Jesus Betrayed, Arrested and Denied
Monday, March 23 - Saturday, March 28
None of us can really know the depth of Jesus’ sadness at this time. The word used (perilypos) is the strongest possible word for sadness. The event that was about to take place was the very reason Jesus had come, but it was a terrible task! He was about to be arrested, though He was innocent. He would be lied about, though He was the Truth. He would be beaten, though He came to bring peace. He would be hung on a cross and left to die - the punishment of a murderer, though He was the Life.
But worse than anything men could do to Him, God would turn away from Him when He took on the sins of the world (Matthew 27:46, Isaiah 59:1-2). This was almost more than Jesus could bear. His heart ached at the thought of being without His Father for even a moment. Jesus told His disciples to pray. He did not ask them to pray for Him. Instead, He told them to pray for themselves - that they would not fall into sin (Luke 22:40).
The arrest of Jesus was set in motion by chief priests who offered bribes to Judas to take them to him during the night (Matthew 26:14-16). Judas would not have been needed if the religious leaders were merely looking for ANY opportunity to take the Son of God.
For, as Jesus stated in Mark 14:48 - 49, he openly taught in Jerusalem's temple and therefore could have been taken at any time. What the council wanted, however, was to hide the evil they were doing! They wanted to subvert the entire legal process so they could "legally" murder him!
The arrest of Jesus was a conspiracy by his enemies to subvert and pervert the entire legal process so that he could be put to death. What happened to him is the greatest travesty of justice the world will ever see.
First, Jesus wanted to do God’s plan. Jesus came to earth to rescue people from sin. He was committed to doing the Father’s will. (Matthew 26:39,42) When Judas showed up with a crowd, Jesus didn’t run. He didn’t even allow Peter to stand in His defense. (Matthew 26:52) Jesus willingly gave Himself up for us because He loves us. (Ephesians 5:2)
Second, Jesus was betrayed and arrested even though He did nothing wrong. The Jews tried to find a legitimate reason to kill Jesus, but they couldn’t find one. (Matthew 26:59-60) Jesus did what we failed to do; He perfectly obeyed the law. His arrest was not just. The trial was not fair. But this had to happen. Only a sinless, perfect sacrifice could take away sin. (Hebrews 9:11-14)
Finally, Jesus is who He says He is. After Jesus’ arrest, the high priest asked Jesus if He was the Son of God. Jesus affirmed that He is. (Matthew 26:64) The high priest accused Him of blasphemy (speaking against God), but Jesus always told the truth. Jesus felt the pain of betrayal and the agony of His imminent suffering and death. He came to do His Father’s plan no matter what - in order to bring salvation to the world.
Points of Interest
Both Jewish police and a detachment of Roman soldiers come to arrest Jesus (John18:3). In John’s Gospel the opposition to Jesus comes from “the world,” both Jewish and Gentile. Jesus’ captors come with the latest night-fighting equipment, including lanterns, torches, and weapons. Yet in this encounter Jesus overpowers these agents of the world with the name of God. He repeatedly tells them “I am” (John18:5, 6, 8). Although some translations paraphrase this to read “I am he,” there are only two words in Greek: “ego eimi” or “I am,” which recall the traditional name of God (Exodus 3:14).
Dealing with Unresolved Guilt,
Unrestrained Anger & Misdirected Loyalty
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
We know what happened to Peter. The night went from bad to worse. What began with a brutal act of violence led later to violent cursing, swearing, and denying that he had ever known Jesus. And after that, he went out and wept bitterly.
But the dawn came for Peter with the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus restored Peter: “Simon Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep,” and after that he said, “Follow me.”
Christ allowed his wrists to be bound in the garden, and his hands to be nailed to the cross so that a man with unresolved guilt, unrestrained anger, and misdirected loyalty could be forgiven and restored under the lordship of Christ, and be brought into a life of fruitful service to God.
Is there a sin on your conscience that needs to be confessed today?
Is there a wound in your life that needs to be healed today?