The time in the Garden ended when He went to the disciples a third time and found them sleep. He alarmed them to their stupor state and begged them to pray. As He spoke He heard a crowd coming and saw the fiery torches bobbing in the dark night. His betrayer had come. A crowd sent by the chief priest and elders were with him. I am sure that they must have looked like a gang going out to fight their enemy. They came with swords and clubs, all on a murder mission.
Judas, one of Christ’s beloved twelve, came to hand Jesus over. The chief priests and elders had paid him for Jesus as if He was some estate to be sold. Judas had told them that the one he kissed was the man… arrest Him. Judas probably did what any of us would have done; trying to cover up the terrible guilt for what he knew he was doing, he walked right up to Jesus as if nothing was wrong, and with a lump in his throat said, “Greeting Rabbi!” and kissed Him.
Surely with the touch of Judas’ lips our Savior’s heart shattered. I wonder if a tear ran down His cheek, and if He then looked at Judas with love burning in His eyes and replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Even betrayal could not stop the love of Christ; not then, not now.
It was at that moment that the night of torment began. It was all making sense to the disciples now. All Jesus had told them in the last few days was now playing itself out. One of them, out of fear and helplessness wanted to help. He raised His sword and cut off the ear of the head priest’s servant. A battle of the gangs could have started right there, but instead Jesus stopped it all. He corrected His friend and healing the man’s ear.
Jesus didn’t call down the Father’s help because He was there to fulfill the Father’s will
Christ made it clear that He was the Son of God and gave us a glimpse of the power of heaven by saying, “Do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” Twelve legions could be close to 82,000 angels! Maybe as badly as Jesus wanted to call on His Father for such a favor, He didn’t. He did not because our eternity was on the line. He chose to let them take Him. He was there to fulfill His Father’s will as it had already been said in Scripture. He said, “But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
Repulsed by the crowd of temple captains, elders, and chief priest, he turned to them and said, “What, am I leading some kind of rebellion that you have to come to capture me with swords and clubs. Everyday I was with you in the temples and you never touched me, but you have come like this to fulfill scripture. This is your hour, the and power of darkness is here.”
In a lonely moment, the disciples ran, leaving Jesus alone once again. I pray I do not abandon the one I love in a moment of crisis.
“Prone to Wonder, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the one I love…” Help me, Oh God, to cling tighter to you than to money, sleep, popularity, or life.