We usually think of Jesus in the upper room as calmly and patiently preparing his disciples for their coming crisis; only in the garden are we shown his deep anguish over what lies ahead for himself. But if this verse ("They hated me without a cause." Ps. 69:4) occurred to Jesus as describing his enemies, surely he was also identifying with the rest of [Psalm 69] with its vivid description of overwhelming troubles and importune cries to God for deliverance. What in the upper room was still under the surface was openly expressed in the garden.permalink source: John R. Cogdell, "The humanity of Jesus Christ, as revealed in certain Psalms"
Why did Jesus have to die? Brian McLaren was asked this question by a seeker in his church, and realized he didn't know an answer that would satisfy him. Brian asked for two weeks to think about it. He read all these books on the atonement, but all the answers were abstract and unhelpful. He mentioned it to his brother, who is an engineer. Without missing a beat, his brother said, "Jesus didn't know, either. Remember in the Garden?" Brian was stunned: John Stott never said that! He told the guy the story of the garden. The seeker said, "Well, that doesn't really answer my question, but it does make it go away."permalink source: Brian McLaren @ AGTS seminar
A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable; and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids. She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year. Overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card. Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot." From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet calm voice respond, "Don't worry we already crucified Him." For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.permalink source: Anonymous
It's said that Thomas Jefferson could not accept the miraculous elements of scripture, so he edited his own special version of the New Testament in which all references to the supernatural were deleted. The gospels, therefore, contain no miracles--only the moral teachings of Christ. The gospel account closes with these words: "There laid they Jesus and rolled a great stone at the mouth of the sepulcher and departed." Thank God that's not how the story really ends!permalink source: Anonymous
Paul the Apostle goes into a synagogue in the diaspora. He's asked to speak to the congregation. He steps up onto the bimah and says: "I have some good news, and I have some bad news. Which would you like to hear first?" The head rabbi replies, "Good news and bad news? Tell us the bad news first. The good news will console us." Paul says, "Okay, here's the bad news. The messiah has come, but he's been killed." "What!" exclaims the rabbi. "That's terrible news! What could possibly be good news?" Replies Paul, "The good news is -- that's good news!"permalink source: Anonymous