Summary: Jesus is betrayed or abandoned by his closest friends

Ever had a long day - a day that refused to end?

Review the longest 24 hour period the earth ever witnessed - a story witnessed only by a handful of people at the time, but has come to be the most well known story of all time. It is told in more languages to more people than any other story. Tonight, we will let John the evangelist tell the story.

Much of John's gospel takes place in a 24 hour period of time. It began at a meal - a meal where Jesus had dressed like a slave, then washed the feet of His disciples, an act no Rabbi would have ever done.

Then Rabbi Jesus declares the troubling truth, the party's over, Betrayal and rejection are at hand

Read John 13:21-30

John 13:21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me."

22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means."

25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?"

26 Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

"What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, 28 but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

And it was night - in more ways than one.

Jesus and His disciples didn't change their schedule - their habit was to close the evening with prayer time in the garden, that's how Judas knew where He would be - so Jesus kept the appointment.

Let's go with Jesus - to the garden

Show the clip Betrayal and Arrest

5 ½ minutes

To cut off right ear - Peter was either left handed or coming from behind

Peter tried to stay faithful - to stay by Jesus' side. Jesus had been so specific at the meal. Before the rooster crows you will deny you ever knew me.

The events of the early morning - the trial behind closed doors with the Jewish leaders, the humiliation and abuse - the complete abandonment by all of the 12 - these events were now brought before the world. And the story goes from bad to worse. The following clip condenses about 9 hours into just a few minutes. It shows us the events that have turned this day into Good Friday

Show crucifixion clip 15 minutes

Jesus went from a triumphant entry to the city of God - Jerusalem, to washing the feet of the very men who would quickly abandon and even betray him. His trial, his beating, his gruesome death on a cross. It is a story that defies understanding. The Bible tells us that Jesus was Crucified between two thieves - are we thieves.

How are we thieves? Perhaps we don't rob banks, maybe we don't even steal so much as a penny from someone else. But are we any less thieves.

Have you stolen praise due someone else? From God?

Have you stolen time from your family, your wife, your children or parents, from God?

Have you stolen your talents, using them for selfish reasons rather than how God intended?

Have you stolen joy - tearing down the excitement of others in the name of being reasonable or practical?

I am a thief. You are a thief. Between us hangs a savior. Not all thieves recognize this. Some turn and curse, others beg to be remembered.

Which one are you?

This cross - a scandal then, a scandal still - for anyone who really understands it. The Lord who gave His life up on a cross commanded us to take up our cross daily.

Arthur Blessitt has literally taken up his cross. He is committed to being the first person to take a cross around the world on foot. Taking his twelve-foot long, six-feet wide, forty-pound cross with him wherever he goes, Blessitt has taken what he calls "the longest journey in the world."

He sites a few predictable and a few surprising conclusions. He claims:

* The country most likely to be arrested in – the USA.

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