‘And while he yet spoke, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people’ Matthew 26:47
“I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6)
In the last lesson, we learned about the last supper which Jesus ate with His disciples before He was to die. We heard the Lord Jesus inform His twelve disciples that one of them would betray Him and deliver Him over to His enemies. We also saw Jesus pass the bread and the cup to His disciples, telling them that the bread which He broke illustrated
which He was about to give as a sacrifice, and the cup containing the juice of grapes illustrated
which He was going to shed. Thus, Jesus again showed His disciples that His reason for coming into the world was to pour out His blood as a sacrifice that removes sin and imparts eternal life.
We plan to continue in the Gospel and hear more deep and wonderful words spoken by the Lord Jesus on the night in which the temple guards came to arrest Him.
that the time for Him to lay down His life had arrived, spoke to His disciples, saying, (John 14:1-21,24-27) “Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again,
and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. And where I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas said unto him, Lord, we know not where thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him,
the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord,
show us the Father,
and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been such a long time with you, and yet hast not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you,
I speak not of myself;
but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that
I am in the Father,
and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because
I go unto my Father.
And whatever ye shall ask in my name,
that will I do,
that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.
If ye love me,
keep my commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless;
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me. Because I live, ye shall also live. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them,
he it is that loveth me;
and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him … He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s, who sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being present with you. But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you,
my peace I give unto you;
not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid”.
Thus the Lord Jesus comforted the hearts of His disciples and prepared them for what was about to take place. Did you hear what Jesus announced to them concerning
It is vital that you understand this,
because some people today distort the words of Jesus and try to make men believe that He was announcing the coming of another prophet. But what Jesus said about the Counsellor could not refer to a prophet, nor to any man, because Jesus said that this Counsellor was an invisible spirit who would come to live inside of Jesus’ true disciples.
The Lord Jesus tells us plainly who the Counsellor is. Listen again to what Jesus said, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you … the Spirit of truth … he … shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless;
I will come to you … the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you.” (John 14:16-18,26)
Again, we ask the question: Who is the Counsellor that Jesus promised to His disciples?
He is the Holy Spirit,
who comes from God and was in Jesus. He is the Holy Spirit, whom God would place in the hearts of all who believe in Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Jesus promised His disciples that after He died, rose again, and returned to heaven, He would send His Holy Spirit into their hearts, so that He might give them
cleanse them, strengthen them, and “guide them into all truth.” (John 16:13; see also Titus 3:4-7) A few lessons from now, God willing, we will see how this is exactly what happened in Jerusalem, when, forty days after Jesus ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit came down and began to live in the hearts of all of Jesus’ disciples,
In a later lesson we will learn more about this Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, who can transform a self-centred sinner into a person who loves God and desires to please Him. But now let us return to the Gospel to see what happened on that extraordinary night after Jesus ate the last supper with His disciples.
The Scripture says: (Matthew 26:30-39) “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives. Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me
for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am raised up again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee that this night, before the cock crows, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee,
yet will I not deny thee.
Likewise also said all the disciples.
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death; tarry here, and
watch with me.
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless,
not as I will, but as thou wilt”.
Let us pause here briefly. What is the cup of suffering which Jesus dreaded to drink? Why was Jesus overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death? Jesus was in unimaginable distress because He knew that the time for Him to bear the punishment of sin for the children of Adam was at hand! The hour of which all God’s prophets had prophesied
Men would torture the Redeemer and nail Him to a cross, but the most horrible thing for Jesus was knowing that God, His Father in heaven, who loved Him, and whom He loved, was going to heap on Him
That is the reason Jesus prayed saying: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt”
Next, the Scripture says: (Matt. 26:40-51) “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep; and he saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
He went away again the second time, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it,
thy will be done.
And he came and found them asleep again; for their eyes were heavy.
And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep now, and take your rest; behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; behold,
he is at hand that doth betray me.
And while he yet spoke, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he;
hold him fast.
And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, why art thou come? Then came they,
and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
And, behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear” (Matthew 26:52-54) Jesus said, “Put up again thy sword into place; for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But
that thus it must be?” (Luke 22:52-53) “Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, who were come to him, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and clubs? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness” (Matt. 26:56,57). . . Then all the disciples forsook him,
And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled”.
Thus we have seen how Jesus delivered Himself into the hands of those who wanted to kill Him. Perhaps someone would ask:
He who calmed the storm, drove out demons, healed the blind, and raised the dead–
why didn’t He save Himself from His enemies?”
Jesus Himself told us why. When one of His disciples attempted to protect Him, Jesus told him,
“Put up again thy sword into place … Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how, then, shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matthew 26:52-54)
Why did Jesus allow Himself to be arrested by His enemies? He did so
to fulfil the Scriptures of the Prophets
who prophesied repeatedly that the Messiah must suffer and shed His blood as a sacrifice which takes away sin. The Righteous Redeemer had to die for the unrighteous
in order to bring us to God.
Jesus the Messiah came into the world to fulfil the words of the prophets. He came to fulfil the meaning of sacrificial sheep. He came to save you and me from our sins. That is why He allowed Himself to be arrested by His enemies.
Praise be to God for sending us such a Savior!
In the next lesson we will see how the chief priests and the people of Jerusalem and their leaders judged Jesus and condemned Him, thus fulfilling the words of the prophets.
God bless you as you remember what Jesus told His disciples, when He said,
“I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.” (John 10:17,18)
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