The Arrest

Today's Bible reading: Matthew 26:47-56

You can’t escape the impression that Jesus walks straight into the jaws of death.  He gives Himself up without a fight … without attempting to escape.  Though St. John especially stresses the calm control of Jesus throughout His passion, all the Gospels show Jesus in control of every stage of His suffering.  He is - in fact - the only one who retains sovereign calm - the calm of a king! - while His followers runaway, and His accusers desperately try to engineer His death.  He refuses to use any heavenly power - or any earthly sword - to save Himself.

Of course we feel anger at the treachery of Judas and his hypocritical kiss.  Yet this is not the central point of the arrest.  Everything is happening according to a divine plan – that’s why we find continual references to the fulfillment of Scripture.  What’s more, this plan is a plan for His disciples – and for us.  Jesus isn’t thinking of Himself here, but of His followers – including you and me.

St. John, in his Gospel, develops another theme in Jesus’ arrest.  Here Jesus begins His progress to the cross as a king might begin his royal procession to the throne.  Very clearly He reveals Himself to His captors as the great I AM of the Old Testament.

Prayer: Dear Savior, thank You for redeeming me, a sinner.  Grant me wisdom and courage in the hour of temptation.  Amen.