Christ's Impossible Prayer in Gethsemane
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took Peter, James, and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. Mark 14:32-33
The conventional account-at least the one this writer encounters most often-is that in Gethsemane Jesus demonstrates his humanity, by shrinking (as any of us would) from the painful death ahead of him. Jesus is deeply distressed by the prospect not only of dying but of being killed in a cruel and violent manner. He knows what is about to happen and he is afraid.
What leads people to think this way of Gethsemane? Perhaps graphic Good Friday sermons and dramatizations such as The Passion of the Christ are to blame-visual and rhetorical portrayals of the ...