Arrest in the Garden

In the garden

in the middle of the night

Jesus rose from his wrestling prayer

with God,

these words on his lips,

 

“Not my will but yours be done.”

 

Moving through fear into love,

The battle was over.

 

Resolute, calm, facing towards his destiny,

he waited and watched

as tiny pinprick lights of torches grew larger,

a crescendo of swords clanking and hushed whispers,

footsteps approaching.

He stood to greet the unruly and armed crowd that had materialized

out of the darkness

in the garden.

 

Startled out of their deep slumber,

the disciples jumped up awkwardly,

rubbing sleep out of their fearful eyes,

blinded by the torchlight.

They watched in stunned silence.

A kiss.

A sword.

A rebuke.

Jesus, the only calm one in this scene,

is betrayed, arrested.

 

He did not resist.

He did not call out to His Heavenly Father to defend him.

Strengthened by love,

he gave himself up even more

than he already had.

 

He let the unfair actions against him play out

as the arrest took place

in the garden.

 

“Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges, he took the humble position of a slave….he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal death on a cross.”

Philippians 2:5-8 NLT

 

 

Grief in the Garden

It was a dark and stormy night.

Maybe not outwardly stormy,

but it was night and dark,

and there was something stirring in the garden air.

 

“Sit here while I go over there to pray,” Jesus instructed his disciples.

Peter, James and John,

the inner circle,

were invited to walk further with Jesus.

 

“My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

 

Stunned by their beloved teacher’s seemingly sudden anguish,

Peter, James and John watched as Jesus,

silhouetted in the moonlight,

staggered a little ways away

and fell prostrate on the grassy earth.

 

A gripping sense of impending doom

struck the hearts of the three disciples.

Overwhelmed by the sight of the

agonized figure writhing on the ground before them,

the three quietly fell back on each other.

Confused, they had no words for what they were witnessing.

 

After furtively glancing about,

the three eventually fixed their silent gaze on the stars twinkling in the sky,

and took in the faint scent of olive trees mixed with earth.

Hearing snatches of tearful prayers from their distant teacher,

the fear rising up inside them was palpable.

They were unable to move,

though the cause for concern was not yet visible.

 

Slowly the night hours ticked by,

and one by one, the weary three leaned against a nearby tree

and gave in to sleep,

joining the other disciples in their slumber,

exhausted by grief

in the garden.

Matthew 26:36-40 (NLT)