Gethsemane, a garden on the Mount of Olives (Hebrew: Har ha-Zetim), a mile-long hill paralleling the eastern side of Jerusalem, where Jesus is claimed to have prayed on the night of his arrest before to his Crucifixion. The phrase "garden of God" is used for several places in the Bible but most commonly refers to Jerusalem. Gethsemane is mentioned only in the New Testament and may have been known as a forest or a plain at the time of Christ.
According to Christian tradition, Jesus spent the night of Friday, April 3, 30, in a garden on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple area. In the morning, he was arrested by the Jewish authorities; after being taken before Annas, he was accused of committing blasphemy by claiming to be the Son of God; and then he was sent for trial before Caiaphas, the high priest. He was then taken to Pilate, the Roman governor, who refused to hear any more charges against him. At that point, Christians believe that Jesus was led away to be crucified. After his death, he returned to life on Thursday, April 9, and went up into the room where the body of Jesus was lying when Mary Magdalene and others came into the room with spices for his burial. They saw the linen cloths that had covered the body torn apart and believed that this was how Jesus' body was resurrected.
The Mount of Olives, despite its name, is more of a hill across the valley from the Old City. The Garden of Gethsemane, located halfway down the slope towards the Old City, is where Jesus prayed with his disciples just before being turned over to the authorities for his crucifixion. Today, visitors can walk through the garden's grounds.
Although the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane are only a few kilometers apart, they are two completely different places. The Mount of Olives is a steep, rocky hill that rises up sharply from the Kidron Valley floor; while the Garden of Gethsemane is a peaceful oasis in Jerusalem's urban center. In order for Jesus to be taken into custody, the group moved further down the mountain to a place called Gethsemane (which means "olive orchard" in Hebrew).
Both sites are important places in Christian theology because they were here that Jesus made many predictions about his death and burial. Also, it was here that Jesus prayed as he knew that he was about to be arrested by the Jewish leaders.
These places are especially significant for Jews because they were here that Jesus spoke many times against turning over children to pay taxes to the Roman government and also because it was here that he sacrificed a lamb as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering.
However, it was most likely built in the "Upper City," which is located in the southwestern portion of Jerusalem. Gethsemane was an olive grove located outside the Susa Gate, Jerusalem's eastern gate. The area is mentioned in the Bible as the place where Jesus prayed on Good Friday.
According to tradition, the site was identified by a monk named Symeon who lived in the 5th century AD. He said that he had seen the spot where Jesus prayed and wept before His arrest.
The tradition of identifying a location as the place where some event in history took place begins with eyewitness accounts of the event itself. In this case, the Bible tells us that Jesus prayed in an olive grove so people would believe that the Messiah was capable of such emotional pain. After all, we know from experience that crying helps release stress and anxiety. So, it's possible that Jesus felt overwhelmed with fear and grief when He heard that He was being arrested but still wanted to be alone so that His thoughts could be focused on God rather than on his impending death.
Once Christianity became popular, people started looking for evidence of the places where important events in their religion took place. In time, these locations became places of pilgrimage for Christians everywhere.
The Mount of Olives is mentioned extensively in the New Testament as part of the route from Jerusalem to Bethany and as the location where Jesus stood as he grieved over Jerusalem (an event known as Flevit super illam in Latin). Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives, according to Acts 1:9-12. It is also said that Jesus delivered his famous sermon on the mount from this hill.
In addition to these references in the Bible, historical evidence also supports the identity of the Mount of Olives. An ancient road called the Stony Road led up the western side of the mountain and then east down into the Arab village of Siloam. Excavations have shown that the area was inhabited since at least 3000 B.C. and may even have been used as a burial site for David and Solomon.
During the time of Christ, the Mount of Olives was covered in trees and populated by animals such as deer and wild goats. According to one story, when Jesus was born in a manger near Jerusalem's city walls, some shepherds were out on the Mount of Olives watching their flocks. When they saw angels appearing to the shepherds with gifts for the newborn child, they returned home quickly without seeing Jesus himself.
Jesus visited the Mount of Olives three times in the week leading up to the Crucifixion. In the first occasion, he rode a donkey down from the Mount of Olives and into Jerusalem, as prophesied by Zechariah the Prophet. He may be discovered with his followers in the Garden of Gethsemane the second time. The third time was at dawn on Easter Sunday when the Holy Spirit came upon him.
Where is the Mount of Olives? It is located in Jerusalem between Zion and the Judean Desert. At 1,500 feet above sea level, the mountain has beautiful views of the city below. It is known for its olive trees and ancient ruins. Jesus probably went to the top of the mountain to pray, because it is where God spoke to him most clearly before his arrest.
Did you know that Jesus walked on the Mount of Olives? According to tradition, after his resurrection Jesus appeared to several people on various dates between 30 and 60 A.D. One of these appearances was to a young man named Paul on the road to Damascus. During this meeting Jesus told Paul that he was to go to Jerusalem and preach the gospel in many nations.
After Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection, he ascended back to heaven but promised to return to the world again. Since then, he has been seen by many people including apostles, prophets, and other religious leaders.