In his final days, Jesus experienced the many blessings of being among the people he loved most
in physical proximity
in eating and drinking
in tribute and in tears
We see Jesus through it all preparing himself for his passion—for the decisive end to his earthly life. He sees it coming. He muses how it might be averted, and then submits. He sweats blood. In the prime of life, Jesus gives up his lean, callused body, pulsing with vigor, only to have it stripped, and scourged, and beaten. To die a violent death of disgrace.
Nobody’s death for ever after will be as wanton. Jesus physically endured more than the imagination can bear, much less what any of us will ever experience. His was a bloodbath.
How much do we dare to actually identify with such a man as this? Few of us would get past a crown of thorns. Carry a cross? Really, now. The truth is, when our drug-hazed, medically assisted passage out of this world eventually comes, we do well to remember Jesus. He suffered as the son of God, of course, but also as the son of man—as one of us. He knows the depths of human misery, and then some. He experienced in the very fibers of his being the pain and loss that terrifies us.
And he prevailed.