Reliving Holy Thursday
At the Last Supper, Jesus shared communtion with the disciples. He wanted them, and us, to remember that in our bleakest times there is hope - He will return for us. Then, giving them instructions and praying for them, and us, He lead them to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He accepted the horrors to come ...
Scene: Thursday, after the last supper. Jesus reaches The Point of No Return.
They're relieved I've stopped talking of what they can't comprehend.
They'll be terrified by events tonight and the wickedness they must contend.
Meanwhile, they chatter with no regard for me.
My heart is heavy, breaking. Does this really have to be?
"I need you Peter, James, John--my dearest, closest friends--
my heart is ragged, torn, sore. Stay with me to the end.
The tragedy before me weighs--a deadly crushing wheel.
Watch with me and pray. Help me conquer what I feel."
"Father! I can't bear it! It's far too much for me!
with a word you can change it. say this doesn't have to be!
Father! Save me from this! Yet, not what I want in my despair,
but what you have purposed; the reason I am here."
"Simon, I need you. Stand with me one hour
Your spirit's willing, your body's weak. Pray against this evil power."
"Father! My Father! This fleshly human cape
wants to run, to survive, cries 'remove this cup. Escape!'"
Not my will, but yours Lord. I need your strength to see me through.
I submit. I give my life.
I will do what you want me to."
"Peter. James. John. the time for sleep is done.
the chill, still night is broken. My traitor has come."
The disciples woke then. Sleep replaced by fear at seeing that Jesus was Betrayed.
Kiss for fare
No one near
Terrified, the disciples scattered into the dark of the olive grove. But at some point John the Beloved, who was from a well-connected family, crept behind, making observations of Dark Dealings.
It's not hard to follow torch glow through olive grove. Temple guards, Jewish police tramp the dewy ground, subdued by their captive since the severed ear was healed. Judas straggles, misplaced, uncertain, like a stray dog slinks along.
The streets of Jerusalem are deep-night quiet. No face appears in window or doors. They file in the flickering light, a crocodile, along stone streets and city corridors through the gate where Annas lives.
I nod to a familiar servant as I enter the walled yard. Gates clang with a careful muffle. Peter peers through the bars. For me, she lets him in, asks if he's with Jesus. "Of course not," he scoffs, but can't meet our gaze.
Peter warms by the coal fire among servants and soldiers. I enter the house where hours of interrogation have begun. "Why sneak at midnight when I speak at temple daily? I've told no secrets Ask anyone" Fist smacks cheek, His head jerks. "For which truth do you hit me?" The group grows loud, accusations louder,
Annas orders Him across the courtyard for a "proper" Sanhedrin meeting. A noisy shuffle of angry mob pushes Jesus from the house. I slip out into grey shadows as cock crows the hint of dawn. Peter stricken, teary-eyed, stumbles past me and is gone.
I, John, remain for the meeting and see Evil's Hey Day.
Brazen lies for testimonies.
Jesus offers no retort.
Caiaphas stands in priestly robes. Commands the council quiet.
"Jesus, are you the Son of God? If you are, then say it."
The room's a raging sea. The High Priest reddens, screams, spews spit and verdict- "Death!"
Rips his robe, his eyes a-gleam.
Pounding heart. Sickly gut.
I don't know what to do.
No one listens. There is no help.
No cool head to petition to.