The room was dark, damp, and cold. Gathered in that dungeon hole was a group of about 20 of us divinity school student from Campbell University. We had come to see Caiaphas’ dungeon where it was believed Jesus would have spent that last night prior to His crucifixion.
As we started down the steps into the dungeon area, the lights suddenly went out. The guide instructed us that we would have to return later because it was not safe to enter the dungeon cell. We almost in unison said to please let us go down because we had no chance to come back later. We slowly made our way down. I remember moving into a corner and placing my hands on the cold, damp walls of the cell. One of our leaders brought down a small candle and sat it in the center of the room. The candle cast shadows throughout the cell and I could vaguely see the silhouettes of the other students in the cell, but I still felt somehow all alone in there. I stood in complete silence for a while as I contemplated what Jesus may have felt that last night. The only thought that kept going through my mind was that Jesus at any time could have said, “No!” I know that is what I would have said. But He did not. He willingly remained in that hole perhaps all alone except for the comfort of His Father, His mind filled with the events that would take place just a few hours from then. He willingly submitted Himself to the Father’s plan so there He sat and waited.
The silence in the cell was broken when one of our teachers started to sing a hymn. All together, we joined in and the tears began to flow. I have never felt like that before. It was as if the events of 2000 years ago rushed forward to our moment in time. I often think back to that event and it helps center me on what really matters. It was a personal encounter for me with God. It was a gift I will never forget and for which I will always be thankful.
If one ever begins to doubt the Deity and love of Jesus, simply remember the many levels of sacrifice that He went through for us. No mere man would do that. No mere man could.