Dinner is over. We are in the garden. Jesus agonizes in prayer, while Peter and James and John sleep soundly a short distance away.
It is fitting. Everything began in a garden and it is there that one decision brought death, eternal death, into the world, subjecting all of creation to futility. Now in another garden one decision brings life, eternal life, into the world and begins freeing the bonds that bind all things to an ignoble end. Adam and Jesus, first born of death and life, federal heads of the once born and reborn.
“Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
The key that unlocks the prison door, Submission is its name. Rebellion snapped the lock shut, humility and obedience smashed it open again. The die is cast. It is only a matter of time.
Adam ran and hid. Jesus steps out and meets his fate. He does not shrink back, make excuses, blame another. At the moment of peril he mercifully offers healing. But by his own decision and own action, he lays down his life for ours, giving flesh to the choice made in eternity and echoed in the garden, soon to be pinned by iron and wood and earth.
Over the course of our lives we make many choices, echoing one or the other, Adam or Jesus. Frank Sinatra sang the anthem of one, “I did it my way.” While “What wondrous love is this?” touches the core of the other. Will you follow in the footsteps of Adam or the via dolorosa (sorrowful road) of Jesus? As Joshua said to the people at the banks of the Jordon, “Choose. Decide this day who you will serve.”
We know his answer. What is yours?