Friday, April 14, 2006

The Agony of Father and Son

Today is Good Friday 2006. Consider the following reflection on the Agony in the Garden
God, Our Father, you gave us the life of your only child, your Son. You must have been happy at His birth. You didn't want Him to be born in a castle. So you celebrated with angels, drummer boys and kings. We get that part of the message easily because it's a gift for us. We all like receiving special gifts. Your precious Son obeyed His parents and served them until He was finally baptized by John. At this point you HAD to burst forth! You'd been quiet the whole time. "Hey everyone, this is my son!" How fatherly an act. How proud of Him you were at that moment. Then you watched Him go about performing miracles and preaching about you. You two shared hours of prayer together quietly communicating during the middle of the night. I believe you began to show Him how it would all unfold. You both knew what was coming. And too soon, it did. You understood Judas' actions as part of the plan. You watched as Judas went to the authorities and betrayed your Son. You heard Him arrange for 30 silver pieces as payment. Your flesh and blood for 30 silver pieces. Your Son - sold.
Then your Son gathered them together for their Last Supper. Jesus sent Judas on his way. It was all beginning to unfold. Your heart began to ache as you watched your Son memorialize the offering of His body and blood in bread and wine. It would represent Him because His life on earth would be coming to an end. Your Son learned humility from you and his mother and foster father. Your heart must have been moved as He washed His disciples' feet. I guess you memorized His every movement, thinking "We need to spend some time together soon." As the supper neared the end Jesus asked his 3 good friends to go with Him to the olive garden. You knew then that soon you'd be able to comfort your Son whose own heart was beginning to feel very heavy. Jesus told the 3 to pray while He moved to a more solitary place. That's when you heard your Son's struggle. He talked with you for hours. He finally realized the physical pain His human body would have to endure. He knew the torture he'd have to go through and the rejection by His own people. Foreseeing all of that of course He'd go to His Father, his real Father. He'd go to the One who could actually do something about it. He'd go to the One who truly loved Him, who was a part of Him. Your Son went to you God and asked for mercy. "Please don't make me do this. If you say I have to then of course I will. Please tell me is isn't necessary Father." You, the perfect Dad, look at Jesus the perfect Son. You know what will happen. You know how much pain your own flesh and blood will have to endure. It must have been agony for you God. Understanding this had to happen was fairly painless in the planning stage. You both knew what needed to be done for the salvation of the world. Looking at the drops of real blood coming through Jesus' forehead like perspiration you wanted to say, "Let's forget this. No, Son, you don't have to go through this. Stop it right now." You wanted to wipe his face, hug him, pat him on the back and say, "It's ok. We don't have to do this." But, as your only Son begged for help, you remained silent. You did NOT rescue Him. It was your agony, too.
Father and Son both suffered in that garden because of my sins. Because you loved me more than I deserve to be loved. Because you knew it was the only way for sins to be forgiven and eternal happiness to be available to all.
God I cannot fathom that much love. I can only respond by trying to live a more grateful life.

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