The Life of Jesus Christ for the Young Part 24


And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called _the mount_ of Olives.--_St. Luke xxi: 37._


_As we ascend towards sunset the slopes of Olivet, and pause to gaze on the scenes beneath, the panorama of the city presented to view is in its leading features essentially similar to that upon which the eyes of Jesus rested, when "at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the Mount of Olives" Yonder stands a temple within that sacred enclosure which, for well-nigh three thousand years, save for the period during which, "the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet stood in the Holy place,"

has been dedicated to the worship of Jehovah. The citadel of Jerusalem breaks the skyline where stood the tower of Hippicus, and to the left, against the setting sun, the cypresses in a monastery garden mark the spot once covered by the gardens of the palace of Herod. Siloam stands as of old on the hither side, overlooking the valleys of Hinnom and Kidron; while to-day, as in former times, the olive yards beneath and the trees around, might well give the name which it bears to the hill on which we stand._


Now before the feast of the pa.s.sover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's _son_, to betray him. Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from G.o.d, and went to G.o.d. He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe _them_ with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also _my_ hands and _my_ head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash _his_ feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.--_St. John xiii: 1-10._


_A dwelling house, claiming to be one of the most ancient in Jerusalem, supplied materials for the study of the "large upper room," represented in this and some other of the paintings. The general features of the chamber, with its arched ceiling and flattened dome, its_ leewans _(raised platform) and the entrance-pa.s.sage of colored stones, where guests leave their foot-gear before stepping upon the mat-covered floor of the room, may, for the reasons adduced elsewhere, be accepted as typical of similar apartments of the period under consideration._


When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus'

breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped _it_. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave _it_ to Judas Iscariot, _the son_ of Simon.

And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some _of them_ thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy _those things_ that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.--_St. John xiii: 21-30._


_Comment has already been made upon the custom prevailing at this time of reclining at meat. We are aware, from other sources of information, that in partaking of the Pa.s.sover, the att.i.tude of standing had, as a point of ritual, long been abandoned in favor of the rec.u.mbent posture, and this is directly evidenced by the words of the text (v: 23 and 25), which are only compatible with the supposition that on the present occasion the guest-chamber was furnished with couches which ran around the three sides of the table in the usual manner. Authorities differ as to which was regarded as the "highest seat" some maintaining that this was the outermost place on the right-hand couch; others, again, preferring the arrangement followed in the painting, where Jesus occupies the centre_.


Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pa.s.s from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou _wilt_. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed _is_ willing, but the flesh _is_ weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pa.s.s away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take _your_ rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.--_St. Matt, xxvi: 36-46._


_As the word Gethsemane means the "oil press" the "Garden" was in all probability an olive yard, whose actual site, though it cannot be determined with certainty, must have been in the immediate vicinity at least of the spot which age-long tradition indicates as the scene of the Agony. The great age of the trees in this enclosure has been urged in favor of the tradition, but it is fatal to their claim as witnesses, that t.i.tus is known to have cut down, for military purposes, all the trees in the neighborhood of the besieged city.

This site is now owned by the Russians who have turned it into a neat and trim garden, and built a bright new white church on the upper level with five large gilded bulbous domes_.


Judas then, having received a band _of men_ and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am _he_. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am _he_, they went backward, and fell to the ground.--Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out _his_ hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? In that same hour said Jesus to the mult.i.tudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.--_St. John xviii: 3-6; St. Matt, xxvi: 48-56._


_Cunningly conceived indeed was that signal of the kiss; for in the very act of betrayal, Judas thus covered his own treachery; and, had the plot failed, it would even have appeared as if, when "all the disciples forsook him and fled" Judas alone had courage, in the hour of danger, to stand by and openly to acknowledge Jesus as his Master_.


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