SEALED WITH A KISS
Prince of Peace, make me whole today.
Read Matthew 26:47–56
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.
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.
52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
55 In 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. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn the midst of betrayal and unlawful arrest, Jesus is a man of peace. Are you a person of peace?
The quietness of the garden is now filled with the sound of a mob arriving. Judas appears amongst his friends, but he is only looking for one and when he finds him he says “Greetings, Rabbi” (Judas never calls Jesus “Lord”) and kisses him. The soldiers move in to arrest Jesus.
Even now we realize that Jesus is giving himself over to this arrest willingly. Think of the many points where Jesus could have walked away, even from the garden a few moments earlier. But he is in control, and he knows he is fulfilling a plan agreed within the Godhead.
When one of his followers (John tells us it was Peter; John 18:10) tries to take things into his own hands by responding violently, he is rebuked by Jesus. Although these soldiers are acting on the command of those who have no regard for God and are bent on doing evil, the battle that Jesus is fighting is not “against flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12). Oh that more in our world would take Jesus’ words to heart; violence simply prompts more violence (52).
As Jesus goes peacefully with those who mean him harm, the disciples flee. This is the point where they desert him. Fear, bewilderment and terror fill their hearts.
Is there someone who has betrayed you? Have you forgiven that person? Take the first step toward restoration today.
Lord, “make me a channel of Your peace. Where there is hatred let me bring Your love” (attributed to Francis of Assisi).
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