24 Hours of Jesus: Arrest and Betrayal

“Nothing good happens after 2 a.m.”

Have you ever heard of that saying? It is a classic idiom often passed along to youth and young adults to remind them to be cautious of their actions, especially once evening gives way to the early morning. The idiom is based on the belief that the later it gets the more likely we are to make bad choices of judgment and do things we may later regret. As well, the more likely we can find ourselves in challenging or difficult situations.

Not that I am ever guilty of making such poor choice of judgment late in the evening. I did, of course, attend West Virginia University, which is known as a quality institution that does not support things like couch burnings or late-night campus parties.

What we hope for with this saying is that it will reminded us all that our choices have consequences. Those of us who have uttered this saying to our children or those who we are in ministry with desire that it would lead someone to make sound decisions and wise judgments. Continue reading “24 Hours of Jesus: Arrest and Betrayal”

In the Garden

When we last left Jesus on that fateful day that would change the world, we experienced a time of fellowship around the table in the Upper Room. Jesus and his disciples gathered to share in the traditional Passover feast that remembered how God rescued the people of Israel out of Egyptian slavery. It was an intimate time of fellowship and the last time all 12 of the disciples would dine with Jesus before his trial and crucifixion.

This morning, we pick up the journey to Golgatha sometime after midnight on Friday morning. Jesus and the disciples departed from the Upper Room sometime after the final hymn was sung in the Passover celebration. Now there are only 11 disciples around Jesus. Judas Ischariot abandoned the group, while they were still in the Upper Room, to continue his plot to turn Jesus over to the religious authorities. It won’t be long before the remaining 11 will also leave Jesus’ side.

For now, the disciples are with Jesus as they leave Jerusalem and head towards a familiar place. They walk to the Mount of Olives, which was a location of importance for Jesus’ ministry when he was in Jerusalem. Located near the town of Bethany, the Mount of Olives was where Jesus expressed his grief regarding Jerusalem’s plight. It was a place of teaching and where Jesus rested during his time in Jerusalem. Continue reading “In the Garden”