Today’s Bible Reading:
Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested
1After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. 2Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. 3The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.
4Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked.
5“Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied.
“i am he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) 6As Jesus said “i am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! 7Once more he asked them, “Who are you looking for?”
And again they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
8“I told you that i am he,” Jesus said. “And since I am the one you want, let these others go.” 9He did this to fulfill his own statement: “I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.”
10Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. 11But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?”
Jesus at the High Priest’s House
12So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13First they took him to Annas, since he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time. 14Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “It’s better that one man should die for the people.”
Peter’s First Denial
15Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus. 16Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in. 17The woman asked Peter, “You’re not one of that man’s disciples, are you?”
“No,” he said, “I am not.”
18Because it was cold, the household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves, and Peter stood with them, warming himself.
Verse of the Day:
Today’s reading takes us back into the book of John with his account of the arrest of Jesus in the garden.
John tells us that this was a place that Jesus went often with the disciples and that Judas knew they would likely be there as he brought along the armed soldiers.
There are two things that stood out to me as I read today:
#1 – The verse that tells us Jesus fully realized what was about to happen to him – and so he stepped forward to meet them. There was no hiding, no waiting, no avoiding the situation. Jesus boldly asked who they were looking for.
#2 – As Jesus answers that he is the one they are looking for, the soldiers all drew back and fell to the ground. Whoa. Why? I wonder if it hit them as to who this man really was? I wonder if the spirit of God was so strong in that moment that they were overcome? I wonder if they were afraid that he would fight them? I wonder…
God, I ask that You speak to each of us as we read the account of Your Son. I ask that You open our eyes and hearts to see things that we have never seen before in Your Word. Help us to relate the life of Jesus to our everyday lives and don’t ever let us forget this story – of what Your Son did for us. Don’t ever let us become immune to all that Easter holds. As we go through our busy days, bring these things we are reading into our memory and help us to be changed because of who You are. Amen.