I should think I would have been too afraid.
They watched Him, walked with Him. He, having just given what He knew to be His last words– His last will and testament. Now He is gripped by a sadness such as they have never seen before. The Healer stumbles and sways into the garden, and more than once they have to hold Him up so He does not topple to the cold ground.
Can you enter in to just how frightening that must have been?
Cold night; stricken Savior.
He, who’d never stumbled? Not once?
Perhaps the 8 of them were glad to be left near the gate of the garden. Maybe sleep would erase all memory of this dread they could not understand?
I don’t know, I wasn’t there.
What I do know is, they slept.
The three closest ones, they followed Him till He told them to stay. But did anybody look unreservedly into His face? Did anyone dare ask why He was sorrowful unto death? Did no one cling to Him and insist He share the burden that was crushing out His life? Did any say “I’ll watch with you. I’ll go with you. Wherever. Only entreat me not to leave You…”
Or with pounding hearts did they pray, for a few minutes, that it would just go away…
I wasn’t there.
But these two things I know: they neglected to share (or shrank from sharing) His heart because its burdens were unknown, awkward and fearful.
And when the moment of truth burst upon them, they scattered.
Might I venture to say that had they stopped and just looked into His face, accepted the dreadful reality written there in bloody sweat, and sought to share its grief,
they would have read there the truth about the moments to come?
Or at least, they would not have been shocked by them.
I wonder: Could not they have known a little too?
In my mind I think that nothing would have persuaded me to sleep that night…
I should have been too afraid.
But then, what of His burdens in the overflowing eyes of this people His flesh and blood? His bride?
Don’t I sometimes neglect to share them, or shrink from them because they are fearful, awkward, unknown?
Do I ever pray, rather than that I might share them, that they might just go away?
Oh Jesus… Perhaps I would have slept too?
|PC and post: Nathan Lee Westbrook