The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand. And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him. But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” And they all left him and fled.
There is a tendency, especially for those of us who have read this passage many times, to gloss over what is really happening to our Lord. A man who has daily shared meals with him and walked at his side for many years has turned his back on him and done something unspeakable. I wonder if his heart was breaking as one disciple betrayed him with a kiss and all the others fled from his side? It was such a sad prelude to the cross of his suffering.
Jesus responds to Judas' kiss with words that point to the dark cowardice of the religious leaders. Instead of engaging Jesus in an open forum these come in the darkness of night to seize him. It speaks so clearly of their dark motives and spineless actions. Yet, in contrast to their actions, we see in Christ an example of courage and brilliance. Betrayal could not quench his light. He remains for us an example of courage under extreme pressure.
Praise you Lord Jesus. Help me to embrace your light and your courage today.