Join us for the best summer yet!

Choose wisely! Make "The Gethsemane Decision" moment by moment as Christ's remedy for Adam.
Applicable excerpts below from "The Gethsemane Decision", by B. Cobbey Crisler

"We have been involved ever since the earth dawned for us with The Gethsemane Decision… The moment we use the word decision, I’m certain all of us are aware of the choices daily placed before us. There also seems to be a concomitant fact that every time we look in the mirror, we see the results of our choices. That’s kind of scary. Can we change choices if we have made the wrong ones? Do you find the Bible filled with this choice making? How does it open, for instance?

Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are clearly a choice, aren’t they? They contradict each other. We really cannot live with both although most of us are undoubtedly trying. The necessity to make a decision, important decision, relates back to how the pioneer Christian made his decision. Whether he himself has that rock beneath him, as we said, before he made any rules. Or whether he, too, vascilated and was dualistic, and was pulled to and fro according to the motion of Satan in the Book of Job.

Let's visit Gethsemane geographically first and then let's visit Gethsemane mentally. We might find that it's not necessary to take a trip there physically at all. But for a few moments stand with me before the very prominent mount upon which Jerusalem was built. That city, whose very name dedicates it to peace and yet whose very history has probably had more conflict associated with it than any other city on the globe. How often Jesus faced that city, a city that he wept over, and simply said "how often he would have gathered its children, her children, under his wings as a hen does her chickens." Then those last few words, "And ye would not." [Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34]

That might expose for us the real enemy within that is dealt with in The Gethsemane Decision, the fact that we would not. Jesus, prior to going to Gethsemane, as you recall, sang hymns [Matthew 26:30], prayed with his disciples [Matthew 26:35, 42, 44] and for them, as well as for those who were to believe on him through the words of his disciples.

I'm not sure one could point to a more meaningful event in history than when Jesus, about to suffer the cruelty of Gethsemane and Calvary, spends his last moments praying for us whom he had never known physically, for those who believe on his disciples through their words.

On the slope of the Mount of Olives, just as it begins to rise from the Valley of Kidron, a very deep gulley that is a natural defense for the city of Jerusalem. One that enables the city to be secure from that vantage point, the East. No one has ever conquered Jerusalem from the East.

That valley of Kidron separates the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem proper. At the vantage point of that slope if you look back up to the city of Jerusalem, it looms above you, well above you. Its walls today pretty much following the outline of the earlier walls, although most of the construction is of the Turkish period in the 16th century. There above you, you see the entrance to what is called the Golden Gate. It's closed, boarded up, walled up, because a long tradition is that the Messiah would come through that Gate, so the Turks walled it up to prevent the Messiah from entry. Once again that sad action is perhaps an example of those few words, "Ye would not," the rejection of the Messiah. Human nature rejecting the very thing that can save it.

The brook Kidron is dry most of the year, only when the winter rains fill it do you have any kind of indication of water. Across from the city of Jerusalem at night, do we recall that John said that those who came to arrest Jesus snaked down the slope of the city into the valley of Kidron, and they were carrying torches and lanterns? I ask you to imagine what that would've appeared like from the vantage point from the beginning slope of the Mount of Olives where Jesus and his disciples were. It certainly would have been enough to strike fear in the average human heart.

Jesus certainly knew the objective of those who were coming. His disciples were falling in and out of almost a drugged-like stupor which prevented them from being any support whatsoever to their Master. The Gethsemane Decision is one that must be taken alone anyway, individually, alone with God.

The word "Gethsemane" is felt by most Bible scholars to mean "oil press." Why do you think an oil press would be located on the Mount of Olives? Pretty obvious, right? It's at the base of the Mount of Olives so the fruit would have flowed from the slope where the trees were and ended up for pressing purposes at the bottom of the mountain. The symbolic nature of that is probably not lost on any of us. The intense pressure, the olive is placed under between two huge stones where the hulk, the skin, the pulp, all pressed out of condition, distorted, and yet the essence is not caught by the pressure of those stones. It flows out to bless mankind in many ways. Olive oil was used for what back then? Still is in many cases. Anointing was for kings, priests, royalty, and what else? It was used for heat, for light.

