Today was NT lesson 25 on Gethsemane. There wasn’t much in the way of scriptural text assigned; the whole focus of the lesson was on the prayer in the garden (the parallel texts in Matthew, Mark and Luke were all assigned readings).
We talked about how the human side of Jesus really didn’t want to go through what was coming. He knew what would happen to him physically, and it would be absolutely brutal–not to mention the emotional and spiritual anguish in the offing. In desperation he prayed for some way, any way to avoid it. But in the end he came to grips with the reality that there was no way out, and in resignation he began to walk towards his fate.
After the lesson, a sister in the class came up to me and shared what she was thinking while we talked about that part of the lesson. She told me about when she was pregnant, she had a real fear of childbirth. As time progressed and she got closer and closer to her due date, she began to panic, because this arduous, painful, dangerous thing was coming, and she was going to have to go through with it; there simply was no way out. She was so freaked at the prospect that she even asked her doctor if she could have a c-section and get knocked out for it (he said no, they don’t do things that way). (Interestingly, the way the delivery progressed she actually ended up needing to have a c-section after all.)
I thought that was a terrific insight and resolved to share it on the blog. As a man that’s an experience I simply don’t have intimate access to or experience with, and it never would have occurred to me to draw that kind of a parallel. But once she shared her feelings about it, I could see the terror of facing such a hard thing that you would do almost anything to avoid, but it’s inevitable, and passing on that hard thing simply is not an option.