‘Oma’, asks Summer. ‘Can we pray before we leave?’
‘Yes dear, that would be good.’
The two kneel in prayer asking God to help them witness the scenes of Jesus’ suffering during the day. It is a blessing to both of them, and they know their prayer will be answered
After meeting Jeannette and Kevin, the four travel through the Orion nebula until they reach its edge, just before the holy city. When they look at the beautiful gates of pearl, they are surprised to see Meilon and Betil standing there with other angels.
‘Oh, we did not expect to see you here’, say the children as they approach the pearly gates.
‘We are going to travel by angelic chariot today to a certain place’, smiles Betil. His words have an air of mystery about them. Everyone is excited.
In a moment the six travellers are resting comfortably in the arms of the angel chariots. Instead of heading in a direction beyond the New Jerusalem, they turn to face the Great Nebula of Orion.
‘Oh, where are we going?’ calls Jeannette, but her voice drifts off into space. Travelling through Orion in chariots is a new experience and very enjoyable.
At the entrance to the nebula, they head in the direction of….
‘Hey, we are going towards the earth’, cries Kevin.
Soon they are able to see the earth in the distance and wonder when the angels will stop.
Oh, are we going home again?’ calls Summer. But no, the angel-chariots approach a planet within view of the beautiful blue earth.
Soon their feet touch the grassy land.
The children are full of smiles and tell the angels, ‘We were really surprised to be heading back through the nebula.’
‘You were a bit secretive Betil when you told us’, states Jeannette.
‘It was a surprise’, he replies.
Looking around the planet, they see lovely green grass and many trees.
‘Oh, it’s a green planet’, says Oma.
Meilon and Betil smile.
‘Yes, it is a green planet. Look around and you will even see green flowers.’
The girls run off to find them, and in a short while return with flowers in their hands. ‘Look at the green flowers.’
‘Why is everything green?’ asks Kevin.
‘I know. I know’, he replies.
‘It’s because of faith.’
‘Yes Kevin, you are right’, answers Betil.
‘You will need faith today as you watch Jesus’, adds Meilon.
The angels then say, ‘We wanted you to be close to earth so you will feel closer to Jesus.’
‘Oh thank you’, say the children.
After Jesus and His disciples sing a hymn, they walk the short distance over the brook Kedron to the garden of Gethsemane.
As they enter its gates, Jesus becomes unsteady on His feet.
Concerned, some of the disciples place their hands on His arms to support Him. Walking among the olive trees, Jesus groans and almost falls. What is happening to Him? Is He sick?
Eight of His disciples are to wait near the entrance to pray for Him and themselves.
Peter, James and John are taken into the inner recesses of the garden.
‘Wait here’, says Jesus, ‘and pray that you enter not into temptation.’
With great difficulty, the Saviour stumbles a little further and kneels on the ground.
‘Father’, He prays, ‘will you take this trial from Me? I can’t feel your beams of light any more.’
‘Oh My Father, is there another way?’
The disciples stay awake only a short while, then they fall asleep.
Jesus agonizes in prayer and concludes, ‘Father, if there is no other way, Your will be done.’
Jesus rises painfully from His knees, and approaching the three closest disciples, He finds them asleep.
When they awaken, they are shocked at the at the sight of Jesus’ blood-stained face. They hardly recognize Him. What is happening to their beloved Master?
Jesus returns to His place of prayer and again falls to the ground.
Suddenly a voice whispers in His ear, ‘Give up. It’s no use. Your disciples are asleep again. They don’t care about your suffering. They don’t believe you. It’s all a wasted effort. Your own nation has rejected you. The human race is not worth all this suffering.’
Jesus groans as the unity with His Father is broken up. ‘Oh Father, don’t leave me. Is there another way to save the human race?’
The tempter’s voice sounds again in His ear. ‘I gave you another way in the wilderness, but you refused. It’s not worth it. Give up….’
The children’s eyes are wet with tears. They look around the greenery. No angels are in sight.
‘Where are Meilon and Betil?’ asks Jeannette.
Summer can hardly speak. She shakes her head. ‘I don’t know. They’ve left us.’
Kevin is sobbing. Jeannette puts her arms around him. ‘I know why we had to pray’, he manages to say. The two cry together.
Suddenly Summer has a thought. She calls out to Kevin and Jeannette. ‘Maybe it’s the green we need to remember.’
Jeanette looks up.
‘Yes….. faith. We need to believe.’
Kevin’s lips quiver. ‘I believe’, he says, and bursts into tears again.
Heaven is very quiet. No harps are playing and no angels are singing. All eyes are wet with tears, but the angels keep their vigil in watching their beloved Commander.
They whisper words of encouragement as He struggles in Gethsemane, although Jesus cannot hear their loving words. ‘Don’t give up’, they cry softly.
'Master, victory is before you. There will be humans who believe, even children will be saved. Hold on.’ ‘Hold on beloved Son of God.’
The suffering of Jesus grows more intense and He almost faints.
‘I’ve got you now’, taunts the devil. ‘Give up.’
The heart of Jesus trembles. He prays for His disciples and for His own tempted soul.
It is time to make a decision.
The power of sin and the helplessness of man comes to His mind. He sees a world lying in wickedness unable to rescue itself from destruction. He sees souls saved in His kingdom, men, women and children rejoicing in the victory of salvation.
