The Smell of Fear
The Feast of the Passover was the most important feast day of all for the Jewish people and everyone wanted to go to the Holy City to celebrate it. The Jewish authorities wanted to arrest Jesus before the feast to avoid civil unrest and it was Judas Iscariot who made this possible in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The very human Jesus was full of fear and anguish over his coming execution. This was evident when Jesus spoke to Peter –
“The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Matthew 26. 36-38
How very human it is not to want to be alone when being faced with something daunting and Jesus struggled to accept what lay before him. So he prayed relentlessly for hours, trying to find the spiritual strength to be able to face execution. He saw the Disciples asleep nearby , no doubt affected by the wine drank earlier and Jesus felt desperately alone and fearful. At some point Jesus had a spiritual crisis asking God
“ If it is possible take this cup of suffering from me”.
But after talking with his Father in Heaven, Jesus had a change of heart and no longer asked to be spared. Jesus knew he must be prepared to bear the burden of our sin with his own body and he accepts his fate upon the cross .
We must never underestimate how hard it was for the very human Jesus to accept God’s will must be done. Jesus really suffered mentally that night in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was only 33 years old and no one wants to die with the best years of your life still ahead of you. Jesus truly feared the physical pain and torture he was soon to be facing. But sometime that night Jesus found the courage to be the obedient son and surrender himself to God’s will.