Journal Luke 22:39-71 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “While (Jesus) was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas (one of the Twelve) was leading them.
He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?? And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.
Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the Temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as to a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But…. this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”” Luke 22:47-53
Observation: The time of prayer on Gethsemane is over. The Cross is in front of Jesus. Before that, betrayal, violence, accusations, and more. Movies cannot do this justice…
Analysis: Jesus is getting up from a bloody, gut-wrenching time of prayer.
He sees the Eleven nodding off and even sleeping. I cannot tell how Jesus is speaking to them: Angry? Disappointed (at least this, right?). Chiding? Corrective? Firm rebuke or kindly dismissive because “he knows their frame.” I don’t know for sure.
But Jesus is up from prayer. He is speaking. And, wouldn’t you know it, a crowd forms. Where did the crowd come from? Out of the crowd, the ‘disciple’ Judas appears and goes to greet Jesus with a kiss, ultimately a kiss of betrayal. Perhaps Jesus grabbed Judas by the shoulders, held him off, looked him in the eye and whispered a question, “You are going to betray me with a kiss, Judas?”
The other disciples, seeing the agitation of the crowd dangerously growing to violence, circled Jesus with their hands on their swords, “Jesus, say the word, we’ll defend you by attacking first.” One of them (probably Peter according to other Gospel stories), struck first and cut off the ear of a temple servant. Jesus stopped the disciples, picked up the ear of the howling, bleeding man, perhaps spit on it, and calmly put the ear back on and healed the guy. “Be still, be still, I will take care of you….” And He cleans up his disciples’ mess.
This is the Jesus I serve. He knows…
He knows where He is going, He has vision, purpose, and objective. It does not make Him less real of a man. He prays hard and with agony…so much agony His eyes bleed. But when His time of prayer is at an end, He is not resigned to His fate, He is unyielding with determined resolve.
Jesus is resolutely facing the Cross, where He will experience the full, mighty, and furious Wrath of God, the Judge…
Prayer: Father, sometimes only a song will do:
Lord, what moved Your heart to love lowly man
Before any star could herald Your praise?
And why did You come, abasing Yourself,
Veiled in a robe of frail human clay?
Why would You the pure give Your life for the vile,
The innocent seeking the guilty to be reconciled?
I can’t comprehend this fathomless love.
I’m gripped and amazed at what You have done.
Why would the adored become the despised
To bear all the furious wrath that was mine?
How awesome this mystery
Of Your fathomless love for me.
Why would You adopt and take as Your own
Those who had crushed Your one precious Son?
Why mercy and grace towards Your enemies?
Your name they have cursed and Your throne they have shunned.
Oh how could You choose to show kindness to these?
The ones who would mock You and hate You,
The ones just like me?