There are so many facets to the Passion of Jesus Christ. Starting in the Garden of Gethsemane and ending on the Cross (and the after effects of everything!), it can sometimes be hard to understand the historical context or full meaning of Jesus’ passion.
Father Ralph Gorman, C.P., in his book The Last Hours of Jesus: From Gethsemane to Golgotha, fixes that issue.
Have you ever wondered what the difference between the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees were and what significance they played in the life and death of Jesus? From this book, you will learn.
Have you ever wondered why the Jewish people were not accepting of Christ as the Messiah and what their vision of the Messiah looked like?
Father Gorman explains this as he explains the disillusionment of Judas Iscariot. “[They] found it difficult, if not impossible, to accept the idea of a suffering Messiah. Judas, then, may have attached himself to Christ in the belief that He was the Messiah and that it was only a matter of time before He would show Himself in His role of king and conqueror. In this case, Judas must have become more and more disillusioned as time passed, for Christ not only failed to fulfill His expected role but fled from honors and even talked of His approaching Passion and death.”
Have you ever wondered why Peter’s remorse after his three denials of Christ was enough to gain mercy but Judas’ after betraying Jesus to the Sanhedrin was not?
Father Gorman writes: “…like many criminals, Judas did not have a full realization of the horror of his deed until after its accomplishment. As he looked at Jesus and felt the weight of the silver coins in his wallet, he realized the awful nature of his crime and was overwhelmed with remorse…Yet even Judas’ remorse was not true repentance. It lacked hope, and there can be no true repentance without hope. Unlike Peter, who went out and wept bitter tears of compunction but never abandoned hope, Judas gave way to despair.”
For a beautiful look at the Seven Last Words of Christ, Father Gorman devotes 26 pages to unpacking their meaning and impact. All the while, he paints the scenes of the Passion and death of Jesus Christ in wonderful detail so the reader can more fully realize and understand what happened to Christ and why it matters for us.
For all of these gems and even more, pick up a copy of Father Ralph Gorman’s book The Last Hours of Christ: From Gethsemane to Golgotha. This would make an excellent read leading up to Good Friday!