A Night of Terror and Grief – Bible Journey Day 9
Bible Journey – Day 9
A Night of Terror and Grief
When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping, exhausted from grief. So he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you will not fall into temptation!”
(Luk 22:45-46 NET.)
I’ve been interrogated before. Let me assure you, it’s no fun. The year was 1997, and I was working in the warehouse at the Service Merchandise in Green Hills, just around the corner from Lipscomb University. I’d been working there for about three years, and I’d been promoted to the “third key” position (the warehouse manager, assistant manager, and I held keys to the secure areas of the warehouse) after about a year.
Some items were stolen from the store. Some high-ticket items – a TV and a computer, if I remember correctly – came up missing in the manager’s counts. So the Loss Prevention guys were called in, and I was locked in a small room with a barrel-chested hulk of an ex-police detective. He asked me questions, cajoled, intimidated, repeated questions, reworded questions, and thoroughly terrified me. I’d been baptized a few years before, but (as I’ve mentioned a few times in the past) it didn’t exactly take. So let me just say that I didn’t have on my side the best hope of the interrogation victim – confident innocence.
I’ve been in lots of different kinds of military training situations, I’ve been called into an Honor Board situation at West Point (a foolish slip of the tongue under duress became a serious issue because I said something false about my squad leader), I’ve experienced the first-time meeting of the fathers of both of the women I’ve been in love with in my life. But I’ve never been as afraid as I was in that interrogation. Every single bad thing I’d done in my life flew through my mind, and I just knew that he could see every one of them on my face. Horrified and hopeless, I left the room and left the job a few days later.
So I think I can grasp a little bit of how the disciples felt when Jesus said these words: “Simon, Simon, pay attention! Satan has demanded to have you all, to sift you like wheat…” Eugene Peterson translates the idiom ‘to sift you like wheat’ as ‘to separate you [the disciples] from me [Jesus] like chaff from wheat.’ The idea is of being pulled or picked apart, and that is precisely the satan’s (the accuser’s) job description. And if I was scared of that detective, how horror-struck must they have been at these words. No wonder Peter responds so brashly – terror makes your mouth say stupid things, as my USMA Honor Board encounter taught me. No wonder the poor guys are exhausted in the garden. Thank God for Jesus, whose courage and self-control and faithfulness gave him the ability to stand and absorb the worst tribulation anyone has ever faced – but whose compassion and humanity allowed him to be tempted not to stand, and so he is able to aid us when we fail to stand in our own times of tribulation.
In HIS love,