One Hour3 mins 282 3 mins 282
My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay and keep watch with me (Mathew 26:38).
Have you ever had people worship the ground you walked on, sprinkle rose petals along the pathway, follow you everywhere you go, enjoy your wisdom, generosity and healing touch?
You treat them with respect, accept them as they are: rich or poor, literate or illiterate, high caste or outcaste, believer or nonbeliever. You give them your time, teach them how to live life successfully and perform miracles in front of them. Lepers are cured, blind can see, diseased are made clean, and the dead brought back to life.
And then your enemies begin to get jealous of you. The so-called representatives of God are trying to trap you in your words and actions. Instead of appreciating the marvels you do, they criticize, badmouth, cross-question, and accuse you of having the power of demons.
But they are unable to eliminate you. You are too strong for them, too wise to fall prey to their wicked schemes. So they plot with one of your chosen twelve, the man who shared bread with you. He agrees to thirty pieces of silver for your head. What more, you know in advance everything that is going to happen to you.
At your lowest ebb, you proceed to a lonely place with three of your twelve disciples. You ask them to stay awake and keep watch as the hour has come for you to be handed over to the enemy. All you want is one hour of their time.
You would think that they, who had enjoyed your generosity, should have been able to stay awake and watch with you, right? But they fall asleep not once but thrice during that hour. The most promising disciple who had sworn to die with you doesn’t even acknowledge that he knows you. The other followers run for cover, leaving you facing your death sentence alone.
As you look around you, you wonder where those people were who had laid palms on the street as you rode in. Who crowded around you, touching your garments, seeking healing for themselves and their loved ones? Now they are hissing, mocking, whipping and voting for your death. They are asking for a murderer to be set free instead of you.
My dear friends, under these circumstances, Jesus had every right to condemn these people, call on an army of angels and wipe them off the face of the earth. Strike them down with a word to His Father.
But here’s what He did. As He hung from His cross where they had nailed him, each breath drawn with agony, He says, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Can you beat that?
So the next time we start to think of all we have done for people and their ungrateful attitude, let us remember the Master Healer, who was delivered like a lamb to the slaughterhouse. If He could have been treated that way, why should we expect any better?