Jesus ~ arrested? John 18.1-14
It had been a very long day, and John, like the others, was tired. The day had included Passover Dinner, and it had been quite a meal! Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, his talk with them that he would be leaving them to return to the Father, and the sudden departure of Judas from the room—which was really quite strange. And then, Jesus prayed for himself, he prayed for them and the believers yet to know him. There was the walk through the night out across the Kidron Valley, where Jesus moved away to pray alone in the garden at the base of the mount.
It is here we see through John’s eyes and hear his retelling: “Jesus had asked us to wait, watch and pray with him, and we could hear him in agonizing prayer to his Father. But in spite of that, as tired as we were, as late as it was, we all fell asleep. Our Lord had to wake us up three times! The third time, as he was standing near us, noise split the quiet of the night as the clanging of metal and harsh voices could be heard approaching.
Suddenly hundreds of soldiers and some high Jewish officials came through the olive trees! The men were armed, angry and aggressive, looking from left to right as they surrounded us, with their torches in the air. There was one man out front, who seemed to be leading them ... wait, Judas? I could not imagine what Judas was doing with these men. But Jesus took control of the scene; he stepped forward and asked who it was they wanted, knowing, of course, it was him.
Apparently, whatever Jesus had been agonizing about in prayer was over; there was only resolve in its place. When they said it was Jesus of Nazareth they wanted, my heart skipped a beat, as my thoughts raced round—‘Wait! This is happening so fast. How could they want to arrest Jesus? What has he done, but preach and heal and point us to God the Father? What should we do? What should I do—anything? Should I step out in front of Jesus and place myself between him and the soldiers?’ Just then, Peter drew his sword and charged at one of the men, and cut off his ear. The Lord picked it up and reattached it. Yes, just like that.
But one thing struck me—he was one, they were many, but it was Jesus who was in control. He separated himself from us and submitted to his arrest, because that had been the plan from the start.
Then, they shackled our Lord, and lead him off into the night.
It was dreadful, I felt sick, but as I look back, it was as it had been meant to be.