10/1/17

JESUS ARRESTED

Mt.26:47-56

Kv.; 50 ““50Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.”

 

In 2007, 23 Korean missionaries went to Afghanistan to evangelize to Muslims through medical help in the hospital. But the Taliban kidnaped them on the way to Kabul and executed two men. One of them was a devoted evangelical pastor who led the other 22. When the Taliban wanted to kill all of them, he begged them to release the others instead of him, for he was responsible for all the others’ lives. They executed him, as well as one other leader, and then they eventually released the 21 others, 5 men and 16 women. The pastor seemed to be loser, but he received a great reward in heaven.

In today’s passage, Jesus was seized and arrested, and then all the disciples ran away from him. What does this passage tell us about Jesus? What does ‘Jesus arrested’ mean to us? Let’s think about the image of Jesus who was arrested after prayer.

Read verses 47-49. “47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

What does ’While he was still speaking’ mean? This phrase tells that while Jesus was talking to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane after his third prayer, Judas the betrayer came to him with large armed troops. In Gethsemane, Jesus prayed and submitted to the will of God. “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”(42) Jesus knew it was not possible for his Father to take away the cup of suffering from him unless he drank it, so he surrendered his will to his Father’s will; he decided to take the cup of suffering humbly. On the other hand, he believed that his Father would raise him from the dead. Then the betrayer appeared to him. What does this mean?

Jesus’ Gethsemane prayer tells us that our prayer must be in submission to the will of God so that his will be done in our daily life as Jesus teaches us from the Lord’s prayer, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”(6:10) Then, what is our will? Apparently, our will is simply our desire to do what we want. Everyone lives according to their own will and own desire. In fact, no one wants to lose his will and suffer hardship for others. Who wants to sacrifice themselves and lose their present life? How many people can sacrifice his own life or his own will for rescuing others, like the pastor? They are obviously very few in this world.

Jesus demonstrated in his Gethsemane prayer that when we surrender our will to the will of God, we seem to lose, but eventually we lose nothing. In fact, God blesses our life greatly.

Here, the will of God for us is different from Jesus. Jesus says in Jn.6:40, “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” The will of God for us is to look to Jesus and believe in him until the last day of Jesus’ return, and in that faith, he will grant us his heavenly kingdom.

How did Judas appear to Jesus? He came with a mob to catch Jesus. At once, he said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and then he kissed him. Normally, greeting a Rabbi with a kiss is an expression of love and respect. When the Ephesians had Paul’s gracious farewell and sent him away to Jerusalem, they wept, embraced him and kissed him. (Ac.20:37) But Judas’ kiss was the kiss of betrayal as a signal for catching his teacher.

How did Jesus respond to him? Read verses 50-51. “50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

Jesus called him ‘friend’ instead of betrayer. Jesus regarded him not as his enemy but as a friend to the end though he knew his betrayal. He told Judas, “Do what you came for.” He meant ‘Do your purpose quickly.’ So the mob seized Jesus and arrested him. There was no resistance from Jesus. He was ready to be arrested.

What does ‘Jesus was arrested’ mean? First, it means his total submission to the will of God. When he submitted his will to God, then he put his life into God’s hand; He believed that God’s will be would be done and that he would raise him up from the dead. This full trust in God led him to be free from any fear. Although Judas brought the large temple troops to arrest him, it was Jesus who didn’t resist at all but initiated the situation. When Judas came with large troops to arrest Jesus, it means he was fearful and exposed that he didn’t know Jesus personally though he was his disciple. On the other hand, we see anyone who put their faith in Jesus become free from fear.

What was the disciples’ attitude? They saw their teacher being arrested, and then Simon Peter (Jn.18:10) cut off the servant’s ear of the high priest with his sword to protect his master. He seemed to be a man of action and courage. But what happened? He and all other disciples deserted Jesus to save themselves. The fear of death controlled them and made them flee. Human decision and loyalty is powerless before fear, even before worry and lost feeling. We can change our decision and loyalty in any circumstance when we are attacked by such fearful feelings.

