STORY OF JESUS 17
The Betrayal and Arrest
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No traces of His recent suffering were to be seen as the Saviour stepped
forth to meet His betrayer. Standing in advance of His disciples, He asked the
"Whom seek ye?"
They answered, "Jesus of Nazareth."
Jesus replied, "I am He." John 18:4, 5.
As Jesus spoke these words, the angel who had recently ministered to Him
moved between Him and the mob. A divine light illuminated the Saviour's face,
and a dovelike form overshadowed Him.
In the presence of this divine glory the murderous throng could not stand
for a moment. They staggered back. The priests, elders, and soldiers dropped as
dead men to the ground.
The angel withdrew, and the light faded away. Jesus could have escaped,
but He remained, calm and self-possessed. His disciples were too much amazed to
utter a word.
The Roman soldiers soon started to their feet. With the priests and
Judas, they gathered about Christ. They seemed ashamed of their weakness, and
fearful that He would escape. Again the question was asked by the Redeemer:
"Whom seek ye?"
Again they answered, "Jesus of Nazareth." The Saviour then
said, "I have told you that I am He: if therefore ye seek Me, let these
[pointing to His disciples] go their way." John 18:7,8.
In this hour of trial, Christ's thoughts were for His beloved disciples.
He did not wish to have them suffer, even though He must go to prison and to
Judas, the betrayer, did not forget the part he
was to act. He came to Jesus, and kissed Him.
Jesus said to him, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" Matthew
26:50. His voice trembled as He added, "Betrayest thou the Son of man with
a kiss?" Luke 22:48.
These gentle words should have touched the heart of Judas; but all
tenderness and honor seemed to have left him. Judas had yielded himself to the
control of Satan. He stood boldly before the Lord, and was not ashamed to give
Him up to the cruel mob.
Christ did not refuse the traitor's kiss. In this He gave us an example
of forbearance, love, and pity. If we are His disciples, we must treat our
enemies as He treated Judas.
The murderous throng became bold as they saw Judas touch the form which
had so recently been glorified before their eyes. They now laid hold of the
Saviour, and bound those hands that had ever been employed in doing good.
The disciples did not think that Christ would allow Himself to be taken.
They knew that the power which could strike down the mob as dead men could keep
them helpless till Christ and His companions should escape.
They were disappointed and indignant as they saw the cords brought
forward to bind the hands of Him whom they loved. Peter, in his anger, rashly
drew his sword, and tried to defend his Master. But he only cut off an ear of
the high priest's servant.
When Jesus saw what was done, He released His hands, though held firmly
by the Roman soldiers, and saying, "Suffer ye thus far" (Luke 22:51),
He touched the wounded ear, and it was instantly made whole.
He then said to Peter, "Put up again thy sword into his place: for
all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I
cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve
legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it
must be?" Matthew 26:52-54. "The cup which My Father hath given Me,
shall I not drink it?" John 18:11.
Christ then turned to the chief priests and the captains of the temple,
who were with the mob, and said, "Are ye come out as against a thief, with
swords and with staves to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching,
and ye took Me not: but the Scriptures must be fulfilled." Mark 14:48, 49.
The disciples were offended when they saw that the Saviour made no effort
to deliver Himself from His enemies. They blamed Him for not doing so. They
could not understand His submission to the mob, and, terror-stricken, they
forsook Him and fled.
Christ had foretold this desertion. "Behold," He had said,
"the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man
to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father
is with Me." John 16:32.