We are in the Christ Stream reading from God’s Word Translation.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Oh Dear Jesus, and to think you went right into this and walked through this willingly. You did it all for love…for love of us, so that we could abide eternally with you.
As it looks to human eyes, ‘the boom’ is lowering on Jesus. He had been too effective in loving people, liberating them and exposing the false hearted religious leaders who neither loved people nor freed them up to worship God. It’s a spooky verse to see that Satan entered Judas. We might add that it was not without invitation. Judas was following Jesus for twisted reasons for most all of the three years. The leaders needed Judas’ help in locating Jesus and to do so when their diabolical plans to kill him would not go unnoticed. Judas facilitated that plan. He was a turncoat and with this deed he “crossed the Rubicon” and went past the point of no return. The Last Supper is prepared and eaten together with the disciples. This started The New Covenant. This time Jesus was to BE the Passover Lamb, led to slaughter. It had to be bewildering to be there and hear Jesus utter words that altered the religious landscape forever. My husband has actually been in that room. He said, y’can hardly take in what happened there….he said that he couldn’t talk for almost an hour after being in the Upper Room. It was a very grave experience for him. For what it’s worth, the parallel stories we go through today are also in Matt. 26, Mark 14, and John 13.
It’s obvious that Jesus knows who betrayed Him in this hour of darkness. He always knows who betrays Him today too. Interesting that as the time to run the gauntlet, a tussle of words breaks out as the disciples argue who is going to be greatest. The selfishness even now makes a startling contrast as to how these disciples became so self-sacrificing after Pentecost clear to the end of their lives. Their dedication took the gospel fully across Asia; from Portugal to where Shanghai is today by 100 A.D. so let’s not rail on them to hard about this “boys will be boys” moment immediately following the Passover meal. the next 24 hours would be too much for them to bear. The final words Jesus’ spoke shook them all to the core. Peter pledges his life to Jesus not knowing that he would be frightened to death and deny him. Later that night he would angrily swear that he never even knew Jesus. Think about this: Who knew Peter better? Jesus or Peter? And come to think of it, when we make all kinds of conjectures about how dedicated we are and unflinching we will be in trial, do we know what we are talking about? It’s an open debate, isn’t it? Whatever may come in following Jesus, He assures them once again that their needs would be met. They always have been haven’t they? Ours always will be too.
In the Garden of Gethsemane [Gett-seh-MAH-knee: means “olive press”] the famous prayer session that still inspires Believers today took place. Luke mentions one time the fatigue of the disciples, their sorrow, near depression, that dropped them into sleep. Matthew and Mark (who were disciples that were actually there) go further to belabor the point that they fell asleep repeatedly and Jesus came back to them over and again to wake them. When Jesus is arrested Judas approaches him with a kiss that betrays Him by exposing Him which gives Him away to the Chief Priests. Betrayed with a kiss? Peter was pledging his life to Him earlier and proves it when he lunges and cuts off the ear of the Chief Priest’s servant. This was a deed worthy of death, btw, that Peter did! As just mentioned it wasn’t long before Peter is screaming and swearing against even knowing Jesus. Pause and ponder this: who would you trust? Judas who kisses you or Peter who screams and swears against you? Who is loyal? Who can you trust? Which will stay with you to the end? You cannot tell. And you also cannot tell the same among whom you think are your friends today. Just keep that in mind. By now the trial has begun as they blindfolded and began beating Jesus with what we would call ‘nightsticks’. It was brutal. Before they were done with this viciousness, Jesus would not even be recognizable. It may do your heart well to grab a hymnal and go through the song, “Oh Sacred Head, Now Wounded.” Don’t even try to keep it together. Jesus didn’t. God didn’t either. It is too much to bear. That’s why he bore this for us. See Isaiah 53 too.