Matthew – God’s Purposes
As children play baseball in the yard, one child hits a mighty, strong, beautiful high one, right into the neighbor’s car window. It shatters. All, but the one holding the bat, flee the scene. They don’t know where they are running but fear drives them to seek a hiding place. They run fast, hoping no one recognizes them as being at the scene of the crime. When asked later about the incident, they will respond, “I dunno.” “What window?”. “What ball?” Or they will just be silent.
We can probably all remember a time like this in our childhood. Maybe it wasn’t baseball but something else where we were at the wrong place and the wrong time. Fear drove us to run for it. We wanted to avoid trouble at all costs. We wanted to avoid the inquisitions following trouble for sure. Who wants trouble and punishment in their life. No one.
Is this how the disciples felt that night when Judas came to point out Jesus with the kiss of death in the garden? When Jesus reprimanded Peter for wielding his sword to fight the soldiers off from arresting his Best Friend, did they run knowing they would be defenseless? We don’t know what, if anything but fear, was going on in their minds. But we can imagine. They were human. We are human. We can relate.
Matthew 26, NLT
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
44 So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”
Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested
47 And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. 48 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” 49 So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.
50 Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.”
Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 51 But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.
52 “Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. 53 Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? 54 But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?”
55 Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. 56 But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled.
We must not think that it was the fear of death that made our Lord so agonize in the garden. He did not fear death, but faced it with courage and peace. He was about to “drink the cup” that His Father had prepared for Him, and this meant bearing on His body the sins of the world (John 18:11; 1 Peter 2:24).
Many godly people have been arrested, beaten, and slain because of their faith. But only Jesus experienced being made sin and a curse for mankind (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13). The Father has never forsaken any of His own, yet He forsook His Son (Matt. 27:46). This was the cup that Jesus willingly drank for us.
Jesus was not wrestling with God’s will or resisting God’s will. He was yielding Himself to God’s will. As perfect Man, He felt the awful burden of sin, and His holy soul was repelled by it. Yet as the Son of God, He knew that this was His mission in the world. The mystery of His humanity and deity is seen vividly in this scene.
Jesus…left alone…to bear our sin. Stop and think about it.
How seriously grateful are we to Jesus, our Savior? Enough for Him to be our Lord?
Of course, they had no right to arrest Jesus. He had broken no laws. He had committed no crimes. They were treating Him like a common thief—and yet it was Judas who was the thief! The disciples who bravely promised to deliver Him deserted Him. “Behold, the hour comes, yes, is now come, that you shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32).
Later, even the Father would leave Him! Each of us must decide: Will it be the sword or the cup? Will I resist God’s will or submit to God’s will? The cup usually involves suffering, but that suffering ultimately leads to glory. We need not fear the cup, for it has been prepared by the Father especially for us. He knows how much we can take, and He mixes the contents in wisdom and love.
Do you hear the chorus?…”Only trust Him, Only trust Him, Only trust Him now…He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.”
Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in my life. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for your Holy Spirit that guides, comforts, leads, corrects, and transforms me daily. Thank you, Heavenly Father for sending your Son so that our relationship with You is restored. May Your will be done in my life.
In Jesus Name, Amen