High up in the gable of my home church’s sanctuary was a stain glass replica of Heinrich Hofmann’s Christ in Gethsemane. It was beautiful, inspirational if inaccurate. Still I loved to gaze at the window. In the balcony of the sanctuary I would sit and study each pane of glass with peace.
I think Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Gethsemane was more accurate. Jesus struggles with the cup of suffering he is about to drink. He is about to take the sin of the world upon himself, become sin for us and crucified for our sin. He prays and God sends an angel to strengthen him. He prays more fervently to the point that is sweat is like great drops of blood (Luke 22:43-44).
A few years ago, I spent about twenty minutes praying beneath olive trees that Christ prayed beneath in the garden of Gethsemane. It was so different from the stained glass. Yet I experienced an overwhelming sense of gratitude and peace. Peace that was mine because Jesus submitted to the will of God for our great salvation.
Yesterday, I reflected with our congregation at Woodland that Christ still intercedes for us. Tonight I am a child again looking at Christ praying for us. “…Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us.” Romans 8:34 (Phillips)
As we get ready for Easter I pray that you experience peace!
Grace and Joy!