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Prayer In The Darkness

Jesus Christ was and is the Light of the world (see The Light Of Life) to which everyone will one day be enlightened. But the last hours of His physical life were that of being immersed in the deepest darkness, physical, since His arrest and "trial" took place through the night, and spiritual, not only because evil was on a rampage that night, but because even those closest to Him remained dim to what was actually happening. Nevertheless, the adage "it's darkest before the dawn" is appropriate because the Christ emerged victorious. Jesus of Nazareth took on "the world" (see Who Still Rules The World Today?) and won.

"Sit here, while I go yonder and pray"

Most count those present at their Passover observance as Christ and the twelve apostles, but there was at least one more present. Judas left early, when "Satan entered into him."

Anarchy

"Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it."

So when He had dipped the morsel, He gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him.

Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."

Now no one at the table knew why He said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, "Buy what we need for the feast"; or, that he should give something to the poor.

So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night." (John 13:26-30 RSV)

Afterward, The Lord and the eleven went out to The Mount Of Olives.

"And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." (Matthew 26:30 RSV)

As made evident even with His instructions to Judas, the Christ was in complete control, although His feeling of loneliness was obviously growing. He knew that they would all forsake Him for a short while (what He didn't know was that even The Father would do so, for a few seconds, later that day - see the Fact Finder question below).

"Then Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away because of Me this night; for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee."

Peter [see also Peter's Introduction To The Messiah and Peter's Ministry] declared to Him, "Though they all fall away because of You, I will never fall away."

Jesus said to him, "Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny Me three times."

Peter said to Him, "Even if I must die with You, I will not deny You." And so said all the disciples." (Matthew 26:31-35 RSV)

They then arrived at a place on the Mount of Olives known as Gethsemane, which in Greek means olive press. Christ then prayed to The Father, perhaps with the near-sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham (see Isaac's Faith And Obedience) near the very same place centuries before in mind, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt." It was very likely a rhetorical prayer request because Christ well-knew what had to be done (see Why Blood?).

"Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, "Sit here, while I go yonder and pray."

And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee [see The Inner Circle], He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with Me."

And going a little farther he fell on His face and prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt." (Matthew 26:36-39 RSV)

The sense of doom was made more distressing by the apostles' inability to realize what was happening (see "God Forbid, Lord!"). Christ was with those closest to Him, but He was alone.

"And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and He said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:40-41 RSV)

The prayer was repeated, including at least one line of The Lord's Prayer, "Thy will be done."

Again, for the second time, He went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Thy will be done." (Matthew 26:42 RSV)

The formalities completed, with the Judas-led mob approaching, Christ faced His horrendous death - for you.

"And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words.

Then He came to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, My betrayer is at hand." (Matthew 26:43-46 RSV)

Fact Finder: At the last moment of His physical life, Who also briefly turned away from The Messiah? Why?
See Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani?


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