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96. JESUS IN GETHSEMANE.
 NOW we left the city through the gate in the direction of the Olive Mountain. So there is the garden which is now still called Gethsemane but in a totally different location. The garden Gethsemane belonged to that inn on the Olive Mountain which belonged to Lazarus and was known as a favorite spot for outings. Below that inn, which lay on the hill and offered a wide view, there was like a park, and a very pleasant path went through it going up the hill. The park itself was the actual Gethsemane and is thus located in a totally different place from the one that is shown now and has only the name in common. The very old trees that are present there made it probable to the later visitors that they found the right place.
 We often gathered with that innkeeper, and therefore Judas believed also that he would certainly find Me there, since otherwise I would not have left Lazarus to be alone with My disciples. The park itself offered an ideal place for inner meditation because of the great silence there, and therefore I brought the disciples to that place so that they once more could reflect upon the latest events.
 We searched for a place besides the path, and I asked Peter, John and James to come with Me and go a little further, away from the others. That is what they did, and they followed Me.
 Now came the moment that the whole weight of the coming affliction came down on the soul of the Son of man, and the deity again drew back entirely to leave the completely free decision to the human Jesus.
 Therefore He felt the dreadful hour and said: “My soul is saddened unto death.” Then He also said to the three: “Stay here and watch with Me.”
 He went a little further and prayed the words: “Father, if possible, let this cup pass away from Me – but not as I want, but as You want.”
 But since these words did still not express the personal determined decision, the deity did still not return in Him.
 Jesus went back to His own and found them sleeping.
 From this He saw that He only could find support with the Father in Him. He woke up the three and spoke the well-known words: “Can you not watch with Me for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
 With these words He did not only mean the three but also Himself.
 Now Jesus went back and prayed again: “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to pass away from Me then I will drink it and Your will be done.”
 Again, driven by unrest, the soul sought external contact with His own. He found them again sleeping, and so deeply that they did not wake up but only moved drowsily when He called them.
 Now Jesus, the Son of man, had overcome.
 With a glance of compassion He looked at His own, hurried back and called out loud: “Father, I know that it is possible for this cup to pass away, but only Your will be done, and therefore I want to drink it!”
 Then the deity returned in Him completely and strengthened Him, penetrating into Him completely and spoke: “My Son, You had to take Your decision for the last time. Now Father and Son are united in You and have become eternally inseparable. Carry what has been given You to carry. Amen.”
 Then I stood up again and walked to My disciples who lay down sleeping again, woke them up and spoke: “How can you sleep now and leave Me alone in the most difficult hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation, for the spirit is indeed willing but the flesh is weak. But you must always be strong. Look, now the hour has come that I will be delivered up to My enemies. So do not sleep and be strong.”
 At that moment a group of temple guards came near with torches and led by Judas. He wanted to bring them to the inn where he thought to find Me there. The disciples asked Me what this meant. But I told them to step back and walked on the path towards the group. When Judas saw Me, he came to Me, greeted Me and wanted to kiss Me as a sign of identification for the armed temple servants. But I prevented him and said: “Judas, are you betraying the Son of man in this way? It would have been better for you never to be born.”
 Then I turned to the group of people and asked them with a mighty voice: “Whom are you seeking?!”
 The leader answered: “Jesus of Nazareth.”
 Then I made Myself known with the words: “It is I” and walked a few steps closer to them.
 But the temple guards drew back because they heard a lot about My power and were afraid of it, for which reason Caiaphas had chosen only helpers who did not know Me yet. A few of them who stood in the back fell even to the ground because of the impact of those who stood in front.
 Since the helpers stood there hesitating and fearful, I asked them again: “Whom are you seeking?”
 And at the repeated answer of the leader I said again: “I told you that it is I. But if you seek Me, let these here go.”
 Now when the helpers noticed that nothing was happening to them, they were ashamed of being afraid before, pushed toward Me and soon surrounded Me while the leader shouted at them that they only had to guard Me since the command of the high priest was that they only should capture Me.
 But Peter, who noticed now that a serious danger was threatening Me and no miracle was happening to free Me, he drew the sword which he always carried hidden with him and rushed up to Me. Malchus resisted him by keeping him off with his spear. Then Peter struck him and cut off Malchus’ ear.
 Now I called out to Peter: “Put your sword back into the sheath! Shall I not drink the cup that My Father has given Me?”
