The word is literally similar to "objekt", which comes from Latin ob- (against) + jaciō (I throw), i.e. that which is thrown or put in your way. Gegenstand (the German source) is gegen (against) + Stand (nominal of standen to stand), i.e. that which stands or is placed in you way.
By the way, I've found this to be so in other languages as well. In Hindi, "object" is वस्तु. Guess its formation! Similarly, Dutch voorwerp (voor, in front + werpen, throw), Greek αντικείμενο.