THURSDAY BEFORE EASTER
THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE AND THE BETRAYAL BY JUDAS
Chapters 77 and 78 of The Gospel of the Holy Twelve
As they went to the Mount of Olives, Jesus said to them, “All of you shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.’ But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.” Simon answered and said to him, “Though all men shall be offended because of you, yet will I never be offended.” And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith fail not; and when you have been converted, strengthen your brethren.”
He said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you, both into prison and into death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Simon, the cock shall not crow this night before you shall thrice deny that you know me.” Then came Jesus with them, having crossed the brook Kedron, into the garden called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray yonder.” (Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often rest here with his disciples.) Then he said to them, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry here, and watch with me.”
He went a little farther and fell on his face and prayed, saying, “O my Father-Mother, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou will.” An angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him. He came to the disciples and finding them asleep, said to Peter, “What, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “O my Father-Mother, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” Being in an agony he prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like great drops of blood falling to the ground. He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. He left them and went away again and prayed a third time, saying, “O my Father-Mother, not my will but Thine be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”
Then he came to his disciples and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest; behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; behold, he is at hand that does betray me.”
While Jesus was still speaking, behold there came a multitude, and Judas that was called Iscariot went before them. Judas, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should happen, went forth and said to them, “Whom seek you?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”
As soon then as he had said to them, “I am he, ” they went backward and fell to the ground. And when they arose, he asked them again, “Whom seek you?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” And Jesus answered, “I have told you, I am he; if therefore you seek me let these go their way.” Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; hold him fast.” Straightaway he came to Jesus and said, “Hail, Master, ” and kissed him. Jesus said to him. “Friend, why have you come? Is it with a kiss that you betray the Son of man?”
Then Jesus said to the chief priests and captains of the temple and the elders which were come to him, “Why do you come out as against a thief with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, you stretched forth no hands against me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus. Simon Peter stretched forth his hand, and drew his sword and struck a servant of the high priest and struck off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword up again into its place; all they that take the sword shall perish by the sword.” And Jesus touched his ear and healed him.
He said to Peter, “Do you think that I cannot now pray to my Parent and He shall soon give me more than twelve legions of angels? But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be thus?” Then all the disciples abandoned him and fled. Those who had laid hands on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas, the high priest. But they brought him to Annas first because he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was the high priest for that same year. Now Caiaphas was he who gave council to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the sins of the people.
The scribes and the elders were assembled together, but Peter, John, Simon, and Jude followed from a distance to the high priest’s palace, and they went in and sat with the servants to see the end. They had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and when they were seated together, Peter sat down among them and warmed himself, and Simon also sat by him. A certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him and said, “This man was also with him.” And he denied him, saying, “Woman, I know him not.” After a little while, another saw him and said, “You are also of them.” And Simon said, “Man, I am not.” In about the space of one hour another confidently affirmed, saying, “Of a truth this fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth for his speech betrays him.” Simon denied the third time with an oath, saying, “I know not the man.” And immediately, while he still spoke, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked upon Simon. And Simon remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crow this day you shall deny me three times.” And Simon went out and wept bitterly.