Summary: The night He was arrested, Jesus could have called for twelve legions of angels to rescue Him from the mob's hands—but He didn’t.
In light of all the economic news about the debt ceiling and Wall Street’s wild ride, you might have missed the news of the death of a very important American recently. If you ever sung or danced to the song “Hokey Pokey,” you might be interested to know that Larry LaPrise, who wrote the Hokey Pokey, died recently at the age 83. The most traumatic thing for his family was when they tried to get his body in the coffin. They put his right leg in…and that’s when the trouble started.
Of course, that’s a joke. Mr. LaPrise was buried, but there was no report of problems. But there’s one line from that song worth noting. After you put all your body parts in and out and shake them all around you sang, “You do the Hokey Pokey, and that’s what it’s all about.” I saw a sign recently that asked the question: “What if the Hokey Pokey REALLY is what it’s all about?”
If “it” refers to life or your total existence, I can most definitely say the Hokey Pokey ISN’T what it’s all about. I’ll be glad to tell you what IT’S really all about. It’s all about the cross of Jesus. The most important event in all of human history is when Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins. Since this is a series on Parables and Miracles I want you to take a moment and think about “The Miracle that Never Happened.”
Earlier in the week I polled some of my Facebook friends asking, “Can you guess what the miracle is that never happened?” I got some interesting answers. One person posted, “The Cowboys going back to a Super Bowl!” Someone else posted, “Congress voting to limit themselves to only two terms of service.”
And several people pointed out that when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the Wilderness, He could have turned the stones into bread, or jumped down from the pinnacle of the temple and been caught by angels. Those are indeed miracles that could have happened, but didn’t.
But the miracle that never happened that has the greatest influence on us is when Jesus could have called for 12 Legions of angels to rescue Him from the hands of those who arrested Him, and He didn’t call to be rescued. That’s the miracle that never happened, thank God!
Matthew 26:47-51: “While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: ‘The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.’ Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Jesus replied, ‘Friend, do what you came for.’ Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.”
There are a couple of important details about this we learn from John and Luke. John 18:10 says, “Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)” Luke 22:51 says, “And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.”
Matthew 26:52-56: “‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?’ At that time Jesus said to the crowd, ‘Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.”
There were several people around Jesus that night when He was arrested. In addition to talking about the miracle that never happened I want to examine some of these people and learn an important lesson from each one.
1. JUDAS: You can kiss the door of heaven and never get in
As we think about Judas, I’m reminded of a summary of the New Testament written by a child. “Jesus is the star of The New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. [I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, “Close the door! Were you born in a barn?” It would be nice to say, “As a matter of fact, I was.”] During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans. Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.”