Jun. 8. Jesus Is Betrayed, Arrested and Forsaken

Mt. 26:47-56; Mk. 14:43-52; Lk. 22:47-53; Jn. 18:2-11

As He spoke to Peter, James and John the third time, Jesus could see Judas and a multitude of soldiers, high priests, captains of the temple and the elders coming to take Him. They were heavily armed with swords, clubs and lanterns.

Even though Jesus was well known, it was possible that in the confusion and darkness, the soldiers might seize the wrong person. In order to prevent this, Judas had given the signal, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One: seize Him.”

As Judas and the mob approached, Jesus went forward and asked, “Whom are you seeking?”

When they answered, “Jesus of Nazareth,” Jesus replied, “I am He.”

Upon hearing Jesus’ answer, the soldiers in their fear drew back and fell to the ground. The Son of God was awesome in the face of great peril and they were not expecting Him to be that brave.

Jesus repeated His question and after the soldiers answered, He again identified Himself and asked that His disciples be allowed to go their way.

Judas had been shown to be worthless even as a betrayer because Jesus had already identified Himself twice to the mob. As he approached to carry out his deal, Jesus exposed him as a betrayer by asking him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

After the betrayal kiss, the soldiers came and seized Jesus. At this time, Peter’s loyalty and courage did come into place as he drew his sword and cut off the right ear of Malchus, the servant of the high priest. This was not necessary. If God had wanted to, He could have sent an army of angels to rescue Jesus. He healed the servant’s ear and said to Peter, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”

The Jews had opportunities to take Jesus while He taught in the Temple. Instead, they waited until night and in secrecy and with a multitude of heavily armed people, they took Him like a robber. By this, they admitted that He was no ordinary man. In taking Him in this manner, they fulfilled Old Testament Scriptures.

At that point, the apostles all forsook Jesus and fled, just as He had said that they would be scattered that night.