John’s Story

I don’t even know what to say. It feels like someone took time, sped it up and set it loose. When the soldiers invaded the garden, we fought and yelled, tried to set the record straight. It all felt like a horrible case of mistaken identity. How did they move so fast?

Judas. He ramrodded this whole thing. What was he thinking? He stood right with those dogs and pointed Jesus out to them. This whole thing…I don’t have words for how wrong this is. He didn’t get a fair trial. Who takes a prisoner, tries them, sentences them and then executes them all on the same day? I feel like I’m one step behind and can’t catch up. I have no room to respond, only react. The world has turned upside down and I can’t get my balance. I feel like a blind man groping for something familiar that will let him know where he is. But there’s nothing.

A hammer pounds in my chest. The last nine hours are blurry yet branded on me. Every time they drive the spikes further into Him nausea climbs in my throat. The world seems frozen, loud, all out of proportion. A gutted sob next to me makes me turn and I want to bend over with her grief too. Jesus’ mother. Through bloody lips, Jesus entrusts Mary to me. I cling to her while she clings to me. She will be as my own, bound together not just by His words, but the horror of this….this unspeakable, terrifying moment.

Fury roars in me and I want to walk over and kick the guards. They play with His robe like a rag off the street. They mock Him like small men. They can’t respond either, taken over as they are by the smell of blood and authority. But in the darkness that’s fallen, their bravado is fading. What is this darkness? As if Jesus’ Father is taking all the Light away. Because that’s what will happen when Jesus dies. Light will leave the world.

He’s speaking. I can’t move. Tears everywhere and I don’t feel them. He’s dying the way He lived…seeing what we don’t. He forgives the world this travesty. He forgives the thief even as the other one spits His direction. Maybe He will forgive me for not being able to stop this. He is my friend. My brother. The One who holds the loyalty of my heart…and I didn’t see this coming. Jesus forgive me.

Is He dead? Fresh horror seizes my heart as they thrust a spear into His belly. Blood and water separated. Body still warm, but growing cold. I can’t stop looking at Him. Roaring in my ears. I can’t stop now. We have to get him down from the cross. Somebody get Him off the cross! I don’t realize the tears have stopped. His coldness spreads to me. It really is finished.  

In the distance, lambs outside the gate are silenced. Passover is almost here.

ACTION:  As you watch Jesus move through awful hours from the Last Supper to the cross, what stirs in you?  What do you feel?  Be with Jesus in those hours. Talk to Him about them. Share His pain and yours. 


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