Last March, standing in the Garden of Gethsemane, looking across at the eastern wall of Jerusalem, I knew that over the next months I would be writing a play about the night Jesus prayed in that sacred place. I didn’t experience the peace there that I had expected. I think maybe I pretended that I did, because everyone else seemed to. What I had instead, was a great sense of both oppression and urgency. I remember feeling unsettled, and trying to remove myself some distance from the group. It seemed to me that there was something I needed to grasp before we had to move on to the next place on our tour.
I didn’t grasp it then. It wasn’t until the actual writing began that it emerged. I wish it was possible to explain how it feels to write something and know that the content is beyond your own understanding. It has happened to me with every play.
At the beginning of September the process of writing GETHSEMANE began. Over the course of weeks and months, as the events of that night played out before my mind’s eye, and the words began to capture what I was envisioning, Opposition started moving its forces into position for a siege.
It was no surprise to be confronted by Opposition, but it has been daunting to see the enemy pull out the stops to distract and discourage, and otherwise attempt to keep this story from being told. I have no doubt that people making plans to attend will be similarly thwarted. Please don’t let that happen to you.
The Garden of Gethsemane is located near the bottom of the Mount of Olives. It is directly across from the Golden Gate. It isn’t that far across the valley. In the moonlight, Jesus would have been able to see the Temple rising above the walls, located where the Muslim Dome of the Rock shrine now stands.
What really happened there that night? What did Jesus endure that brought Him to the point of actually sweating blood, beseeching His apostles to be vigilant, and requiring the ministrations of an angel?
It is a story that is there between the lines of Scripture. To know it is to begin to grasp how much Jesus loved each one of us…those who would believe as well as those who would reject Him. To know this story is to see that the physical agony of crucifixion Jesus knew he was to endure was not the greatest pain He was facing.
It was my sins.
GETHSEMANE will be staged for only eight weekends. We need your support and prayers as we present this powerful, life-changing message. Help us fill the theater from the first weekend. An amazing new addition to our troupe of actors, Kyle Bullock, in the role of Jesus, brings a heart for the Lord to this portrayal that you will never forget. Glenn Polk offers his most challenging and riveting role of all 24 Ragtown Gospel Theater productions we have staged.
From the Last Supper to the Judas Kiss, GETHSEMANE will be more than a play. It will be an unforgettable experience.