His decision is made --- He will save man at any cost to Himself.
‘My Father, even though it means eternal separation from you, Your will be done.’
Jesus drops to the ground and the Father withdraws the last of His beams of light.
Jesus is dying.
‘Gabriel’, says the Father. ‘Go to Him now!
Gabriel flies like lightning to the side of His beloved Commander.
He kneels down and places his Master’s head close to his chest. Very gently he wipes away the bloody sweat from Jesus’ face.
‘Master’, whispers Gabriel, ‘millions of men, women and children will be saved in the kingdom as a result of your sacrifice.’
Peter, James and John are suddenly awakened by the light. They see Gabriel bending over Jesus, and hear his gentle voice.
They listen as he comforts the Saviour, giving Him encouragement and strength to go on to the cross.
Now the disciples do not fear for their Master, believing God has sent an angel to protect Him.
Instead of staying awake and praying for Jesus, the eyes of the disciples soon grow weary and they are once more asleep.
The angel moves into the shadows. Jesus rises to His feet with difficulty and walks slowly to the three sleeping disciples.
Again they awaken at His presence. Looking into His face, they see perfect calmness with no trace of His previous agony.
The Messiah stands as a king in His majesty.
Jesus looks at His sleepy disciples, and speaking softly, says, ‘Sleep on now and take your rest. The hour has come that the Son of man will be betrayed into the hands of sinners.’
‘I wish Meilon and Betil would come back’, says Jeannette. ‘Maybe they won’t’, sighs Summer.
‘Do you think they want us to feel alone like Jesus does?’ Jeannette ponders the thought. ‘Yes, it’s possible.’
‘I think they want us to learn the lesson of faith and believing’, suggests Kevin. ‘That means we should not complain. If I start to complain the angels won’t be happy with me, and I know Jesus won’t.’
‘Okay, then we won’t’, agrees Jeannette.
'Let’s sing’, says Summer.
The children and Oma begin to sing ‘Jesus Loves Me’.
‘Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.’
Their voices waft through limitless space into the presence of God, and the Father hears the melody. His heart is encouraged. His dear earthly children are putting their faith into practise.
His Son’s victory will be worthwhile.
Suddenly the still night air is broken by the sound of a mob approaching. Lights from lamps flash among the trees of Gethsemane. Soon the luxurious robes of the priests and elders are seen, accompanied by Roman soldiers.
The disciples are bewildered.
‘What is happening?’
As the mob advances, Jesus steps forward and asks, ‘Whom do you seek?’
‘Jesus of Nazareth’, they reply.
‘I AM’ replies Saviour.
As Jesus identifies Himself, Gabriel steps between Him and the mob.
Immediately a divine light illumines the face of Jesus. A beautiful light surrounds Him and He is glorified before the arresting party. Everyone in the mob falls backwards to the ground. No one is able to stand in His presence.
The light fades and the men slowly get back on their feet. Ignoring the glory they have just witnessed, the soldiers await the signal to arrest Jesus.
Judas walks forward and embraces Jesus. He kisses Him as if in loving devotion.
Gently Jesus asks, ‘Do you betray me with a kiss?’
Judas says nothing.
The disciples look on in silence. They have no fear for their Master, an angel is at hand to protect Him.
All at once soldiers grab Jesus by the wrists and hold His arms tightly behind His back.
Peter is incensed and grabs a sword. In one swoop he slices off man’s ear.
Immediately Jesus releases His arms from the firm grip of the soldiers and restores the ear.
It all happens in a moment. Everyone is startled.
Gradually the soldiers regain their composure and again grip the arms of Jesus. They must move quickly lest He escape.
‘Hold Him fast’, cautions Caiaphas.
The soldiers push the Saviour in front of them into the darkness.
The disciples are terrified. They are offended that Jesus has allowed Himself to be taken.
Peter turns to the other disciples, ‘I am out of here. We best save ourselves.’
All eleven disciples turn on their heels and run…
‘It is so hard watching Jesus suffer’, says Summer.
‘Yes’, responds Jeannette, ‘and it’s not over yet.’
‘We have to remember the green’, reminds Kevin.
They all say the word together, ‘Yes – faith.’
Summer remembers the suffering of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and wants to know why He began to suffer before He was arrested.
‘Summer’, explains Oma. ‘The Father put the sins of the world on Jesus as He entered the garden.’
‘Oh, is that why He nearly fell?’ asks Kevin.
Oma continues. ‘Yes, to pay the penalty for our sins, He had to bear them.’
‘It must have been hard for the Father to do it’, maintains Jeannette.
‘Oh yes dear. The Father has suffered a lot too.’
‘That means Jesus is carrying my sins’, gasps Kevin.
The realization comes as a shock. ‘Oh I am so sorry’, and he begins to cry.
The girls bow their heads and ask God to forgive them for adding to Jesus’ pain.
Oma leads them all in a prayer of dedication.
When she has finished the prayer, Oma says, ‘I think we should be going home. It’s getting late. I wish Meilon and Betil were here to say goodbye, but they aren’t, so let’s just go.’
It takes no time at all for them to arrive home.
The Father watches the children leave the planet, happy with the way they are learning.