Back to Gethsemane. The decision that was made there, the decision obviously was a mental one. We need to conclude as we study the event whether this decision was made for the first time by Jesus at Gethsemane or whether it was consistent with the choices he had made ever since age twelve when he is recorded as telling his human parents that his mission was to "be about his Father's business" [Luke 2:49].

What do you think the Gethsemane decision is? [Voice: "to let" God's will be made manifest…"] To let God's will. What's the other part of the choice? God's will or our own will, self-will or human will. Does that sound like much of a major choice? It's easy for us isn't it? Certainly, we do our own will easily. That's no problem at all. This may be why we have not succeeded where Jesus did. Where Jesus became one who could be called "Master." Because nothing ever mastered him.

Is the secret to being a follower and a believer of Jesus the straightening out of priorities in our thinking as Jesus established that method? God's will not our own. It's something human nature is not used to. It is radical. If we are facing the basic, primary decision between success and failure, it's whether we are in tune with our own wills or whether we are totally committed to God's will. We should be able to see all kinds of indications of this in the Scriptures…

This Adam-problem is something that is not limited to the discussion in Genesis. We find it referred to and alluded to throughout the Bible, as if it represents in symbols the human problem. One Bible commentator in discussing the choice between the Adam-man and the Christ-man, represented by Jesus, indicates that the way these terms are used in the New Testament especially, it looks like the intent is that each one, Adam and Jesus, are representatives of an entirely different human race. They are completely opposite. Humanhood following Jesus is ending up at a destination completely opposed to the destination of the Adam followers. There may be something in humanhood we have barely glimpsed, if at all.

Jesus found what humanhood could be when the Divine was behind it every step of the way. There is nothing in Jesus' humanhood that could stop the Divine from manifesting itself on earth as in heaven. This may be our decision we're talking about.

Jesus refused to allow anything to obstruct the divine will from operating on earth. Look what he was able to do with his own humanhood as well as with the humanhood of others as a result. He could take his fragile, one would think, human frame, anatomically speaking, through what was apparently at least the sound barrier, if not the light barrier. In no way did his body hamper him when we walked above the water.

He therefore had dominion, obviously, over what we call a law of gravity. Yet when he subdued gravity through this sense of dominion, gravity had no control over the dominion-man. Notice he was not like our astronauts, weightless as the result of negating gravity. He was still in absolute control of every aspect of his being and progressing toward his destination. He didn't have to do it step-by-step because we hear that when he set foot in the boat instantly, not only Jesus, but the comprehension of Jesus could embrace his disciples plus boat, and get all of them through what we feel today, technologically would require heat-resistant metal, crash helmets, oxygen masks, or whatever else in order to preserve the human frame, and to get it through such stresses and pressures and tensions. Jesus was used to the pressure of Gethsemane, the olive press. He did not fear what flesh could do to him, obviously…

…If our thesis as presented is accurate, that the implication of Paul’s statement [I Corinthians 15:22], “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” presents problem and solution, or remedy, then one of the greatest research jobs awaiting all of us is to get back into that problem called Adam which we’re all wrestling with.

Just make a list of everything you detect that Adam did wrong mentally and physically. Because, if it is true that Jesus’ mission was to remedy the Adam man and wipe that alternative off the face of man’s consciousness, then everything that Adam did wrong which was upside down Jesus is going to put right side up and prove that man is upright. Many things may occur to you, for instance in the initial phases of such a list which we could just touch upon. Adam's problem occurred in what environment? The garden of Eden. Where did Jesus face down and confront that Adam- problem? The Garden of Gethsemane. Is this a coincidence? Is Gethsemane intended to be the remedy for the problems of Eden in our own thinking? I love in that context to remember Isaiah's words [Isaiah 1:29] when he says, "Ye shall be confounded for the gardens ye have chosen." Eden, Gethsemane.

Adam's problem, though, is probably symbolized most graphically by what? He had been told not to do something, what was it? "Not to eat of that tree" [Genesis 3:3]. Instead he went and did it. The disobedience, doing one's own will, would have to be totally remedied right up with the same even greater peak pressure on a humanhood that had just announced to the world that the way to get out of this Adam-mess is to yield to God's will regardless of the pressure upon you, so [it's] doing God's will versus doing one's own will.

