Anglican Morning Devotion, 14 March 2022 NNO Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. 48But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? 49When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? 50And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. 51And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him. 52Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? 53When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” (Luke 22:47-53; all scripture quoted is from the king James Version)
There are events of high impact associated with gardens in the Bible, but three such events stand out in stark contrast to our usual perceptions of the garden – the Garden at Eden, the Garden at Gethsemane, and the Garden of the Lord’s resurrection. The last two would not have happened had dogs of war and sin had not been let loose at Eden. Adam’s sin made the dark night in the Garden of Gethsemane necessary for our reconciliation to God. And even the second garden would have little significance without the resurrection from the Garden Tomb. The below is a poem I wrote a few years back to illustrate that dark night in the Garden:
NIGHT IN THE GARDEN
Out of the darkest Halls of Hell
Came the marchers with torches raised.
Into the Garden quiet and still
They wandered forlorn and crazed.
Up to the Sovereign Lord of Love
Their spears shining bright in the mist
With arrogant air and a hateful shove
They took Him betrayed by a kiss.
Now to the head of Scribe and Priest
Was the Savior led that night,
And to Herod’s Court and Pilate’s Seat
Where Right gave way to the Night.
To the craggy heights of the Lonely Skull
They took Him and laid Him down
And into His Hands of Love they drove
Iron spikes with a terrible Sound!
On His Brow a thorny Crown He wore
And His flesh was torn and bruised.
His Heart of Grace grew cold and sore
As the Spirit of Life was loosed.
The world of woe a Hope has found
In the Promise made sure by His Death
And the Saints of God with Faith abound
In the Fields that their Lord has blessed!
Perhaps the betrayal of Christ for thirty pieces of silver would be dwarfed by our own regular betrayal of the Lord, whose blood was shed for our sins, when we sin with such presumed impunity in disregard of that sacrifice?