And [Jesus] came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” (Mark 14:41-42)
You haven’t eaten since midnight. You woke before your alarm, got dressed and headed to the hospital. The nice person at the desk got you checked in and got your copay. The pastor stopped by to pray with you. You’re just waiting when you hear your name being called. It’s time. It’s your turn. Soon your procedure will begin.
The meal is finished, the waiting is over, the prayers have all been spoken, and now “the hour has come.” It is time. Time for Jesus to be apprehended by those who have wanted to arrest him for a long time. Time for Jesus to be handed over to those who want no less than his execution. It’s time for Jesus to find out what pain, suffering and death are really all about.
It has been a long time. It has been a long time since the promise given in Eden that a descendant of the woman would bruise and be bruised by the serpent. It has been a long time since Abram looked up into the sky to get an idea of how big his family would be. One of those stars would now be extinguished. It has been a long time – 600 years – since Isaiah spoke of one who would be despised, rejected and taken away in oppression and judgment. Now the world would see exactly what that would look like. It had been a long time – 400 years – since Malachi foretold the great and awesome day of the Lord. That day had come.
When Jesus’ mother told him they had no wine at the wedding at Cana, he replied, “My hour has not yet come.” When Jesus’ brothers wanted him to go to Judea and show everyone what he could do, he replied, “My time has not yet come.” Now, in the garden, the hour has come. It’s show time.
When the labor pains begin, a young mother wakes her husband to say, “It’s time.” As the wedding processional music begins, a young bride take her father’s arm as he says, “It’s time.” A family gathered around an unconscious loved one says, “It’s time,” so the doctor can turn off the life support.
Moments like that fill our eyes with tears. They are moments of both joy and sorrow. For Jesus, there was some of both, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” It was time for him to take on the last enemy, death. It was time for him to take away death’s sting. It was time to restore life to a world that has been waiting so long for this moment in time.
Heavenly Father, thank you for those moments that remind me of both the sorrow and the joy Jesus experienced when it was time. Amen.