Today is Good Friday, and most Christians would be spending the day contemplating on the ultimate act of sacrifice that Jesus made by dying on the cross. Three days from now, Christians will celebrate his resurrection and triumph over death and sin.
Late last night and in the early hours of this morning, as I took some time to quietly remember and honour Jesus in my own way, I was reminded of how, the night before he got arrested, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. It is written and widely recognised that Jesus made 2 prayers that night: First, that the bitter cup of what was to come – his arrest, revilement, and torturous death – be removed, if possible; and second, that if it was not possible, then God’s will for the greatest good be carried out.
As I contemplate this, it becomes clear to me that this recorded incident of what Jesus went through that Thursday night is a prime example of not just self sacrifice, but a conscious choice to exercise the higher, detached love that only a truly advanced soul is capable of.
Just as any sacrificial beast being led to the altar of sacrifice goes crying, fearful and unwilling, to its ultimate end, Jesus the man would have suffered through the fear of pain and death that he knew lay ahead of him. Because he incarnated as a man, I believe he would still have identified with the vibration of humanity and all that it entailed.
To understand this more fully, I humbly put myself in his shoes. For I believe that I, too, am a child of God, whose spirit is connected to the Divine. Yet because I am in human form, I am still capable of all the human fears and foibles that come with this plane of consciousness.
So I ask myself, what would I do if I knew that
Tomorrow, my life as I know it will come to an end as a result of inevitable, tumultuous change?
Will I try to escape while I still have the chance, or try my best to prevent it from happening, even if it means sacrificing or sabotaging people and relationships in order to save “my world”, maintain my lifestyle and retain my comfort?
Whatever celebrity or reputation that I have will be attacked and my name, dragged through the mud?
Will I try to counter-attack, for those ingrates who dare mock or turn against me deserve everything that’s coming to them – perhaps even more! – especially after all that I have done for them? Or will I put all my energy into defending my good name, because I have spent so many years trying to do my best for the greatest good?
I will be forcibly parted from my loved ones?
Will I weep, wail, and worry, because how will they cope, who will take care of them when I am not there?
I am going to be wrongfully arrested, accused of some preposterous crime that I am not guilty of, tortured and ultimately put to death in the most agonizing, inhumane way, as an example to others?
Will I run as fast and as far as I can to escape it, because hey – I’m neither stupid nor crazy!
Or … ?
I find that I cannot even answer that last question because it boggles my mind. But I know this:
Jesus was always aware that he had a choice. Because God gave mankind the gift of free will. As much as he wept and perspired as he prayed for guidance and clarity that night, Jesus received both in every way. The angels who ministered to him that night were not there to tell him he had no choice. They were there to lay everything on the table for him – just as they do for us when we ask. And they were there to support and strengthen him by unconditionally loving and being there with him. Just as they do with us.
But the choice was still Jesus’. He could still have turned away from the bitter cup that was held before him. Instead, this advanced, enlightened soul saw the Big Picture that no one could at the time: In dying, he would prove the truth of what he had spent his life preaching – that we all have a direct connection to God as a child has to his parent, and that no one needs a third party who is “better or higher up” than they to communicate with the Divine on their behalf.
Jesus found clarity that night. It came from within. And with that clarity came inner strength. Enough strength to choose to show by example that a Higher Love does exist. A love so high and so deep that it is capable of taking a step away from the ties that bind the human spirit to the ways of the world – even if it means letting go of whom we love and all that is seemingly important.
It is my prayer this Easter that regardless of religion, we may all rise together with the vibration of Higher Love, and emanate the light and truth of it in our own humble way, wherever we are.