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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)

TITLE: The Darkest of the Night
By Dan Wilson


With darkness enveloping the city of Jerusalem a small band of men leave a house and make their way across the Brook Kidron, up the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane. The quietness in the Garden contrasts the hustle and bustle of a busy city. The rustling of the leaves, cooing of the doves contrasts the cart wheels rumbling over the cobblestone streets and the parents yelling for their children to come home. Jesus comes frequently to this Garden to pray to His Father. Tonight He brings His disciples for the last time. They stop and Jesus asks Peter, James and John to follow Him about a stone’s throw farther into the garden to watch and pray with Him. His grief hangs heavily on His heart. He knows in a few hours He must do His Father’s will and shed His blood for mankind which means death.

The silence of the darkness absorbs the prayerful words of our Saviour as He seeks His Father’s will. His agony becomes so great His Father sends an angel to strengthen Him. Jesus toils with His pending death while the three disciples He commissioned to watch and pray sleep. His praying becomes so intense Luke’s account says, “. . . sweat became like great drops of blood.” (Luke 22:44 NKJV) Three times he returns to them to awaken them from slumber. “Could you not pray and watch one hour?” He asks. “. . . They did not know what to answer Him.” (Mark 14:40 NKJV) He had hand-picked twelve men to follow Him. For three and a half years these men had witnessed numerous miracles of healing the sick, raising the dead, miraculously feeding thousands from small morsels of food, and walking on water. John writes, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book.” (John 20:30 NKJV) Who or what were the three disciples to look for? He was approaching them, but not alone.

The darkness and silence of the Garden is transformed with the light from the torches and lanterns as Judas leads a multitude of troops and officers welding swords and clubs to the place where he knows Jesus will be. Jesus and His disciples can see the line of flickering flames approaching through the shadowy tree limbs and leaves and hear the mumbling voices and rumbling of the feet as they draw near. Peter is fully awake and places his hand on his sword ready to defend. Judas delivers the betrayal kiss and they grab Jesus. Quick to react, Peter draws his razor-edge sword and in one motion Malchus’, the high priest’s servant, ear is detached from his head. Miraculously Jesus reattaches the ear. What a conflict and contrast, men bring swords and clubs to take and to defend Jesus and He reminds them He could ask His Father to send twelve legions of angels. Aware the situation could get worse the disciples fearing their lives could be in danger forsake Jesus and flee. Was Judas the only disciple to betray Jesus this night? Not hardly.

The entourage makes their way back to Jerusalem and the courtyard of the high priest Caiaphas. Peter and John, not wanting to be seen, follow at a safe distance. John, an acquaintance of Caiaphas, enters the courtyard leaving Peter to hide near the door. Peter watches as John speaks to the lady guarding the door. Soon John waves for Peter to come and they both enter the courtyard. After a short discussion they separate with John going to listen to the proceedings. Peter turns to leave so he can blend in with the people standing around the glowing orange embers of the warm fires when the girl asks, “You are also one of this Man’s disciples aren’t you?

“I am not!” he retorts. The eastern sky commences to brighten as the sun bleaches away the darkness of the night. The coming daylight puts fear in Peter’s heart. Peter now wonders if he can hide his identity after his outburst in the garden.

Another says, “You’re a Galilean, you’re with Him!”

Blatantly Peter responds, “How dare you!”

Malchus’ cousin responds, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with a sword?”

“I was not!” Off in the distance a rooster crows. Then shivering Peter catches the gaze of Jesus and instantly he is overcome with immense guilt. He has failed. Like the others he flees. Alone – he weeps bitterly.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden 03/15/13
Hauntingly descriptive story. Very well written.
C D Swanson 03/17/13
Prolific, compelling and well done. Excellent job.

God bless~
Judith Gayle Smith03/19/13
With your terrific descriptions placing me right in the Garden with Jesus - wow. Thank you for your well written paraphrase.