Read Matthew 26:46-56
1) Love despite how you are treated
While He was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd
The book of Matthew was written after all this took place and yet Matthew writes as if Judas is still one of them. This was their brother and friend. They hung out with Judas for three years doing practically everything together. Each Gospel writer writes about Judas in a way that shows they still love him even though what he did was beyond anything they could imagine.
All four gospels speak of Judas as one of the twelve (Mark 14:10, 20, 43; Luke 22:47; John 6:71)
Some estimate the crowd to be about a thousand people with Roman Soldiers, Temple guards, Priest, temple officials and the Sanhedrin. It was a mob that had been assembled with people banning together who normally would not agree with each other. They conspired together because of their hatred for Jesus and wanting to see Him removed.
The One I kiss is the man, seize Him
Jesus was being arrested in a private place at dark and so to make sure they did not arrest the wrong person they asked Judas to identify who He was with a sign. The Kiss was a Kiss of greeting, affection and reconciliation. The way it is written it would have been a prolonged kiss on the cheek which also meant a deeper level of affection for the one you were kissing. The affection that was shown by Judas was like that shown in the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 by the Father. Judas may not have meant it that way but he betrayed Jesus with a sign of love and friendship.
To be betrayed by someone so close, that had spent almost every waking hour with Jesus for three years, made this betrayal even more painful.
Only Judas knew the garden they went to and prayed and he led the mob right to Jesus. A close friend taking an angry mob to their secret place, and then kissing Jesus to show who He was. This was the ultimate slap in the face a person could do to someone they called friend. (King David was betrayed as well by his close friend. Psalm 41:9; 55:12-14)
Those closest to us know how to hurt us the most because intimate knowledge always leads to more pain.
Friend I know why you have come
Jesus is not shocked by anything we do and still acknowledges Judas as a friend, companion and comrade. Even though Judas is betraying Jesus, He still loves him, just like He still loves anyone now who rejects Him today. Judas will forever be known as a betrayer.
This is why every time we walk through something we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus understands what we are going through. He walked in our shoes, He experienced pain like we do and so His mercy toward us is greater than we will ever understand.
Judas betrayed Jesus because he was never really following Jesus but only trying to use Jesus for his own benefit.
Matthew 15:7-9 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
Then they came forward laid their hands on Jesus to arrest Him.
To lay hands always means to cause physical harm (Genesis 22:12; 2 Samuel 18:12). Jesus was immediately being physically harassed although they should have waited for the trial.
The Gospel of John gives a another glimpse into the story and what took place when they came to arrest Jesus.
John 18:4-6 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”[a] Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus[b] said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Jesus again shows His power by just speaking, and yet it does not detour them at all to rethink that He really was God in the flesh.
2) Trust when it does not make sense
And then one of the ones with Jesus drew his sword and cut off the ear of a slave of the High Priest
Peter may have been emboldened by the fact that Jesus spoke and they all fell or like a person who feels trapped he lashed out hoping to fight his way out of the situation. Peter wanted things to go his way and he did not trust what was happening in his life at this moment. He had different plans for Jesus than the plans Jesus was telling was going to happen. In reality, we all act like Peter when things are not going our way. We may not grab a sword but we do try to fight our way out of the situation. We try and handle things ourselves when we think God is not moving fast enough or the way we prefer.
We know from Luke 22:51 that Jesus touched the servant’s ear and healed it so once again He demonstrated His divinity.
With a voice that demanded obedience and a healing touch, Jesus kept the situation from escalating and innocent people from getting hurt.
Put your sword away, for all who take the sword will parish by the sword.
This is not a call to pacifism per se but a challenge to make sure that violence is not used improperly. Jesus is not addressing personal defense or fighting in the military here because this was in the framework of the legal system, even though it was totally corrupt. The main point Jesus is making is that violence or taking revenge into ones own hand, is wrong.
Jesus has a ton of angels at his disposal if He wants them and so He does not need Peter to fight for Him. The battles we face our spiritual and we have to use spiritual weapons against them.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds
The church has always made more of an impact with love than with combative behavior. In fact the crusades are always brought up when people talk about Christianity’s destructiveness. (1096 to 1270.) So again, this is not saying you cannot protect your family from and intruder but it does mean that if you continually try to handle things to violent behavior then you will face violent behavior that you will bring upon yourself.
See Romans 13:1-5 for subjection to authorities. Genesis 9:6
How then scriptures could be fulfilled if it happens this way.
Jesus knew that this was Gods will and so He was not concerned with how it was playing out.
3) Truth will be forsaken
Am I an armed bandit? I was sitting daily in the temple teaching and you did not arrest me
Jesus is getting them to think about what they are doing, but to no avail because they are bent on His destruction
When people are determined to do wrong, they will not allow the truth to get in their way
Then all the disciples left Him and fled.
