While Jesus was speaking to his friends in the garden a mob arrived, heavily tooled-up with knives and sticks. Behind them were the religious leaders. They wanted Jesus out of the way, but they wanted the mob to do the dirty work. To make sure they got the right man they had bought one of Jesus’ friends and arranged a secret signal. A kiss.
Whenever someone is arrested the tension is high. But Jesus had done nothing to deserve arrest. He was unarmed and had no history of violence. This arrest was totally unjustified. It was purely political – a set-up for the cameras.
While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “the man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.” He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.” And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.
Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.
Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him.
No sooner were the words out of his mouth when Judas, the one out of the Twelve, showed up, and with him a gang of ruffians, sent by the high priests, religion scholars, and leaders, brandishing swords and clubs. The betrayer had worked out a signal with them: “The one I kiss, that’s the one—seize him. Make sure he doesn’t get away.” He went straight to Jesus and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The others then grabbed him and roughed him up.
And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away under guard.” And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, “Master!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him.
To be falsely accused and then set up for mock arrest was a huge betrayal of Jesus, and it must have hurt him deeply. Fully innocent, Jesus carried our cross in the form of our sin, sickness, pain, worry, despair, loneliness, guilt, loss, poverty
and much more. He bore the cross with patience — can you be patient with your cross and look forward towards greater glory?
Why do you think the mob came for Jesus so heavily armed?
Why do you think Judas agreed to betray his friend? And why did they choose a kiss as the secret sign?
Can you remember a time at school or at work when someone was blamed for something they hadn’t done?
Have you ever been betrayed by a friend or family member? What did it feel like?
Why is betrayal so hurtful?