God On the Mountain
So great a God, so great a love, so great a salvation, so great a destiny. Lord, my heart is overwhelmed.
Read Mark 14:43-52
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“For me it was in the garden, he said not my will but thine; he had no tears for his own griefs, but sweat drops of blood for mine” (C.H. Gabriel, 1856-1932).
The opposition intensifies on the Mount of Olives. The betrayal that was prophesied at the Passover meal becomes actualized on the hill, and Judas’ prearranged sign of friendship becomes a “signal’ which marks Jesus for execution (44). Two kisses have intermingled–the betraying kiss is hidden in the kiss of intimacy. It is a sign of the approachability of God that Judas knew that familiarity. Access and closeness were guaranteed: “We ate the food / We drank the wine / Everybody having a good time / Except you / You were talking about the end of the world … In the garden I was playing the tart / I kissed your cheek, and broke your heart” (Bono/U2, The End of the World).
Peter lashes out in the heat of the moment, trying to control the chaos and devastation of what he is witnessing. He slices off an ear with a sword (47), but we learn in Luke that Jesus immediately heals and restores (Luke 22:51), making it clear that his Kingdom will advance in another way. When these two parts of the story are taken together, we see that Christian vulnerability allows us to be wounded, especially emotionally, and that this may mean we can be bruised and hurt by unscrupulous men or women, and handed over by those we once trusted. Jesus’ Kingdom is not one of the sword.
Lastly, a man runs naked from the scene in the panic. That’s a final clue in the events of this fateful night that Jesus would bear such a shame for the fearful and the lost, by becoming naked in his sacrificial death on the cross.
Have you recently lashed out in defense, or been on the receiving end of someone else’s panicked or stressed reactions? If so, ask for healing.
Father God, Your ways are not my ways, Your thoughts are not my thoughts. I ask for wisdom to live a life worthy of You.
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