 Then Peter drew back. I touched the injured ear of the helper and it was immediately healed. This deed amazed the helpers, so that they no longer bothered about the disciples and they were only concerned to lead Me away.
 Now that I took everything in silence and also allowed them to bind My hands without any resistance, they talked among each other, being surprised and wondering why they told them that they had to use extreme violence since capturing such a man was really dangerous. Judas stood by, waiting for something to happen by which the guards would be frightened. But since noting happened he was now all the more convinced that My power would unfold before the High Council. (GGJ Book 25, chap. 96)
1 See Book 21 41:2.
97. THE HEARING AND THE CONDEMNATION OF JESUS
 THE march walked now over the Kidron through the same gate through which My entrance took place. The temple guards brought Me first to Hannas who was the brother in law of the high priest Caiaphas. Hannas was the first to whom I was taken because he was the representative of Caiaphas and had always been very active in this matter and therefore the news was brought to him first that it succeeded to capture Me.
 Nota bene: It is absolutely not the intention to repeat here everything that is already stated in detail in the gospel of John because this writing must not make the gospel of John unnecessary. However, the following historic events will only fill in the gaps of what seems to be lacking.
 The manner in which Hannas received Me and also the fall of Peter can be read there.
 Hannas sent Me bound to Caiaphas.
 Judas, who realized now that everything seemed to happen differently than he expected, saw how I was led away, and being perplexed and full of fear for the success of his intention he followed the march. He also wanted to walk through with Me to the high priest but the entrance was denied to him.
 At Caiaphas’ place the whole High Council was gathered, and they were already waiting for a long time for My appearance, looking for revenge. Now accusations were formally brought against Me, and witnesses arose against Me who had to testify that I committed high treason, and especially the entrance into Jerusalem was used against Me, and also that I had dared to walk on the holy place by which I attributed priestly power to Myself which I did not possess. After that, it was accurately proven that I wanted to stir up the people against the Roman emperor in order to make Myself king. But when it came to it to find witnesses for this who could under oath confirm My intent by My words, they did not find anyone.
 Finally the witnesses came forward who stated that I had said: ‘Break this temple down and I will rebuild it in 3 days.’
 Caiaphas said now that this was an insult against the temple itself, for in order to accomplish this, divine authority was needed which can only possess the Anointed of the Lord who will once come in great power. But I had said that I was Christ, the Anointed One, and therefore he adjured Me to say whether I really was Christ, the Son of God.
 On this I answered: “You have said it. But I say to you all: from now on it will happen that the Son of man will sit at the right side of the Power and will go in the clouds of Heaven to the Father who lives in Him.”
 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said: “He has blasphemed God! What other witnesses do we need? You have heard His blasphemies!”
 Of course, the others agreed immediately, for in the Council only those were gathered whom Caiaphas knew that they were dedicated to him and compliant. But those who were in one way or another friendly disposed towards Me – which became already apparent during the last meetings – the purpose was to capture Me and to keep the betrayal of Judas hidden. Therefore, the death sentence was soon ready and it was only a matter of receiving the approval of Pontius Pilate.
 Very early in the morning I was taken there and the case was presented to the governor. I was a rebel and a blasphemer and as such I was guilty to be put to death.
 Pontius Pilate who knew everything about My entry and could not find any rebellious act in it, tried to save Me, because he as a Roman was inclined to see in Me some kind of demigod with exceptional powers. Now he spoke to Me as one can read in the gospel of John, and he said to the temple servants, who were standing before the courthouse, that he did not find Me guilty.
 Then one of the high priests came forward and he explained to him once more that I had traveled through the country, preaching against the temple and its servants who surely were the highest authority in the country and representatives of God. On this occasion it was said that I was from Galilee.
 Pilate was glad to hear this statement because he saw an escape to put the whole matter off his back. Galilee stood under the supreme authority of Herod, and therefore he was the one who could make a judgment in this. So he quickly closed the hearing and ordered to send Me to Herod to speak out justice on one of his citizens.
 Herod was very pleased when I was brought to him because now his wish to personally see Me was fulfilled and now he wanted to convince himself as to what was true of the many rumors about My miraculous power. He had Me immediately brought before him and ordered those around him to leave. We stayed alone. He expressed his amazement that a Man as I, who possessed exceptional powers, had let himself be captured, and he wanted to know how this could have happened. But I did not give him an answer so that he became embarrassed and he explicitly wanted an answer from Me. Since I remained silent he became more and more irritated and became enraged about this so that he rushed to Me and threatened to torture Me. I only calmly looked at him and immediately the old sinner trembled so much in his heart by that glance that he fearfully called out to his men. I became extremely terrifying to him, and to hide his fear he mocked Me now in the presence of his servants of the court who obviously supported at once the mockery words of their ruler.
