Footsteps of Jesus 07

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Jesus Falls the Second Time

John 17:11b-12a

As seen by James bar-Zebedee 

When he fell that second time, I doubted that he would ever rise again. Where the crowds were originally a mixed bag of sympathizers, but when he fell again, it was as if evil entered into the hearts of all who gathered along the road. I saw neighbours and so-called friends in the front line, their feet raised up to stomp and kick him. They spoke unspeakable blasphemy as they spat and stomped. “You weakling, you don’t even have to carry your cross, and still you fall. You useless scrap of humanity, you promised so much and in the end, you have given us so little. The priests were right! We should never have put our hope in you!” And then they let their feet make contact with his head and face, along his back, especially kicking the places where the skin was already scourged and blood poured out. They wanted to hurt him! I couldn’t understand why.

I understood the priests and the teachers of the law. He was giving a different view of God, and they didn’t like it. But these were people I knew. These were ordinary people, like you and me, and they did unspeakable things, spurred on by the jeering and yelling, spurred on to uncharacteristic violence and this to one who had never raised his hand or foot in violence or his voice in anger.

I could not bear to watch the scene before me, it made me sick to my stomach, but just as I turned away , I looked around into the crowd, and I saw more of his disciples, more of us looking on, grieving and fearful.

I remembered the prayer he prayed for us - was it only last night? He prayed, knowing that the hour had come for him to complete the work given for him to do. He knew it was time for him to be lifted up, so that people could be drawn up with him, and given the hope of eternity with God. He prayed for our safety. He had protected us for so long, and now he was not going to be with us, and he asked that we would be one, just as he was one with his ‘Abba Father’.

As I looked around, I knew that we needed to come together, to be one, just as he had prayed. I knew that in God’s plans and timing all this was necessary. And so I began the task of bringing us together as one, ready to do his will.

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