Summary: I would like to examine briefly the arrest behind the death of Jesus.
Last year I began what I plan to be a seven-year series of messages. It is based on the book by James Montgomery Boice and Philip Graham Ryken that is titled, Jesus on Trial. My goal is to teach on seven important aspects of the trial of Jesus Christ: the diabolical conspiracy to kill him (which I covered last year); his night-time arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane; the short resistance that the disciples mounted in his defense; the witnesses who accused him of blasphemy during his ecclesiastical trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin; the verdict reached in his civil trial by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate; the sentence of death that his enemies demanded; and his execution by crucifixion.
Let us read John 18:1-9:
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” (John 18:1-9)
“Jesus Arrested!” That could have been the headline of The Jerusalem Post on the morning of 14 Nissan, 30 AD. The report would have indicated that Jesus had been arrested the evening before in the Garden of Gethsemane. A large band of soldiers had managed to arrest Jesus without too much commotion.
If you had been privy to what was going on behind the scenes, you would have been aware that it all began with a conspiracy. The religious leaders and the political leaders had conspired together to get rid of Jesus. But they were having great difficulty doing so because of Jesus’ immense popularity with the people. However, a stunning development took place when one of Jesus’ own inner circle of friends stepped forward to betray him to the authorities. Judas Iscariot volunteered to betray Jesus for some unknown reason.
Tonight, I would like to examine briefly the arrest behind the death of Jesus Christ.
I. The Confrontation in Gethsemane (18:1-3)
First, let’s look at the confrontation in Gethsemane.
Jesus and his disciples had just finished the last supper in the upper room in Jerusalem. Earlier in the evening Judas had left the meeting to go and talk to the authorities.