Summary: Jesus is betrayed by Judas, and so many more, but is in total peace
Jesus Permits ... The Disciples Scatter
When you go to the top part of the Niagara Falls there is a point which you can reach which is called “the point of no return”.
No boat, no matter how powerful the engine, is able to pull away from the surging of water heading over the falls.
Once that point is reached a crash at the bottom of the falls is inevitable.
Now imagine if you were on the deck of a boat that had reached the point-of-no-return at Niagara Falls. What would be happening? For some it would be the pure terror of the inevitable … “I know I am going to die”. There could be the individual drive to try and preserve yourself and fight for the safest place on the boat … if there is one. For some there would be that real sense of regret, “Why did I ever come on this tour?”. That’s how it would work … don’t you agree?
Now let’s have a look at Jesus as He also reaches the point of no return.
Read Matthew 26:47-56
Why is this the point of no return for Jesus?
Because, from this moment on, all the events that eventuate in the crucifixion of Jesus will unfold.
From this moment He is under constant guard and cannot escape.
From this moment His destiny is in the hands of the Pharisees, Pilate, the crowds and the soldiers.
Now let me ask you. When you see how Jesus responds to this situation what do you see?
Do you see ... ... any terror?
Just prior to His arrest Jesus has just been pouring out His heart to God in prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.
He was overwhelmed.
He knew it was going to be a difficult cup to swallow.
Luke’s Gospel tells us that the situation caused Jesus to sweat drops of blood, and that angels needed to attend to Him.
But from that prayer Jesus gets up and says to His Father, “Not My will but Your will be done”.
Such words are not said lightly. Jesus is about to face a once-in-an-eternity pouring out of God’s anger onto His Son. Jesus knows He is in for the most difficult part of His ministry. Yet Jesus faces that moment with a determined resolve.
Or what about the actual arrest itself. John’s Gospel gives us another witness account of the situation – and you get a sense it is a bit of a shambles.
Let me read it for you.
Read John 18:1-6
Judas – on the verge of earning 30 pieces of silver – for one kiss.
There are officials from the temple – just to make sure they get the right man.
There is a detachment of soldiers – just in case there is a battle.
They have torches lanterns and weapons. All Jesus and the 11 disciples have are two swords. Yet when Jesus says three words “I am He … they drew back and feel to the ground”. It is a shambles.
There is no terror from Jesus ... in fact He is probably the only one in the group who doesn’t feel scared in some way.
Well, if there is no terror, has Jesus turned to self-preservation?
When Judas comes to give Him the “kiss of death” Jesus doesn’t turn away He says, “Friend, do what you came for”.
When Peter is ready to fight for Jesus and successfully cuts of an ear ... Jesus rebukes Peter. Jesus is not happy about the actions of His bodyguard.
If anyone was able to wiggle his way out of any situation – it was Jesus. Do you think I cannot call on My Father and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
A legion is usually 1000. 12 legions is 12,000 angels.
We read about one angel in Scripture who is able to shut the mouths of a Den of lions and protect Daniel. Imagine the power of 12,000 angels.
Jesus could easily take the road of self-preservation, but he doesn’t.
What about regrets? As Jesus enters the point of no return does He have regrets?
Jesus has known for a long time that Judas was going to betray Him. Right back in John 6:70-71 we read:-
Jesus [said], “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil! (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, thought one of the Twelve, was late to betray Him).
That was a couple of years ago – even then Jesus knew what was going to happen. That being the case Jesus could have exposed Judas at anytime between then and now – but He doesn’t.
A prime opportunity occurred at the Lord’s Supper; which was only a few hours earlier. In the middle of the supper Jesus looks at each of His disciples and says, one of you is a betrayer. Each disciple answers “Surely not I, Lord”. When it came to Judas Jesus reveals the truth “Yes! Yes it is you” – but not in a way that makes the other disciples suspicious of what is happening. Jesus knew. He could have made Judas a target.