Jesus goes to face His destiny alone just like He foretold the disciples He would. We all have at one time or another abandoned Jesus just like the disciples. We make bold promises about what we are going to do and yet our frailty shows and we break.
Read Matthew 26:57- 68
Requirements for a trial (Based on the Bible and Rabbinical Rules)
1) Judges could not show partiality or take a bribe (Deuteronomy 16:18-20)
2) A person who knowingly gave a false testimony would be given the same punishment the accused served. (Deuteronomy 19:16-19)
3) Rabbinical Law required the sentence of death could not be carried out for three days
4) On the day of the trial all accusations and evidence had to be read aloud in public with each witness acknowledging it to be true.
5) On the third day they would reconvene and asked if anyone changed their mind and if so it could be revote on and the death sentence not carried out.
6) On the way to the execution a herald would pronounce the name of the accused, the crime and those who testified against him. With a plea to anyone who could testify against them
7) No trial could begin or continue into the night.
They were seeking a false witness again Jesus so they could put Him to death. They did not find any.
They were actively looking to discredit Jesus even though their own rules said that if they did that the person should face the same consequences of the one punished.
As you try to do right things people will always try and say evil about you. Some people because of jealousy or because they just do not like you will do whatever they can to destroy you.
1 Peter 2:12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
See also Psalm 27:12; Proverbs 6:19)
We know from Mark 14:55 that those who did come forward to testify against Jesus did not agree. This should have been thrown out of court immediately yet they were so bent on trying to destroy Jesus they were not going to let truth get in the way.
But later, two came forward and said, “This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God and after three days rebuild it again.”
What they did was twist Jesus words. They knew that what Jesus said about the temple He was talking about His own body. That was not a new teaching for them but they had to make it look like Jesus was going to destroy a place of worship because Rome had strict punishments against desecrating any religions Holy place.
John 2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
People that want to destroy you, will take your words and twist them to make you look bad in front of others. If you have never had your words taken and used against you it is one of the most frustrating things you can deal with. Because it is similar to what you said, it is very difficult for them to see it the way you really said it.
Have you no answer for all of these accusations? But Jesus was silent.
Have you ever been around people that no matter what you say it is not going to make a difference? Too many times we think that by our words we can talk someone into seeing things our way. Jesus knew that no words would change how they were thinking so He did not bother even trying.
Proverbs 26:4-5 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
I charge you by the living God that you tell us whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God
By now the egotistical priest is angry because Jesus has handled Himself calmly and professionally unlike the Priest who were acting like children. The Priest who were always about controlling others realized they are not in control and Jesus was not acting like they had hoped. So they demanded an answer from Jesus.
It is as you say, and from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of Heaven
For all those who say Jesus never claimed to be God they have missed this verse. It is as you say even though you do not believe it. Jesus is letting them know He is the Messiah and the terminology He used is letting them know He will be the judge when He returns in His Glory.
At this the High Priest tore his garment, saying that Jesus has blasphemed.
Again if Jesus did not claim to be God then they would not had said He blasphemed. Of course, Jesus did not blaspheme because He is the son of God or God in the flesh. Secondly, He did not blaspheme, because to blaspheme the name of God you had to say the name of God according to Leviticus 24:15-16.
Leviticus 21:10 says that priest should not tear their robe so this was all for show by them to make it look like they were defending Gods honor.
What do you think? And they responded He is guilty and should die.
Nothing typifies our society like the mob mentality. Innocent till proven guilty is irrelevant it is whoever can stir up the crowd into a frenzy. Again, they were going against the normal trial because this was taking place at night and the crowd should not have voted on this matter.
4) Abuse toward Christianity will get worse
Then they spit in His face and struck him and slapped Him saying prophesy to us, who hit you?
If there is no truth then there is no right and wrong.
Our nation is beginning to see the results of a philosophy they have been teaching for the last 40 plus years. “What is right for you is right for you and what is right for me is right for me.” When there is no standard for right and wrong then it leads to consequences people do not think about. Even Nietzsche who was an atheist knew the consequences the world would face if there is no God.
It was a supreme insult to spit in another’s face (Numbers 12:14; Deuteronomy 25:9)
The anger toward Jesus had been building and they hated Him so much that they were waiting for an opportunity to let there anger out against Him. Luke 22:64 says they blindfolded Him which means He would not see the punches coming.
Every person who rejects Christ in essence spits in His face.To pass up the free gift of Salvation because you believe you can earn your own way to God is like spitting and slapping Jesus in the face because you do not need Him.
John 15:19-21 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.
Hatred for Christianity will grow not because Christians are bad people but just like the religious leaders, we will be a reminder that the system they are living under is wrong. When people believe that they are good enough or that they are god, then they do not want reminders that they are neither good enough or not a god.
2 Corinthians 2:15-16 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?