-The plot thickens in God’s salvation plan as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover arrives and Jews from all over the world ascended unto the holy city of Jerusalem. Jesus and His disciples were also there for the events that would change the course of history and bring the possibility for man to be reconciled to Almighty God.
-Spiritual forces were at work to bring about this redemption as Satan enters into Judas (a temptation that Judas responded to) and he agrees to betray Jesus for a price with the chief priests and officers. He now looks for an opportune time to betray the Lord and finds it at night after the Passover meal in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42).
-Jesus had predicted this betrayal at the Last Supper with His disciples in the upper room as they broke the bread of His body and drank together the wine of His blood, which represented the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31). This is to be done in remembrance of Him until He comes again by believers (1 Corinthians 11:23-29).
-In the garden, Jesus prays fervently knowing that His time is at hand to die for the sins of the world. He goes to the Father begging that this cup be removed from Him, yet not His will, but the Father’s will be done (Luke 22:42). *Application* What an example Jesus provides for us here. There will be things that the Lord asks us to do that are hard and in fact impossible in our own strength. We must resign our own personal will and relinquish control to His ultimate authority in our lives if we want to truly accomplish His Divine purpose. Jesus models this submission as He looks forward to the pain and suffering that it will take to cleanse the world of its sin. Accept the challenge of letting God have His way with you and see the miraculous happen.
-The arrest takes place with some violence, but Jesus tells His disciples to stop and have no more of this. His last miraculous healing before His substitutionary death takes place as He heals the ear of a slave of the high priest who had had his ear cut off. Jesus remarks to His captors are poignant and calculated as to their heart motives and intentions. He exposes them as the forces of darkness that they are.
-An impromptu and illegal council is convened at the house of the high priest, Caiaphas (Matthew 25:57-68, Mark 14:53-65). Peter is following the proceedings from a distance and ends up fulfilling the prophecy concerning him that he would deny the Christ three times before the rooster crowed. *Application* This is a stark reminder to us that we can find ourselves in situations very quickly that will tempt us to abrogate and capitulate our faith. Hold strong in those times. If you don’t, Peter is a good example of how the Lord can restore you when you are remorseful and repent of your disobedience (John 21:7-12). He went on to become one of the greatest Christians who defended Christ in the world (See his sermons and public professions in the beginning of the book of Acts).
-Jesus was mocked and beaten in this mock trial that went about in a chaotic and confusing manner (Matthew 26:59-60, Mark 14:55-59). They end up asking Him if He was the Christ to which Jesus replied that it would not be believed if He told them the truth that He was in fact the King of kings and Lord of lords. He also stated that they would not answer His questions (Politicians, i.e. people of authority, haven’t changed much have they? J). Then He claims His Messiahship with a quote from Psalm 110:1, “from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” He also answered that He was in fact the Son of God, which was all they needed to hear. The council needed no further testimony. Jesus in their minds was a blasphemer and heretic deserving of death.
Verse to Memorize: Luke 22:70