We read today of the arrest of Jesus, accomplished under cover of darkness. We believe the work of Judas Iscariot, who loved money more than Jesus, was expecting Jesus to miraculously escape from those sent to arrest him. This had happened in the past (Luke 4:29,30). Judas would keep the “thirty pieces of silver” he had received as down payment (Matthew 26:15) and Christ would escape.
As they arrest him, Peter (John 18:10) in a vain show of bravado “uses his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear” (Matthew 26:51). It has been suggested that Judas was standing next to him and Peter, in ‘wild endeavour’ was aiming for him! Note the reprimand of Jesus, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (verse 52).
This is a principle all true followers should bear in mind. Never again is there any indication Christ’s followers carried weapons. As Acts shows us, when they were arrested, if it was the Lord’s will, they were miraculously set free. On this occasion Jesus said, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” (verses 53,54).
We are in awe of what scriptures will soon be fulfilled” in our days. For us the most marvellous event to be fulfilled will be the resurrection when true followers become “like angels” (22:30). At that time, as we read today, the “high priest” (verses 62-65) will be there, for Jesus told him, “I tell you … you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven” (verse 64). What judgement awaits him! (Revelation 1:7). What will we see and experience? How close are we to this momentous event? The main question – and the answer we decide now – is whether we are among the sheep or the goats.
At his return, “he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you’” (25:33,34). Which side are you on? Or haven’t you chosen yet? If you don’t choose prepare to be found among the goats.