What deep sense of emotion we can develop when we slowly read and absorb the account Matthew gives us of the arrest of Jesus and the events which led up to it. It is a rather detailed description and if we then add in the accounts of the other Gospels, especially John’s, we get a detailed picture. It is the middle of the night when Judas arrives “and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders …” (26:47). There is one desperate attempt by one of the shocked disciples to use a sword; Jesus rebukes him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (verse 52).

To be in service to Jesus is different than it was to be in service to David: there can be no physical resistance for a follower of Christ. If it is God’s will that the arrest be prevented, Jesus says, God “will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels” – and so He will, but that will be when Jesus returns.

In all these awesome events during the night Jesus is in total control: the vital factor we see in this is the absolute awareness by Jesus of what his Father had caused the prophets to write, especially Isaiah and David in certain of his Psalms. Jesus asks his disciples, although not expecting an answer, “how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so? (verse 54). And so they were fulfilled!

But the scriptures will also be fulfilled when a whole host of angels will be sent at the time of his return! Note his declaration to the High Priest when brought before 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). The High Priest tore his robes, saying, “He has uttered blasphemy”.

Today the public say to us something like this, “You have uttered nonsense” – but they have no thought in their minds that “the scripture will be fulfilled”. Do you believe they will? If you say ‘Yes’ then you will prove that you mean it by how you live your life.