When I look at Christ in this image, I feel as though the humanity of Jesus is inescapable. Often in art red clothing means humanity, while blue refers to divinity. We see this most times in icons, and older sacred art. In this image we see Christ fully clothed in red- embracing the pain of His humanity- and a blue cloth laying over his back and touching the ground, not rejecting His divinity, but allowing us to see both perfectly. Something I often struggle to see- all of Him. The fullness of Jesus. Christ- fully divine, and fully man experienced the light and darkness of what it means to be human. He knew the joy and triumph of the Resurrection, but before that He knew agony in such a way He sweat out blood and cried out for His Father.
As I sit here and watch Him ache in the agony of the garden, I can think of all the times I ran from my agony, the times in which I left Him in the garden to suffer by Himself, but how He has never allowed me to suffer alone. I ponder the aching of my Lord, and I realize how often I do not allow myself to be as He did. Even Jesus- Lord of all, allowed Himself to feel agony, to experience the pain of rejection, the agonizing ache of knowing what’s to come. Never to run from it, or sweep it under the rug, but He really let Himself feel it… and yet He didn’t let it control Him.
There He sits- knowing how often I would reject Him, knowing all of the times I would choose someone or something over Him, knowing all that I would do and still going forward with His passion.
How often I forget that it is not only I who needs consolation, but my God. His hands are folded weakly in prayer. He looks exhausted, and tried. The angel tries to comfort Him, knowing of the wounds He is about to experience, embracing Jesus with as much compassion as possible. The King of the Universe, in agony, understood great darkness, and yet through the night, He shown great light. Rays of light literally shine from Him in this painting- a beautiful reminder that He is the light of the world.
So, as I sit and wonder how anyone could go through this and still love the way He did- with a love that goes to the very end- I ask you, my sisters, in what ways are we running from Christ in the garden? Do we reject Him when He asks us to keep watch with Him? Do we believe that He will never let us suffer alone, as we have let Him?
Remember, Christ knows great darkness, but He is the greatest light.
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness does not overcome it.” | John 1:5 |
(The image "Christ in Gethsemane by Carl Bloch can be found at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Christ_in_Gethsemane%27_by_Carl_Heinrich_Bloch,_1880.jpg)