Monday, October 20, 2014


“Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me?”

This is what Jesus said in Mark 14. He knew what was going to happen: in fact he had just explained it several times to his disciples both during supper and later in the garden of Gethsemane. He knew the disciples would all desert him: he had just been arguing that point with the Peter, who angrily thought he would be better than that. So the question is: why did Jesus ask this question? Surely he was not looking for an answer. In addition, he knew that in asking it, it would not change the course of events: he would still be captured, tried unfairly, and tortured to death by crucifixion.

One reason I think that Jesus asked this question was simply his emotional response to the situation. The injustice, the absurdity, the irony. As if he was overthrowing a government, or he was a master criminal. After all of his efforts put in to teaching these very people. After all the miracles, all of the work, all of the sacrifice, was this the result? A night time secret arrest by a bunch of thugs? Surely Jesus must have been upset at this, even if he knew it was to happen. Sad, lonely, even confused if that could be possible. No wonder he asked this question: is this really what is happening? Are you really going through with this? Et tu Brutus?

Are we who follow Christ to expect no confusion, no being forsaken, no betrayal in walking the pathway He walked? Do we expect no existential crisis when the world in its insecurity and vanity turns its back on us? No, more than turns its back on us: actually seeks us out to capture us, as if we were a danger and not a help. A threat and not a hope. A bringer of chaos and not what we are in reality: the hands and feet of Christ in the world. Remember that His hands and feet have holes in them. If we are his hands and feet, are we not to have gaping holes?

We will run away. We are more like Peter than like Christ. The crisis is too much, and we like all of the disciples bend under the pressure. But the life of Christ depends on Christ, is fulfilled by Christ, and is sustained by Christ. With Christ, the laws of mathematics are put aside and 1-1=1. When we fall, he does not. When the rooster crows, we cry; but even then Jesus is not finished with us. It is then he dies for us. It is then that his body sustains and His blood washes.

We have our questions, just as did Jesus. Like the holes in Jesus hands, there are pieces missing, things we cannot explain. Even moral and religious matters that gnaw at us and weaken us, draining out our life strength. But Christ is with us. He is our strength. Let us serve Him with all of our selves, holes and all. Be like unto Christ and wear those holes without shame.

1 comment:

Doc Woody said...

Masterfully written!

Very poignant and convicting for me personally.