Gethsemane: The Timeless Tale of Selfless Sacrifice
To the east of the Kidron Valley, not far from the hustle and bustle of the active city of Jericho, sits an ancient structure carved into the walls of a mountain. Gethsemane is a historical monument, and it holds several cultural and religious points for Christians, making it one of the first stops on any Christian Israel tour. Check out some of the highlights before your trip.
The Garden of Olives
A picturesque grove of olive trees paints the ideal location for reflection and supplication. It’s no wonder Jesus chose this spot for frequent retreats to convene with G-d and get lost in fervent prayer. As most of you know, The Garden of Olives is the last location Jesus retreated to with his disciples after the Last Supper and before he was led away to be crucified by the Romans. This is where Jesus accepted the tremendous fate that was bestowed upon him.
Today, 1200 m2 of new olive trees grow alongside their ancient predecessors. What is most extraordinary is that there exist still today eight olive trees from the original grove. These eight survivors are actually genetic “brother” trees, sharing the same DNA structure and date back to the 12th century.
The grotto of Gethsemane itself is supposedly where the disciples slept while Jesus was contrite with pain and prayer on his last night in human form. This cave sits just to the right of Mary’s tomb, and it is here that Judas Iscariot forsakes his long-time friend and leader. The Tomb of Mary, the final resting place of the virgin mother, is said to be here as well.
Few locations hold as much emotion and importance to Christians as does the Grotto of Gethsemane. It is a picture of betrayal, ultimate love, and undying self-sacrifice, a rich page from the Bible that most anyone can relate to. Christians visiting Israel this year would be remiss to overlook this prominent spot, so visit Gethsemane and reconnect to your origins today.