Most Christians are controlled by worry and fear like the disciples. Even we are scared for a little mouse though we try not to be. This kind of fear problem reveals our weakness and powerlessness under power of death. Apparently, fear is from unbelief like the disciples. Following Jesus sacrificially for three years meant nothing in result. Humanly speaking, we can look down on them and their lack of faith; however, in fact, we do the same things and are full of worry and unbelief.

What should we do? What does ‘Jesus was arrested’ mean to us?  Jesus was arrested for us. He was arrested in our place. There is no reason for the Son of God, Jesus, to be arrested by any sinful human. The only reason was for us and for the sin of the world.

When our ancestor Adam was in the Garden of Eden in the presence of God, he had freedom and peace with God. He was in full union with God as his beloved children and lived in the Garden forever. But Satan seized and arrested him with Eve by the knowledge of good and evil. After he ate the fruit, his eyes were open to see his nakedness. Then we became self-centered from God-centered life, and separated from God’s presence. From that time on, we were seized and arrested by me-centeredness under Satan’s control. This me-centeredness is our life-routine every day, but it is chronic sin before God. After we were separated from God, we all became flesh and lived for our physical lives and then we die. It was our destiny without any hope.(Heb.9:27) But God sent his beloved Son to be seized and arrested by sinners and made him the sacrificial lamb on the cross to rescue us from the hands of Satan. In this way, by being arrested and executed on the cross, Jesus freed us from Satan’s chains. Thank Jesus for his arrest.

Second, ‘Jesus arrested’ means obeying the Scriptures. Read verses 52-54. “52Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?

In these verses, we can see Jesus advised Simon Peter. “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Why? A sword is obviously a weapon for personal protection from enemies. A sword is also a symbol of worldly power. In history, men who drew their sword fought against each other and destroyed themselves by the sword. Jesus continued to teach him why he didn’t use a sword to protect himself, even though he had heavenly authority to control the army of angels. “53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” But he followed the Scriptures to be fulfilled.” 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Jesus did not to exercise worldly power, but obeyed the word of God. It was God’s will. In this way, he fully submitted to his Father and gave his life to fulfill the prophesy of God. Not only did he obey the word of God, but he also set example to his disciples and all other followers.

We can see Jesus’ absolute obedience to the word of God, even to the way of the cross. Jesus tells us to obey God’s word to the end through this passage. There was no compromise with any human reason in him. Apostle Paul’s gospel-centered life reveals to us how he followed what Jesus said in the gospel. His life goal was to receive a heavenly reward, the crown of righteousness by his life of faith and obedience. (2Ti.4:7-8) His life goal should be those who obey the word of Jesus.

Third, ‘Jesus arrested’ means the fulfillment of the prophecy. Read verses 55-56. 55In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Now, Jesus spoke to the crowd that his arrest was not from men’s will and purpose, but from the Scriptures of the prophets in God’s time. (Is.53, Zech.12-13) Even though he was arrested, Jesus declared his arrest as the fulfillment of God’s prophecy. This emphasis was apparently to reveal himself as the promised Messiah.

‘Jesus arrested’ is the way to the cross and the fulfillment of God’s word. He needed to obey and follow the word of God so that he could establish himself not as political messiah but as the promised Messiah for the world. For men, being arrested means failure and loss, and so the disciples fled from their teacher. They became betrayers in another way as Jesus predicted. ‘Jesus arrested’ exposed their unbelief and fake following.

No matter what, we don’t want to be arrested by anyone; even we don’t want to be looked down by anyone. But we can look up to our Lord Jesus, the Son of God who was arrested and executed by sinners so that he could become the sacrificial lamb for the sin of the world. He set an example for us how to be true believers and obey the word of God by being arrested. When we decide to take the word of God in our heart, like Jesus our Lord arrested, then God works mightily behind our lives to be done as our decision.

 

50Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.””

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