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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Day Five: Mount of Olives

For me, this is the most emotion packed moment of the Passion. Jesus goes to Gethsemane and prays that he not have to die. Three times Jesus goes off to pray, to beg for another way. He knows that he can't run from what he's started now, but he doesn't want to die. He has been betrayed by Judas, and each time he returns his most trusted friends are asleep. How intensely lonely, to suffer like this and even those closest to you don't understand the significance of your suffering. Peter, James, John, even God, have not yet abandoned him, but Jesus wonders if they understand. Just then, Judas arrives with the authorities, and betrays Jesus with a kiss.

In Mark, the arrest is violent. Someone standing by Jesus cuts off the ear of the high priest's servant, but Jesus doesn't heal it, the cutter isn't a disciple, and Jesus doesn't tell the disciples not to fight. Rather, they all flee, even a young man who only escapes by leaving his cloak behind. Mark 14:43-52.

Jesus in custody and Thursday is still not over.

1 comment:

Bob Howard said...

Hi again, Jim,

One thing that strikes me about Jesus' prayer in the Garden is that it is a two-parter. First part is very simple: I don't want this; take it away! Second part follows only after the first: nevertheless, what I really, really want is Your will.

What this suggests to me is that God wants our absolute honesty in prayer. No dishonest, pseudo-pious "thy will be done." Let it all hang out. It may be that only after we have given God our position on the matter, are we able to entertain voting for God's will to be done.