What a week!
What a week it’s been
I don’t think any of us have really slept since the day he came into Jerusalem on a donkey.
What a sight it was, seeing that crowd. What joy, what optimism swept through them, as they saw him, their king.
“Hosanna, blessed be the one who comes in the name of the Lord” they shouted.
This was the time we were waiting for. Finally, he was going to save God’s people
Finally, he was going to lead us to overthrow the Romans
Or so the crowd, so we his disciples thought.
By now, things has darkened.
We could feel the crowds were turning against him. The Chief Priest and Teachers of the Law did not like what was happening
They were worried about a rebellion, worried about their status and authority being taken away
They were worried Jesus was rocking the boat. They didn’t really want to receive the Messiah, for God’s anointed would save his people in God’s way. The authorities did not want that to happen. Not really.
So, ever since he came riding into Jerusalem, they have been trying to find a way to arrest him, so he is no longer a bother to them.
Is it any wonder we hadn’t slept much? With all that had gone on?
When he entered the city on the donkey, he’d headed straight for the Temple.
Goodness, I’m surprised he didn’t get himself arrested then, when rather than praying, he got angry, angrier than I think I’ve ever seen him.
He threw over the tables of the money changers, throw the dove sellers out too.
Why? Why did he do that?
To get himself arrested?
But the authorities didn’t arrest him then. The crowd was with him and, well, goodness knows what the crowd may have done if the Temple Guard had arrested Jesus then.
We may have got a riot, anarchy, a full on rebellion
But that didn’t happen, and we went on with our week.
Mainly staying in Bethany, just outside the city.
Last night, we shared the Passover meal together.
It was like no other we’d shared.
He came and washed our feet. Telling us this is what we must do. But that’s the job of a servant, not a leader and certainly not our Messiah.
Then, he’d taken the bread and talked about it being his body, broken for us.
The wine, his blood, poured out for many.
What on earth was he talking about?
He was our Messiah, our Saviour, God’s anointed.
How could he be all of that if his body was broken?
But we knew there was something dark going on
We remembered him taking of his death, and tried to put it out of our minds, but it niggled at the back of our minds.
We’d lost so much sleep this week. We were so, so tired.
Now we were gathered in the garden.
Just the 11 of us, and Jesus
Where was Judas?
The crowds had gone. Lost their passion, their joy, their fervour. Perhaps he wasn’t living up to expectations.
He wanted us to keep watch, while he prayed.
We tried, truly we did.
But the lack of sleep this week was catching up with us. We just couldn’t keep out eyes open.
He got annoyed at Peter when he found us asleep the first time, that we couldn’t stay awake.
Give him a break, Jesus. He is your loyalist disciple.
Still, we couldn’t stay awake
Until, like a bolt from the blue we realised why he’d wanted us to keep watch.
Here was Judas and an armed crowd, sent by the chief priests
WE WERE AWAKE
What on earth was going on here?
Judas came and kissed him; that what we all did when we greeted him
Then, the next thing we knew, Jesus was arrested.
I lashed out with the sword I had.
I didn’t even think about why I was doing it or who was in the firing line
I’d seen red, I’d seen I needed to protect Jesus somehow.
Bad idea, Jesus was so angry at me
So, so angry
That’s the memory I have now
of the man I’d followed.
My Rabbi, my friend.
Angry that I drew my sword.
I cannot sleep tonight as his words ring in my ears “Those who live by the sword die by the sword.”
I feel so guilty, so ashamed.
Perhaps if we had not fallen asleep, we could have protected him. Stopped his arrest.