By Andrew Whytock, 19, Canada
The other day I was reading through the gospel narratives, specifically their account of Jesus’ final hours before He was betrayed and arrested. I was comparing the accounts by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. All of them gave a slightly different perspective of what happened but essentially recount the same event.
As I read about Judas arriving at the garden of Gethsemane, I thought deeper about this betrayal. Judas came with the Roman soldiers and approached Jesus. With a kiss, he signaled to the soldiers the person whom they had come to capture. Jesus knew full well what was happening and what would happen next, yet He didn’t resist. He knew this to be the will of God and He knew that it had to be done. Still, He must have been deeply hurt when Judas kissed him. At that moment, it must have hurt that His creation had turned against Him like this.
But this was not the first time that man betrayed God in a garden. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, they ate the forbidden fruit and severed their perfect relationship with God. Though God had known that this would happen, the moment their teeth bore into the fruit, He must have been so utterly disappointed. These perfect creatures that He had made were turning against Him and overthrowing the perfect order.
At that moment in the Garden of Eden, God might have thought of Jesus being kissed by Judas. And when Judas’ deceitful lips touched Jesus, He might have pictured Adam and Eve biting the fruit many years before, when the world was new. At the Garden of Eden, sin and death entered the world. But at the Garden of Gethsemane, the sinless One was about to lay down His life to redeem the world.
The parallels between these two profound moments are important. It moved me deeply when I realized the deep connection that they share. I call them moments, and not passages, because they are not static text, but a living story.
Jesus, being a member of God’s trinity and thus God, already knew what it felt like to be betrayed. Yet He loved us so much that He was willing to experience it again so that everything could be fixed. He suffered not only the pain of betrayal, but also the unimaginable torture on the cross.
Reflecting on all of these gave me a lot to think about. It told me a lot about who God is and how sinful we truly are. There is something sad and beautiful in all of it.
How about you? What are your thoughts about the events that happened in the two gardens?