A Holy Week Reflection. Part 2 of 3 –by Jan Coates

A Holy Week Reflection. Part 2 of 3 –by Jan Coates April 10, 2017

This guest post is part two of a three part imaginative reflection on the meaning of Jesus’ last week.

Jan Coates pic

Jan Coates is a married mother of two adult sons (and two cats). She lives in an outer suburb of Melbourne, Australia and is currently completing a Master of Arts (Theology) and beginning a Master of Theological Studies at Whitley College in Melbourne. She considers herself to be a Universalist with Baptist leanings. Jan adores animals, supports animal rescue organizations, and works part time for Blue Cross Animals Shelter in Melbourne.

A Holy Week Reflection. Part 2 of 3.

I don’t understand what’s going on, either here in the street, or inside me. I’ve come to trust him, to believe that he’s capable of all sorts of things. But I’m still not sure whether he’s what they claim he is. Still not totally convinced that he’s the one we’ve been waiting for.

At least someone has bothered to take the time to look carefully at what’s going on. Committing it to memory, so they can write it down for future generations. Someone knows that this is important. Is this the triumphant march of the Messiah? Is this the return of the King, at last? Will he fulfill the promise to bring Freedom to the people of Israel? Or is he another fake, another raiser of false hope, another deceiver?

Only time will tell what this is all about. But until that time comes, let us enjoy the spectacle. Let’s join in, calling to friends, relatives, and strangers even. This is a day to be remembered for eternity. I’m just not totally sure why…yet.

The excitement of Sunday fades away. Monday and Tuesday come and go, without much activity. Wednesday, though is different. He’s anxious, agitated even.  Guess it’s because Passover is coming, and being a wanderer, it’s hard to organize oneself to make sure the meal is prepared and everything is in order. I’ve managed to get myself into a place where Passover will be celebrated, but it still feels odd not doing it with my family. Wonder sometimes if they remember me. I think about them sometimes, and wonder why I up and left like I did. It seemed right at the time, but now I’m not so sure. Where has it led me? What have I got to show for the last – how long has it been now? I can’t really remember! I get so caught up in what’s happening that it’s hard to know what day of the week it is. Still, it’s been good. Seen some things I never thought I’d see, been places I never imagined I’d go to. Been mystified, shocked, horrified by what’s gone on around me. All centered around him, though. Always, comes back to one thing: one person: him. Who is he, really?

The inner circle is back – they went off on a mission somewhere, and it looks like they’ve had success. Guess they’ve found a place for their Passover meal to take place. I’m glad – he looks like he needs a decent meal. Hasn’t had much fun of late, which is most unusual. But like on Sunday, he’s preoccupied. There’s something on his mind all right. He’s not often like this, but when he is, it usually means something incredible will happen. We must watch and wait until the time is right for him to show us what he’s up to. Best get back to my lodgings. There’s so many people in town for Passover, that the landlord could well take it into his head to let my room out to someone else if I’m not there.

It’s Friday, and there is a strange hush over the town.

Last night, I went for a walk – wound up in that garden up the hill – Gethsemane I think it’s called. A wonderful place – so pretty and peaceful. He turned up with the inner circle, but they looked pretty much the worse for wear. I know Passover is a celebration, but it looks like they took it too far. They could barely stand up, and fell asleep the minute he walked a bit further on by himself. Miserable lot. Call themselves friends? I wouldn’t. He seemed like he needed to be alone, but also like he wasn’t alone at all. He left that bunch of drunks and walked up a bit further, then knelt down. I guess he was praying, but it looked more like a conversation was happening. I don’t know who with, though. Certainly, I didn’t see anyone. And yet, there was a presence – a feeling that someone else was there, listening, looking, knowing. Then he cried out – such pain in that cry! I don’t know what he said, but the anguish in his voice was palpable. Then, he burst into tears – I mean, really, a grown man, crying like a babe: it was embarrassing to watch. Yet, it didn’t seem wrong, either. He’s such a mixture: he does things that don’t seem fitting, but he makes them acceptable. Part of his magic, I suppose. Not long after, there was a silence – you know, the kind that makes you think something terrible is going to happen. I’d just decided to get the hell out of there, when there was a real commotion at the gates. Lots of yelling and the sounds of swords being drawn. My first thought was ‘Why? Why swords here? It’s so peaceful’, then I saw him. One of the inner circle, but the one who I always thought was a bit shifty, not trustworthy. At the head of a group of Roman soldiers. He seemed to be leading them in, into the garden, towards him. Why? What’s he done wrong? There’s no reason for the soldiers to be here. They are defiling something beautiful, something almost sacred. I try to push forward, but the way is blocked. But the feisty one – what’s his name – one of the others in his inner circle has drawn a sword too, and has taken a chunk out of one of the soldiers. But he says to stop. He’s healed the wound already. He tells everyone to put down their weapons. He’s going to give in, go peaceably. No – no – no! It’s not right! It’s not fair! He’s done nothing! All he’s done is help people, so why….

I don’t understand. He looked at me, and all the fight drained out of me. He has acquiesced, and he expects us all to do the same. No fighting back. Not even any anger. Just bewilderment. Frustration. Anxiety.
They’ve taken him away. He’s gone passively. Not even reacting to the pushing and shoving of those arrogant bastard Romans. They don’t like it at all: don’t like him not fighting back. You can see the frustration on their faces. They want to hit him and get some reaction from him. Someone does hit him – right in the face. He stumbles, nearly falls, but rights himself and walks on. No reaction. Nothing.

— Jan Coates


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