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  • Writer's pictureKerry Sue Teravskis


Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.”  Matthew 26:36 NLT


This grove holds our Master’s tears.  This grove heard the anguish of our Redeemer.  This grove felt the submission of the Saviour of the world to the God of Creation.  This grove, known as the Mount of Olives was and is a fitting place – it is a place of pressing, expressing out and a dying of one thing to produce the beauty of another.


The disciples and Jesus had been in the Upper Room, had experienced great teaching, foot washing and witnessed leave-taking of Judas, the betrayer (even though they were still in the dark about the significance of this leaving).  Jesus did some final teaching, just before entering into this grove.


Teachings of love, promise, hope and prayer.  The time (as we have recorded for us in John 13-17) was filled with the power and presence of God.  The incredible holiness of a Saviour with His eyes set like flint to the Cross.  These passages are ones we go back to repeatedly for assurance of what and who we are in Christ.


The leading priests, and the Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him.  Now with blazing torches, lanterns and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.  John 18:3  NLT


Judas, a disciple, turned betrayer.  Judas had sat under the teaching of Jesus for 3+ years.  He heard the same teachings, saw the same miracles, and spent the same time with the Saviour as the other disciples did.  However, his heart was willing and the enemy entered in to do his work.  It is almost unfathomable to understand what this really means and how it played out, but it did and we have it recorded for us to read.  And submit to.  Not submit to the awfulness, but submit to knowing our God is in control and Sovereign.  The betrayal was part of God’s plan for His Son – to demonstrate His love for us – John 3:16.


One can look at these passages of betrayal and reflect on our part in nailing Jesus to the Cross.  We were not there physically, but our sin was.  It was my cry, “CRUCIFY HIM!” that drove those nails in.  My wicked and deceitful heart.  My stubbornness, my willingness to follow self and not Jesus which made me just as part of the mob that day almost 2000 years ago in Jerusalem.  I would like to think I would not have participated in the mob, but I know my heart.  I would have misunderstood the teachings of Jesus.  I most likely would have questioned His motives, His ‘new’ teachings, which were a dramatic veering from the Old Testament and the Law as was handed down by Moses.


Looking back now upon the scene - the mob, the outbursts, the thirst for blood, a silent Jesus, and my heart is troubled, in anguish and I am usually brought to tears.  My Saviour became sin.  Not just took on sin, but became sin –


God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV


This was God’s plan.  Not plan B, or C, or D.  But Plan A. 


It is incredible to fathom.  Comprehend.  Understand.  So, how to?  Let it speak.  Let it minister deep into our heart of hearts and do the work intended.  We will not be the same because of it. 


This brings up the problem of pain.  C.S. Lewis wrote about it.  Many pastors have preached on it.  What do we do with our pain?  In light of the Way of the Cross, where is our pain, suffering and affliction? 


Good question.


The only place we can put it is into the wide-open arms of the Saviour.  No other place can hold it.  Our Jesus’s arms were meant to hold not only us, but our pain.  He truly understands, feels, knows and goes there with us.  No matter the level of anguish we have, He understands because He has felt it, Himself.  When I am beyond done with the pain, my Saviour is not.  When my limit has been reached, I am reminded He is limitless.  My eyes are set on the here and now – His eyes are set on eternity.  He is preparing a place for me.  For you.  And it will be perfect.


As we meditate and ponder this Way of the Cross, may we pause to reflect the true price it cost Jesus – His Father turned His face away.  And because of that, the Father will not turn His face away from us.


My heart is overwhelmed.  How about yours?


Lord, I lift You up. Honestly, I can never understand fully the way of the Cross, but I want to and I want to keep pursuing the understanding because it leads to You. My heart is full with the love I have for You but please increase not only my love, but the capacity of my heart. May this season be one of wonder, joy, discovery and a digging deep into who You are. I am humbled to be a servant of Yours.

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