What happened between the Garden and Golgotha?
This blog isn’t going where you think it’s supposed to go. It’s not about the Last Supper. In fact it’s barely even about the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was arrested later that evening.
“What else is there to even share about?” you might be asking.
To be honest, it’s deeply personal and something I have only shared with a few close friends.
As we discussed yesterday, Spy Wednesday contrasts the spy and the Savior walking side by side, as well as a story of everyone playing a role in Jesus dying.
Chances are you’re familiar with the last supper and have even heard a few great sermons or seen a few great paintings depicting this moment where Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and then broke bread + shared the cup with them. Jesus also predicted Peter's denial.
But that’s not where this blog is going.
As you may or may not recall from Scripture, the disciples and Jesus then went up to the Mount of Olives where he proceeded to Gethsemane to pray. Judas shows up, Jesus is arrested, the disciples scattered, and Peter denies Christ three times. That’s a lot of intense events!
But that’s not quite where this blog is going.
Luke 22:66 says, “At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.”
While not specifically mentioned, it is implied that Jesus was arrested at night and was brought to be questioned at daybreak. According to tradition, prisoners were held overnight before coming to the religious authorities and so I’d like to introduce a place of historical significance called the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu. Under the church is a dungeon thought to be the cell where Jesus was detained for the night following his arrest.
Our tour group visited the church (which has been built and rebuilt over the years with Byzantine roots and other historical changes). We made our way through the crowds down into the dungeon, where it is believed to have contained a guardroom and a prisoner’s cell, both made out of bedrock.
Within the guardroom, there were fixed wall installations used to secure the chains of prisoners and restrain the hands and feet of prisoners during flogging.
We slowly and silently entered “Christ’s Prison” cell, where the only access to the dark, cold cell was a hole a few meters above where they would have lowered him with a rope.
Let me back up for a second. On the tour, our group visited various places that look much different than they would have 2,000 years ago which required some imagination to put ourselves in the moment of how it must have been before.
This moment was different.
As I looked at the stone prison cell I imagined Jesus there. Alone, beaten, knowing he was going to be hung on a cross the next day.
Our Savior! My Savior. Your savior. The Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Good Shepherd, the True Vine. The Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Completely alone in this cell, waiting for Friday.
But guess what? Easter is just a few days away.
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