Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemane stands at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Today, as in the time of Christ, you can still look from the Garden across the Kidron Valley, and see the sun gleaming on the walls of the City of Jerusalem.

The Garden was the scene of Christ's Agony, when he prayed that the cup he was about to drink, his suffering and death on the Cross, might if possible be taken from him, but ended his prayer with 'Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done'. The spot where Christ knelt and prayed in such distress that he sweated blood, is marked today by the Church of the Nations. The rock which is believed to be the one on which he knelt is preserved inside the Church, in front of the main altar.

There has been a Church on this site since 379AD. The present Church, built in 1919-24, is called the Church of the Nations because 16 nations contributed to the cost of the building. Statues of the four Evangelists, each holding a book, stand on plinths between and beside the arches of the facade. The mosiac above the arches depicts Christ offering his own and the world's suffering to the Father. Inside the Church, a mosiac above the main altar depicts Christ's Agony in the Garden. On either side are mosaics depicting the betrayal of Christ by Judas, and his arrest, which also took place in the Garden.

The Garden still contains many ancient olive trees, and much of it appears as it did in the time of Christ.

 

 

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