Jesus walked willingly to the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of his arrest. The courage in that act alone – it’s hard to fathom. God and humans don’t have a good history in gardens, after all.

The last time God shared a garden with humanity, it didn’t end well. The humans betrayed God, eating that forbidden fruit in Eden, thinking they were better off on their own.

And here we go again – God and humanity, in the garden. I wonder if that original betrayal pierced Jesus’ heart anew when he walked into the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing that he would soon live through another betrayal. No wonder he wept and grieved and prayed for reprieve. Soon another human – this time his friend, his Judas – would betray God yet again, believing that he – that his cause – would be better off without Jesus.

The irony is hard to stomach. Are we humans really that blind?

Yet Jesus walked into that garden with no weapons, with no contempt or malice lining his pockets or his heart. Just a quiet determination to reverse the curse that fell upon us when we betrayed God the first time – the curse of disharmony, destruction, death.

Judas walked into that Garden with a heart of betrayal.
Jesus walked into that Garden with a heart of faithfulness.
Faithful to his mission. Faithful to his purpose. Despite our continual betrayal of God, Jesus walked into that Garden armed only with his relentless, remarkable, ridiculously foolish love.
Faithful to his friends, to Judas, to us – to the end, and beyond.

#HolyThursday #holyweek #gardenofgethsemane

Art credit: Vasily Perov, “Christ in Gethsemane”, 1878. Public domain.

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