Saturday, March 26
Reflection: Mount of Olives
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “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.” Then he re-turned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter.
On our trip to Jerusalem, we visited the Garden of Gethsem-ane on the Mount of Olives overlooking the town of Jerusa-lem. It is the place where, in grief, Jesus prayed before he was to be crucified. And all his disciples did was to sleep, and this disappointed Jesus. On our journey to Israel, we walked through the ancient olive trees on the same hillside and read these same scriptures. We understand how Jesus the Son of God questions the disciples’ lack of help, physical and emotional, in a time of trouble. But it would be impossible to not reflect on the times that we too have slept and ignored God’s people in need and disap-pointed our God.
So we end with a positive and hopeful image of God’s goodness. Here on the other side of the Mount of Olives is the place where Jesus will return again. And it is here where we also see more than 120,000 graves of those who believe Jesus Christ will return. By grace, He will open all the tombs and graves and a new body and new eternal life in heaven will be given. Those in these graves will be the first to see Jesus in all His glory and He will carry away the burden of our sins, paying the price for our redemption.
Gracious God and Father, our hope is in you and we believe and praise you for you many gifts to us on our personal jour-ney in our promised land. And we remember: God is good all the time. Amen.