The tree of knowledge of good and evil. You know that the New Testament refers several times to the cross as the tree, that they nailed Jesus to the tree [Acts 13:29; 1Peter 2:24]. Interesting symbolism. The attempt to nail Jesus as if he were one more in the dying race of Adam, to be nailed to death, and that's the termination and the end of anything that he would offer man radically as salvation. Jesus could not be nailed on the cross any more than God's man could be nailed on the cross, and thus his theology was exemplified.

Do you remember, – just things like this to show you how much fun this work can be as well – part of the curse on Adam [Genesis 3:17,18] was that thorns will be brought forth unto him. Did Jesus have to face Adam's thorns on that weekend? "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread…dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return" [Genesis 3:19]. The grave was the pressure of the dust he was to return to. There are many others showing the complete reversal of the Adam. It's as if the highest sense of mind on earth, which had relinquished its right to mind except by reflection, is turning everything right side up just as we do visually. That topic is far from being exhausted. In fact, what can exhaust an infinite reservoir? It's one thing about supply in the Bible. It's never consumed. Therefore, there are no consumers.

We're going to review the actual events of the Gethsemane experience and see some of the differences. What Jesus faced, what he was remedying, why he was there and see that we must, just for gratitude's sake alone, have a stake in that Gethsemane, pioneer work. But then we must take it beyond this. We must go and do likewise.

Matthew 26:30 "When they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives." A hymn before Gethsemane. That shows the value Jesus places on such an uplifting of thought through the conjoining of music and words. The meaning that is often conveyed even more deeply to us when we have that unity of soul expressed by thought in that manner.

Matthew 26:36 "Jesus comes to a place called Gethsemane," the oil press.

Do you think that by going to so many of these preceding verses that we need now look for very little explanation as to the agony of this hour, and the burden Jesus was bearing? With all the world's tradition behind the necessity for doing one's own will, to take that as an escape route and Jesus slams the door on that forever. The only salvation is taking that door that the key of David unlocks, don't try to shut it, the Scriptures indicate. The Scripture is locked. Or we would not have the mention of the need of a key. The key to the Scripture placed into the lock shows that neither the lock nor the key is the ultimately important thing. It's what's behind that door, that open door for man to walk through. But no one gets there except through that door and except through utilizing that key.

Matthew 26:37 Peter, James and John fall asleep, in a trance-like sleep." It's hypnotic.

Matthew 26:38 Even after Jesus had said, "Tarry ye here, and watch with me." My mom pointed out a parallel here. I recall hitting my head several times that I'd never seen that. Those words "Tarry ye here” are exactly the words Elijah said to Elisha and Elisha refused to tarry, "As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth." Look at that for image and likeness to Original! "As God lives and as your identity therefore must live, I will not leave thee." My mother just said, "Just think of how different that Gethsemane experience might have been if the disciples had just learned the lesson of Elisha and carried that Scriptural inspiration with them. Elisha saw the ascension of Elijah because he did not give up. Jesus was left alone in this experience in Gethsemane. The deep sleep that fell upon the original Adam falls upon his descendants.

Matthew 26:39 "Jesus then goes away about a stone's cast," further spiritual distance from his disciples, perhaps, and his prayer, the Gethsemane decision, "Saying, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless" make no mistake where my commitment is, "not as I will," He told us that was his mission, not to do his own will but to do his Father's will. If Gethsemane had broken him, where would we be? "Not as I will, but as thou wilt." Is that Jesus overcoming the original sin of Adam?

Let's now turn to Mark's version of the event. Something no other Gospel records.

Mark 14:36 "Jesus says, Abba, Father, all things [are] possible unto thee." He's praying his own Lord's Prayer, showing that this is not a prayer that he doesn't participate in himself. "Abba," as some of you may know if behind every use of Jesus' word "Father" in the gospels. "Abba" is the Aramaic word. No other religious thinker or writer before his time had ever used "Abba" for God. "Abba" is a child's word. It is "Daddy." It's one of the first two words that a Hebrew and an Arab child learns today. "Abba, Imma [Daddy, Mama or Mommy]"

When he told us we could not enter in to the kingdom of heaven without becoming as a little child, he obviously meant we cannot say the Lord's Prayer effectively without becoming a little child. It's an infant's reliance on God and Jesus goes to his Father as a little child in Gethsemane. When we're making our Gethsemane decisions, we had better follow the example and remember "Abba,"

Mark 14:35 "He states, the spirit truly [is] ready, but the flesh [is] weak."

