The “Illegal” Arrest of Jesus

Now, in order to bring Jesus to trial, he had to be arrested. In order for there to be an arrest, two things had to take place. The cooperation of Judas, and the location of Jesus. They (the Jewish and Roman soldiers) had tried to grab him on other occasions, but he always alluded their arrest. So Judas (one of Jesus’ disciples) agreed, for 30 pounds of silver, to betray Christ. It was the cost of a common slave, a very cheap price. But for 30 pieces of silver, Judas really sold himself, not Christ.

On the night of his arrest, while Jesus was in the garden (John 18:1), he prayed to the father (God) that he would not have to go through this suffering and crucifixion, but he wanted to do the Father’s Will above all (Matthew 26:39-44). Once he was assured that it was the Father’s Will that he go to the cross, he cooperated willingly with the arrest, even with the abuse that his body would suffer. Up until now, he has not gone under the blows of Romans or Jews.

First it was night. The crowds at Passover would not be in the street. Jesus would be easy to detect if he ran. They expected a running, they expected to capture him in some way, that’s why the band of men came with lanterns, torches, and weapons (John 18:3). As to the amount of soldiers a “band” consisted of, it was anywhere from 600 to 1000 men. In verse 12, the word for captain in the Greek is chiliarchos, which means “leader of a thousand soldiers.” So there could have been 1,000 soldiers that came for Jesus that night. They came prepared for a fight.


But, Jesus did not run. Instead, Jesus went forth to meet them (verse 4)! They didn’t expect that. They didn’t think it was him. Verse 8 shows his compassion. Here he is giving himself up and he’s filled with compassion towards his disciples by asking the Romans to let them go their way. You and I would be mainly concerned with our own flesh. At this point, Peter cuts off the right ear of a servant of the high priest (verse 10), and Jesus has compassion on this victim as well, because Jesus touched his ear and healed him (Luke 22:51).

The Romans decided that this emotional scene had gone far enough. They came forward, arrested and bound Jesus (John 18:12).

“The proper manner, taught by the academy of soldiering in Rome, was to take the accused by the right wrist, twist his arm behind him so that his knuckles touched between his shoulder blades, and at the same time, jam the heel of the boot down on the right instep. And tied the other arm with a loose noose around the neck” (Jim Bishop, The Day Christ Died).

At this point, the disciples deserted Jesus (Mark 14:50). So he is all alone. From this point on he was not free. He was the property of the State, and the State planned to devour him. He was not the Son of God to them, he was a rebel rouser. He was a fake. And this is the first experience Jesus had with pain. From now on, all the blows Jesus took, his hands were behind his back. The trial starts at John 18:13. (Charles Swindoll)

To Be Continued. . .



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