Fight or Flight in the Garden of Gethsemane 

A few thoughts after seeing Passion of the Christ again. (It’s our Good Friday tradition now.)

In the Garden, Peter asks Jesus at one point if they ought to flee. Jesus answers that it doesn’t matter; His time has come. The movie goes to slow-motion as Judas betrays the Lord and the guards move towards Jesus. The Apostles look utterly confused — at a total loss. Then, as the guards lay hands on Jesus, the action goes to full speed, and Peter starts laying into people left and right! THIS is how Peter wants to act — and all out of love for his Master. Peter is a man of action, he sees that something must be done to save Jesus, and he does what he thinks is necessary.

When Peter is pinned against the tree, Jesus calls out to him to STOP. More confusion on Peter’s face. At the very least, he was willing to be a distraction to the temple guards who had come for his Lord, but Christ has a different reaction in mind. He commands Peter to drop his sword (and Peter does), and makes it clear that he intends to turn Himself in to these men who have come in the night with swords and clubs.

And this is the lesson to us: there are crosses that are unavoidable, and we need to stand ready to take them up and follow Christ. 

Follow Him to Calvary. 

Follow Him into the tomb, if necessary. 

Because when we do, we also follow Him into Paradise.

  

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