Let's go to Luke's version.

Luke 22:42 Luke tells us a few other things. As a matter of fact, [this is] probably the most well known expression of the Gethsemane Decision where Jesus says, "Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." Remember if the opening line of the Lord's Prayer is recalled by "Abba," Our Father, "Abba" being the original behind it.

[Luke 11:1,2] Look at "Thy will be done" in the Lord's Prayer. Why is it there? The prayer that Jesus himself gave us in response to the question, "Lord, teach us to pray."

[Matthew 6:9] "After this manner therefore pray ye." "Abba." Immediately be a little child and be sure you're committed to God's will being done.

Look at that discipline requiring human thought to conform and yield to the divine when all outlines and barriers around mentality as we have become accustomed to it fall away and we find no limitations to thought or mind at all if we are the image of the mind of God. "Not my will be thine be done" is Jesus using his own prayer in Gethsemane. If that Lord's Prayer can carry one through Gethsemane, it can carry one through anything. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament says this,

"Humanly he has the possibility of an independent will. But this will exists only to be negated in face of the divine will. Its perfect agreement with the divine will finds expression in the declaration of its negation." And also adds, "The third petition of the Lord's Prayer in Gethsemane expresses not merely submission but consent to a comprehensive fulfillment of God's will in keeping with the hallowing of His name and the coming of His kingdom. It thus implies an ultimate and basic attitude on the part of the one who prays. It agrees exactly with the petition of the Son in Gethsemane. And again from the same Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, "What is meant in this statement 'not my will but thine be done' is the active divine resolve which cannot remain in the sphere of thought but demands action everywhere. We have the impression [in the Scriptures] that nothing human but only this divine will can provide the impulse of the execution of the plan of salvation."

We discussed at some length a decision, a question, a choice that could have taken a fraction of a second if it were not for the human mind's built-in resistance that we see the ample testimony to be throughout the Scriptures. The necessity for inculcation to get the point over, and over, and over to us is obvious in studying the works of our master teacher Jesus in the New Testament, but also seeing the examples before him in the Old Testament. Gethsemane is the press, the oil press. Like Jesus, we must have oil within us. The pressure is still on. If Gethsemane is the press, can we say and be backed up by Scripture, that not my will but thine be done is the oil? If so, that's the Christ-oil. The word Christ is based upon the Greek word for oil. That's what poured out of Jesus' experience at Gethsemane. What is it designed to do? To anoint, to heal, to feed, to cleanse. If the pressure of Gethsemane is upon us, what is oil designed to do? Do we find in our character anything unlike that Christ-anointed example? Is that human will that needs to be crushed out forever?

We think we're in an oil crisis today. The pressure is on. But Gethsemane's purpose has a divine result regardless of what the world can bring to bear upon you and me, Jesus could say in part of that hymn that he sang before Gethsemane which is locatable in the later psalms, is still sung today at Passover, that he needed not to fear what man or flesh could do. Out of that experience flowed the oil that is still blessing us, is still being utilized. We're not in an oil crisis today if we're in the way with Jesus. We maybe at a "parting of the ways," the meaning of the word crisis. We may be challenged regularly and often to make our right decisions, our right choice, our Gethsemane decision.

Then, the result of no longer bowing down to a human will, no longer seeing within us any domination by others through their human will, but filled with the Holy Ghost's own message, the angel that strengthens Jesus at that moment, according to Luke. That angel awaits to strengthen us today.

The world with its creaky joints awaits, needs, yearns, for more Christ oil to be poured from the thoughts and lives of those who have made the decision, are continuing to make the decision, and are moving from Gethsemane at the base of the Mount of Olives to the summit of the Mount of Olives where Jesus himself ascended. We never have to budge from that mount. It represents both cross and crown, both problem and solution. And therefore that oil which negates the experience of the cross and delivers the crown shows us that those two symbols, as precious as they are in Scripture, are inseparable. If the cross represents the problem, and the crown the solution, then intertwined they deliver that simple message to me, problem solved. That is the result of the Gethsemane decision.

American Camp Association

(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Support our mission!

CedarS Camps

to top