Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane
The picture on Concordia's altar is of Jesus praying at Gethsemane.
The painting by church member Orabel Thortvedt replaced the one destroyed in a tornado.
After Jesus and his disciples shared supper on the day we call "Maundy Thursday," Jesus went to the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Peter, James and John accompanied him.
Jesus asked his disciples to keep watch while he prayed. Jesus knew that he would be arrested and that he would die, and he was getting a little nervous about it. Jesus prayed that if there was any way to avoid it, that God should let him avoid this terrible fate. Jesus said that he knew things would go the way God wanted them, and said "Your will be done."
When he went back to the disciples, he found them all sleeping. He scolded them for not staying awake, and then went again to pray about what was to come, and when he returned he found that the disciples had fallen asleep again!
Jesus was probably a little frustrated when he returned and saw his disciples sound asleep for the third time. Now it was too late, because Jesus saw his disciple Judas coming toward him. Judas was followed by priests and elders from the temple and a noisy crowd carrying swords and clubs.
Judas identified Jesus by kissing him, and Jesus was arrested. Peter, James and John, afraid that they might be arrested, too, ran away.
Jesus did not try to get away. He accepted the terrible job that God had given him. Jesus would be questioned, tortured, and crucified - but on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead.
Jesus' victory over death is what we celebrate at Easter. We who believe in Jesus can depend upon His sacrifice to assure that God will forgive us for our mistakes and, through His grace, grant us peace and eternal life in heaven.
* opens in a new window
Learn more about Holy Week
The Last Supper