And Jesus said to them, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture Me?" (Mark 14:48)
Read Mark 14:43-50
They must have been the most unnecessary objects in the garden that night -- all those swords and clubs the crowd brought with them to arrest Jesus. As if He were going to resist arrest. As if He were an earthly king, someone climbing to the top over the broken bodies of other people.
Even Judas seems to have known better. After all, he chose the sign so that the crowd would know the right man to arrest. And he chose -- a kiss, a peaceful greeting. It was something that put him well within arms' length of Jesus, in a most vulnerable position -- if Jesus had chosen to fight.
But Judas knew better. Jesus would not harm him -- not even His own betrayer. And Judas was proved right. Jesus took just a moment to heal the ear of the high priest's servant, who had ended up on the wrong side of Peter's sword -- and then He submitted to arrest. But not without an acid comment on the weapons!
He said, "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."
Jesus was no robber, using force to steal glory and power that belonged to someone else. He was and is the real thing -- the Messiah, the King of Israel, the Son of David. And He would climb to the top, yes -- that top position would be on a cross, and the broken body would be His own. No clubs or swords were necessary.
Jesus came to lay down His life of His own free choice. He freely submitted to arrest, to torture, and even to death for all of us. And three days later, He rose from the dead -- not for Himself only, but to share that victory and eternal life with us. Why? Because He loves us.
THE PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, that You gave up Your life for me of Your own free will. Now I ask You willingly, take my life and live through me to the Father's glory. Amen.
What is the most unnecessary thing you own?
Why do you think the arrest squad brought weapons when Jesus was known to be nonviolent?
What does it mean to you, that we have a King whose throne is a cross?
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