Some things have a way ‘coming around again.’ Think about fashions. I wore bell bottom pants when it was fashionable in the 70’s. They made a comeback with different colors and fabrics but they were still bell bottoms! Men’s ties are wide, then narrow, then striped, then paisley, and it all starts over again. And there’s no keeping up with women’s fashion comebacks! ‘Now as then’ applies to fashion! How does that possibly connect us to Christ?
Each of the Gospels records Jesus being arrested after the betrayal of Judas. The Gospel writers include various details and collectively give an in depth picture of the events. We learn Jesus went willingly because He declared He could call legions of angels to rescue Him, but He didn’t do that. Mark’s account tells of a young man (probably John Mark) who runs from the scene naked. Another detail is the disciples fleeing from the scene and from Jesus. Peter and John followed from a distance, but Peter denies Jesus. You know the story.
Judas was present in Gethsemane with Jesus but far from Jesus’ heart. The other disciples were present with Jesus at His arrest, but they also far from His heart. They left His presence not wanting to be identified with Him. How is that possible? Where is the love Jesus prayed (John 17) to be present in the heart of His followers? Do these things recur?
Jesus’ arrest in the Garden does not recur, but being in His presence and then not wanting to be identified with Him apparently does. Disagree? What else accounts for the decline of church after church in our society? Somehow people have deemed it OK to gather for worship (present with Christ) but scatter from the Sanctuary (the Garden?) not wanting to be identified with Christ. ‘Now as then,’ there is a disconnect. If the Church is to meet its God-intended mission, it must give up the ‘go to church’ model, become the Army of the Unashamed Monday through Saturday, and answer the question, “Do you love Me more than these?” Think about it!
Soli Deo Gloria!