I have friends and family who have been to The Holy Land. They have walked the streets, seen the tombs and touched the sea. How exciting to see all that in person, but I’m not jealous. Perhaps one day I will go back…
A man sat in a room about to dine with his best friends in the world. Some had been hardcore friends from the beginning, some had to be taught along the way and a few still had their moments of doubt. He longed to not just spend time with his friends, but to deliver a message he knows will be his last. Even as he talks about love, he has to talk about betrayal. He looks around the room and despite the hurt he knows will come, he says “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” I know he saw me when he said that.
Later in the Garden when his friends were weary from the day, he asks them to keep watch because he knows it won’t be long. He takes the time to ask for deliverance from what is to come, to request that “if there is another way.” He prayed so hard that he began to sweat, but the future could not be changed. As he found his peace with what was to come and the necessity of it, he looked around and I’m sure he saw me.
A guard roughly grabbed him as though the guard thought he would flee. He knew they had been led to him and he knew where they would take him. One of his friends lurched forward with a sword to defend him. How his heart must have swelled to see this act of love, but at the same time he saw the looks exchanged between the soldier and the friend who had betrayed him. Although he had known for some time of this betrayal, how it must have stung to know the guard’s hand was on him because of one who had called him “friend.” As he was led away, he looked among his friends and enemies. I am sure that he saw me there.
His breathing was becoming labored and the pain was more than he could bear. He could barely make out the faces of those around him through the blood running in his eyes. The agony from the nails piercing his feet and hands raced up and down his body and he strained to balance himself so that he could just take one more breath. To his side he heard a man groan “Please remember me.” Even though it took everything he had to get enough breath to utter the words, he assured the man that he would not be forgotten. Again he strained to peer through the blood and pain to see those around him. He made out the faces of his family and friends, taking what would be one of his last breaths. In those moments before he cried out his death, I know he saw me and he would remember me.
Although I have never physically walked the streets of the Holy Land or seen the tombs with my own eyes, I was there. For when he took his last breath and the burden of sin, He saw me and it was worth it to Him.