 Herod saw now that he was misled in his hope to achieve something by supernatural power, and now he wanted at least to take as much as possible advantage of the whole situation.
Therefore he commanded to take Me back to Pilate while he indicated in polite words that he gladly wanted to be submissive to the sovereignty of Rome and renounced his right to judge one of is citizens who, according to the statement of the temple, also tried to resist the sovereignty of Rome. With a white robe that Herod ordered to give to Me as a sign of submission, I returned to Pilate again who was not exactly pleased about My return, but rather about Herod’s way of acting which later on achieved also a complete reconciliation between the two rulers.
 Meanwhile, Pilate had been warned by his wife who saw in a dream how the good and the bad ones were separated by the Son – and he tried to set Me free. Therefore he came upon the idea to suggest to the people to release Me, since it was the custom at the time of Passover to free a criminal whom the people could choose.
 However, the priests and temple servants incited all their adherers who were standing in front of the courthouse, and they did not allow anyone of the other people to be with them so that the intimidated crowd who adhered to Me were not standing close by but rather the clan of the temple who tried with all might to reach their goal, namely to get rid of Me. Since Barabbas had a good reputation with the temple, as already mentioned before, on the question of the governor which prisoner he had to release they immediately shouted ‘Barabbas!’, this according to what they had agreed, and they demanded that I should be crucified by which it was always emphasized that I was a rebel and was against the emperor.
 Pilate did not know what to do anymore because even if enough accusations were brought against Me he personally could not agree with them. Now he thought that only a flogging would impose a sufficient punishment upon Me and so he gave command to it. Consequently I was flogged.
 After this punishment the helpers brought Me out in a very miserable condition in a purple cloak and crowned with a crown of thorns, because Pilate hoped that this sight would bring the Jews to have pity so that he could set Me free.
 But the heart of the Jews was harder than stone, and again they shouted: “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
 Pilate repeated that he found no guilt in Me that was worthy of death and that I had been punished enough.
 Then those who stood in front and most embittered Pharisaic priests shouted: “He has to die, for He was blasphemed God! He claimed to be God’s Son, and according to our law the one who blasphemes God must die!”
 When he heard that, Pilate was frightened even more, because his Roman idea that I could be a demigod received now new nourishment. Therefore, he entered the house again and the helpers brought Me back in again. And he asked Me where I came from, that means My ancestry and from which country I was, because he wanted to believe Me, not My accusers.
 But I did not answer him – and this out of exhaustion. Pilate asked again, as it is written in John chapter 19, verse 10. Also the further events happened according to verses 11, 12 and 13.
 Now Pilate, who was frightened because he knew the temple and knew that they would do anything when they wanted to persist, wanted to make an end to the case and sat down on the judgment seat, a ceremonial custom with the Romans when an indisputable sentence had to be spoken out. He presented Me again to the people and asked whom he had to release.
 The adherers shouted again: “Barabbas!”
 Now someone was sent to him to give him his freedom. Then Pilate pointed at Me and said: “See, here is your king! What must happen to Him?”
 Again the gang shouted: “Crucify Him!”
 Pilate said mockingly: “Must I crucify your king?”
 Now one of the high priests came forward and said very emphatically: “We have no other king except for the emperor, but this One here is against the emperor and has made Himself king. The guilt is on Him.”
 Pilate said very seriously: “And what if nevertheless innocent blood will be spilled?”
 “Then His blood will come over us and our children!” shouted the high priest loudly. And the adherers loudly exclaimed their agreement on this and repeated it many times.
 Then Pilate saw that he could not help Me without bringing himself into serious trouble. He also feared that the Roman reputation could suffer by it if he would show too much weakness.
 As an outer sign that he felt free of the responsibility, he washed his hands in the presence of all the people and said (Pilate): “I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person, for according to our law He has done nothing wrong. It can be different according to your law, as you say, and therefore I hand Him now over to your law.”
 Then he handed Me over to the temple guards who were ready, and they took Me immediately into custody, this at the same time when Barabbas was set free and loudly hailed by the people. (GGJ Book 25, chap. 97)
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