Jesus’ story of arrest and desertion is one of the most heart wrenching scenes in the Bible. Jesus has been praying all night, and has steeled Himself for what is coming. He is betrayed by a student He has poured three years into. (I wonder at what point He knew Judas would betray Him?) That alone is enough to kill a person. But then, Judas does it by embracing Him and kissing Him. To turn your back on someone with a false act of love must have been so painful. The crowd that comes for Him, people He has created and loves, come with swords and clubs. Jesus has never been violent towards others, except with the whip in the Temple. This shows how little they understood Him, and how they were reacting to rumors and stories, not the truth. One of His own, Peter, fights back with a sword, totally denying all that Jesus had been teaching Him. And to top it all off, when Jesus is arrested, all of His friend run. In this five minute scene, He is abandoned at least four different ways.
The heartbreak He must have felt, plus the weight of what was coming. I do not know how He did it. I have went through things that were no where near this, and caved. I’ve been broken by so much less. One friend abandoning me. A student totally turning their back on their faith and our relationship. A parent or a church member talking about me behind my back. A youth leader criticizing me without confronting me. These things are tiny, and partially my fault. Neither of those are true about Jesus. He was innocent, and completely abandoned.
Yet, He is faithful. No pointing to the sky and telling God that this is bogus and that He is done. No quitting, whining, or giving up. He moves forward, resigned to obey to the very end.
May I live a live of obedience that reflects some of this. May I be able to say, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” – Psalms 18:2