I’ve often wondered, if Jesus was God, and God knows all that has happened, is happening, and is about to happen, was Jesus afraid when he was brought before Caiaphas, setting into motion what would ultimately end in his death?
After years of thought, the answer for me is, “Hell yes, he was afraid!”
Before we delve too deeply into biblical history, let’s include a prudent disclaimer: I am neither a scholar of ancient history, nor am I a student of the bible. I went to Sunday School, but mostly for the snacks.
While the other children rushed upstairs to class, I would lag behind with the other youthful backsliders in our church kitchen ‘sampling’ the cookies and juice, until Mrs. Phillips, our Sunday School teacher, would beckon us upward with a stirring rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” in the key of deaf.
I have read the bible front to back several times, but honestly, it always leaves me with more questions than answers.
Actually, on any given subject — like the story of Noah’s ark, for instance — I have a flood of questions (every pun intended). I’m still trying to figure out if there were any mosquitos onboard. If there were, and Noah accidentally swatted one of them, did he instantly regret it, or was his utterance of “Got the sucker!” the first in ancient history?
Also, what’s the difference between “hallelujah” and “alleluia”? I guess the latter has more to do with music, but it still gets confusing.
I know these aren’t weighty questions, but I still have them.
Nevertheless, the subject of fear is an important one. Fear and death permeate almost every known world religion. It makes sense. Because in order to have life, we have to avoid death. Fear then is the natural anxiety that our death is inevitable. It is a normal part of the human condition.
But when fear, and the intense anxiety that accompanies it, interferes with our daily lives, it keeps us from doing the one thing that living requires. In order to truly live, we must have hope that tomorrow will be even better than today … even if we are greeted by our own death.
Hope is the single most important ingredient to happiness. Without hope, we can’t have trust, Without trust, we are slaves to our fears. Death becomes real. Life becomes wearisome.
Jesus was indeed afraid. The bible says that “In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.” [Luke 22]
And that’s what makes Easter so important. Jesus personifies hope.
Easter is not just about God’s resurrection. It’s also about being freed from slavery — the slavery of our fears. Let this Easter serve as a reminder that, through God (or your creator), nothing can hinder you from fulfilling your dreams.
Now go! Go celebrate the joy of the resurrection this Sunday — your resurrection — in a place where you know hope lives.
John O. Marlowe is a reporter, sports writer and award-winning columnist for The Paper.