Thursday, April 09, 2009

It Started With A Kiss

Through Holy Week we've been reflecting on the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. So far we've seen the problem of the chief priests, the solution when Satan entered Judas, and the fear of each of the disciples that it might be them.

Following the Last Supper / Lord's Supper, Jesus leads the eleven to the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane. Having prayed fervently, sweating drops of blood, he calls the sleeping disciples to come. 'While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him.' (Luke 22:47).

What great irony in this scene:

The kiss, a sign of friendship, devotion, greeting, subverted by Judas to be the sign of betrayal.

Judas, one of the twelve, a leader in Jesus' movement is the one leading the enemies of Jesus to arrest him.

The crowd come with swords and clubs to arrest an innocent, peaceful man.

One of the disciples lashes out with a sword, and hacks off an ear, only for Jesus to heal it instantly.

What do we make of these things? What grace we see in the Lord Jesus as 'even my close friend, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.' (Psalm 41:9) Wasn't this what he had been praying about in the garden, 'not my will, but yours, be done.' (Luke 22:42) And yet this was what he must endure to fulfill the Father's will, to save sinners like you and me.

Why did they come at this time, when he had been teaching every day in the Temple? Surely that would have been more convenient. Yet: 'This is your hour, and the power of darkness.' (Luke 22:53)

Great is the darkness. But Jesus has overcome!

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