By Eugene Loh
I attended the Sense of the Holy Week on Wednesday during the Holy Week (5 April 2023) and had a meaningful time of reflection. I had read about Christ’s journey to the cross in the Bible, had Bible studies on it, and watched it during church plays. The events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion were so familiar to me – the Last Supper; the washing of the disciples’ feet; praying in the garden; the betrayal by Judas; and His unfair trial, whipping, carrying the cross to Golgotha, and finally being nailed to the cross. While reading these verses in the Bible had been meaningful, I got a little too familiar with the story after a while and its significance was lost on me.
As I did the Sense of the Holy Week walkthrough, Jesus’ passion and crucifixion came alive to me as it engaged the different parts of my senses. The many things I experienced included listening to the sound of the cross being dragged as Jesus was carrying it; touching the spikes on the crown that was embedded in His brow; and smelling the wine that symbolised the blood of Jesus shed for us.
Of all the experiences I had through my senses, one image stood out. It was a picture of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane all alone. The picture was one of many pictures (of different scenes of the holy week) that were hung on a wall for us to reflect on. While the scene of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane had always been familiar to me, this time, I noticed something new. I saw that Jesus was all alone with His disciples nowhere to be seen. Jesus looked scared as this was just before He was arrested. It might have been a familiar story, yet this scene really struck me when I saw Jesus’ fear.
The image illustrated that heaviness that was described in Matthew 26:38-39 when he told the three disciples: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” The image also illustrated the loneliness He was experiencing as described in Matthew 26:40: Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.
As I meditated on this, I found comfort in Jesus’ struggles, comfort in knowing that I have a Saviour who relates to my struggles, and comfort in knowing that I have a Saviour who understands the fear and loneliness that I experience. While I still have such struggles, I take comfort in knowing that Saviour understands what I go through.
🧐 What do you see in the picture? Reflect for a moment and share your musing with one other person or perhaps with the Facebook community.
🤔 Weren’t Peter, James and John in the garden of Gethsemane with Jesus? Dive deeper into the story here.
Are you struggling alone? Reach out to any one of our pastors or your Cell Group leader.