The shouts of joy that echoed through Jerusalem’s stone streets on a Sunday morning fell deathly silent in the darkness of a Thursday night. The dark of the night matched the darkness of sin in the souls of man as the disciples joined Jesus in the upper room.

In these last precious hours of his time on earth, the Lord celebrated the ancient feast of the Jews with the men who had followed him for the past three years. He astounded them with his humility as he washed their feet and left them speechless with his simple, sudden pronouncement that one of them would betray him.

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve.  And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” – Matthew 26:20-22 (ESV)

Soon, they left the safety of the upper room – Judas to meet with his conspirators, the disciples to meet with their own shortcomings and Jesus to meet with his destiny. They crossed the valley to a place of prayer, a place where Jesus – God’s son, God himself – poured his heart out to the Father, begging not once, not twice, but three times that the cup of suffering would pass from him. Knowing what was coming in the next hours, he asked the Father to spare him. Knowing the perfection of the Father’s plan, he submitted to his will.

A night of sorrows …

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