Jesus’ Betrayal and Arrest at The Garden of Gethsemane
The Garden of Gethsemane is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives and within the walls of the Church of All Nations, also known as the Basilica of the Agony. According to the Bible, the Garden of Gethsemane was one of Jesus’ favorite places to pray and rest. The Garden of Gethsemane was also the setting of one of the most pivotal events in Biblical history, as it is the site where Jesus was betrayed and arrested the night before his crucifixion.
The Garden of Gethsemane is an important site for Christian pilgrimages to Israel. Gethsemane, which means ‘oil press’ in Greek, consists of a garden of ancient olive trees that scholars estimate are anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Olive trees do not have rings, so it is hard to determine their exact age, but the olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane were probably saplings when Jesus went there.
What Happened on the Night of Jesus’ Arrest?
After the Last Supper, Jesus led his disciples, with the exception of Judas, to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus felt an overwhelming sense of sorrow and an urgent need to pray while he was there. Suspecting that he was in trouble with the authorities and sensing the imminence of his death, Jesus fell into despair and came face to face with his own suffering. In Biblical accounts, Jesus felt such anguish that he was sweating drops of blood. Even though Jesus asked his disciples to stay awake with him and help him pray, they kept falling asleep.
Jesus initially pleaded with his Father in heaven to spare him from the cross, but he ultimately submitted to his Father’s will. Jesus repeated the following prayer: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” God sent him an angel from heaven to strengthen him.
That night, Judas arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane with a large crowd of Jewish officials and Roman soldiers carrying swords and clubs. Jesus visited the Garden of Gethsemane on a regular basis, so Judas knew he would be there. Judas, who was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, identified Jesus and had him arrested by the Roman soldiers. All of Jesus’ disciples ran away because they were afraid that they would also be arrested. According to the Bible, Satan told Judas to betray Jesus.
The most important lesson from that fateful night in the Garden of Gethsemane is that Jesus was willing to die on the cross in order to pay the penalty for the sins of all mankind. Visitors on pilgrimages to Jerusalem can visit the adjacent Church of All Nations to view colorful mosaics detailing the events of that evening. In the center of the church is a large rock that is said to be the very rock upon which Jesus prayed the night of his arrest.
Join Christian Holyland Tours on a Tour of the Garden of Gethsemane
Visit the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem to contemplate Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. For more information about Christian Holyland Tours’ pilgrimages to Israel and the Garden of Gethsemane, please call 1.800.2.ISRAEL (or 1.800.247.7235)