greatest act of humility ever seen on this earth. It is under the cross where Mary (the new Eve) unites herself intimately in this act of humility by giving the beloved Fruit of her womb to the Father, never asking why....just suffering with her Son.

The Olive Press:

At the base of The Mount of Olives lies Gethsemane, the garden where Jesus suffered His agony. An intense spiritual agony beyond human comprehension. The word Gethsemane means "olive press" and it was in this garden that Mercy was pressed to the fullest limits. An interior crushing so severe that Our Lord "fell to the ground and prayed if it were possible the hour might pass by him". And so begins the ultimate struggle with darkness as the weight of humanity's sins fell upon Him. A seemingly endless parade of human sin and corruption closing in upon Him. Pressing. Crushing. What did He see in this dark hour? Did He see the very depths to which human nature could sink? The pit of depravity, perversion and vice upon vice? Likely He saw this and worse, for the pressure grew so great that He sweat blood. Hematohidrosis.

Jesus suffered in his humanity, because it was human nature that needed redemption. And yet, despite the intensity of his suffering He still prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done." And Our Lord drank the cup of staggering to its very dregs, knowing that by the acceptance of this chalice even greater suffering would come upon him . Then, strengthened by an angel, He stood up and went to meet his betrayer.

In my eyes, the two greatest sufferings of Jesus were His Agony in the Garden and on the Cross when He felt completely forsaken by the Father and endured what one might call, "a living hell", for love of us. He became sin and took on all the sins of the world for our sake. That is why it is so horrifying when someone refuses the salvation that He gained for them; it's like a slap in the face of Pure Mercy.

Most merciful Jesus, I thank you for everything you suffered for us all. May all souls open their hearts to receive the mercy you long to pour upon them. May your sufferings in Gethsemane obtain the grace of repentance for all souls caught in the grip of mortal sin, for it was here in Gethsemane that mercy was pressed to its limits and it was here in Gethsemane that we learned that this mercy has no limits. Amen.

 The "cup of staggering" is a term used in various biblical translations of the O.T. and refers to the Lord's wrath. In this post I used it in reference to Isaiah ch. 51 where the Lord speaks about the ransom of His people. See also The Cup of the Lord verses 17-33 . This "cup of staggering" is also mentioned in other books of the Bible. Jesus, Himself, took this cup from our hands and drank it to its bitter dregs.


  1. This is a well written post contrasting the two gardens and what Christ went through for us.

    Not many people realise that Adam and Eve's sin was not disobedience per se; but it was pride - they wanted to be gods.

    How often do we too, in difficult times and in troubles, wish things to be OUR way.

    Not my will, Lord; but Yours.

    God bless.

  2. Beautiful articles. So powerful, the agony in the garden has always touched me deeply. God bless!

  3. Blessings to you dear Mary. The amount of suffering that Jesus did for us is coming so real to me these days. Seeing The Passion over again, my goodness what our Savior took upon Him for us overwhelms me at times. Hugs to you dear friend.

  4. Beautifully written Mary. It's humbling to think of all Jesus endured for all of mankind, for us, for me. We will be heading to 3pm service today for love of Our Lord. Have a Blessed Easter.

    How's that puppy of yours doing? And your daughter?

  5. Hi Victor,
    Thanks for commenting. When you think about it, we committed the same sin satan did, didn't we? We just didn't have the same culpability because of our humanity and the limitations of that human nature, whereas he had full knowledge of what would come of his sin and didn't care.
    God bless you too, Victor!

  6. Hi Colleen,
    Thank you. The Agony in the Garden has always touched my heart too. Most of us know that interior suffering can be worse than physical. I know you know how deep this interior suffering can be because you've gone through it. I was thinking about you when I wrote my last post about the Kingdom of Darkness and how others can drag innocent people into their personal hells. I always feel the worst when it happens to children. They suffer so much for the sins of others. I still remember the effect your book had on me. It had the same effect on my mother. I'm very glad you wrote your book, Colleen.

  7. Hi JBR,
    I can tell by your recent posts! They've been excellent!

    You were another person I was thinking about when I wrote my last post (see my comment to Colleen). Both of you kept flashing through my mind as I was writing it. I couldn't help but think of how much the two of you suffered at the hands of others.

    Sending you a big hug too :)

  8. Hi Noreen,
    Speaking of puppies? I got another one! Seriously! Boy, is he cute! His name is Milo and he's a Poodle, Bichon Frize, and Shih tzu mixture. My daughter's doing great too :)

    Hope you and yours are well and wishing you a happy Easter!

    Why do things highlight in blue now on our blogs? A new way for blogger to advertise stuff I guess. Every time I take a blog break they change things :)

    I'm surprised I haven't killed this blog by now with all the breaks I take.

    God bless!

  9. Very beautiful and poignantly written. Thanks, Mary! I actually just finished a post about the two gardens, as well on our Community of Cath. Bloggers Blog! I smiled to arrive here and read your thoughts on the same:)

  10. Thank you, Judy! I'm very much looking forward to reading your post. I have always been fascinated with the two gardens. One was a reversal of the other and both of these scripture passages are rich in symbolism. One could just dig and dig and dig and keep coming up with more!

    God bless :)