John 18:1-11- The Betrayal
Explanation- Now comes time for the betrayal to take place. The pieces are in place; anger is stirred, greed has taken root, and murderous intent is present. What is interesting here is that Jesus could have gone anywhere with His disciples, but He chooses a place that Judas would have been familiar with so that His capture was sure. Christ was committed to what was about to happen; He knew the plan very well, for it was His plan.
Judas enters with his band of tyrants. This man who sat at Christ’s feet was now playing a key role in binding the Master’s hands. Christ knows they are here for Him and He asks them plainly, ‘Whom do you seek?’ Upon their admission that they were there seeking the one called Jesus of Nazareth, Christ says that ‘I am He’. At this, those who were His captors fell back at the word of His power. In this masterful display of power it is clearly seen that all of these events are contingent upon Christ’s willingness to comply with His mission. Matthew accounts that Christ could have called down 12 legions of angels at that very moment, but because Scripture must be fulfilled Christ restrains His power and authority and submissively turns Himself over. We must not think that because Christ is in a position that makes Him seemingly compromised that He is not still in control. He restrains from calling down the angels and He also restrains Peter from violently defending Him. He knows precisely what He is doing and will not let anything get in the way of His purpose.
Application- This account speaks of the earthly betrayal of the Lord Jesus, yet there is a heavenly side to this betrayal as well. As spectators, we see the grim, brutal, and wicked reality of the betrayal, and while the evil of this should not be overlooked, there is a glorious happening in the heavens that is taking place. The stage has been set and the characters are in place, but we must always remember that there is a script that was being followed and a perfect director overseeing the entire production. Even at the most grim points of this narrative, the glorious light of redemption shines through.