As I got older and grasped the timeline of events, I still had a hard time with the reality of Holy Week as something to celebrate. It is a rather grim moment in time when we reach what we call Holy Thursday because we know the Last Supper is going to be indeed Christâ€™s last meal, and yet we are taught to find this also glorious because here Jesus teaches his Apostles the sacrament of the Eucharist, celebrating what is ostensibly the first Mass and thereby displacing the tradition of the Seder.
At some point during this meal and before the actual breaking of the bread, Jesus turns to Judas and tells him to do what he must do. Thus, Judas leaves the room and does not have the opportunity to consume the bread made flesh or drink the wine made blood. No matter what grade level I was in, this always seemed to be an obvious punishment in and of itself for Judas, for he failed to receive the sacrament and then went on to betray Jesus and ultimately hung himself once he realized his sin.
Once the object of the transformed Seder was complete, Jesus and his followers went to the Garden of Gethsemane for prayer and reflection. While Peter and the rest were a bit drunk on the wine and fell off to sleep, Jesus had what I have always believed to be his most human moment (except for that time in the temple when he went ballistic on the vendors and money lenders). Here Jesus fell to his knees and begged for the cup to pass from his lips. His godhood was subsumed briefly by his humanity, and he wanted to keep his human life despite all its frailties and afflictions.
This brief time in the garden always frightened me the most, because whether or not it was Satan who was using this human frailty to advantage (the scene in Mel Gibsonâ€™s The Passion of the Christ takes us in this direction), this does show how afraid Jesus was about dying. I do understand now that this makes us aware of the duality of Christâ€™s nature and helps us understand better that he was given a soul with freedom of choice just like all of us. In the end Jesus acquiesced to his fatherâ€™s will and prepared himself for the horror that awaited him the following day.