Same Love, Different Garden
I look at this account of Jesus’ life with thankfulness of how faithful our God is…
Sometimes I find myself reading Scripture and wondering about some stories and accounts – I think to myself, “What is important here? What I am I supposed to be seeing and understanding?” This is kind of how I feel when I look at the account of Judas’ betrayal and Jesus’ arrest. It seems easy to understand, right? Judas betrayed Jesus and in return, Jesus was arrested. The end. But as I begin to think about this night in lieu of what was happening earlier that day and the day before, I see more than just Judas betraying His teacher and His friend; I see more than Jesus being handed over to the authorities – I see God’s plan of love that He has had in place from the very beginning being acted out.
Here’s what I mean…from the very beginning of what we know as creation, in Genesis 1, God created a world in which He intended to have a relationship. God the Father, along with the Son and Holy Spirit, created a beautiful world and wonderful creatures (us!) to inhabit and take care of it. One of my favorite scenes of God with His children is found in Genesis 3:8 – “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…” Can you imagine? God so close and so personal they can hear his footsteps! I believe that God always wanted that kind of close relationship with His children, and I think the account of Judas’ betrayal and Jesus’ arrest shows us just how much God is willing to sacrifice of Himself to have that relationship with us again.
Leading up to this night found in Mark 14:43-52, Luke 22:47-53, Matthew 26:50-56 & John 18:2-18, Jesus, the beloved son of God, has spent three years with 12 men. It’s with these 12 men that He intended to change the world. Jesus shared meals, emotions, and friendship with these men. However, on this night, He shared grief with them. Judas, the disciple that you don’t hear much about, has departed from the group (mind you, with Jesus’ permission at dinner) to carry out his mission to betray Jesus and hand Him over to the chief priests and teachers of the law.
The time has come and God in His love, and Christ in His obedience, surrendered to the arrest. Judas’ betrayal began the revolution. The kiss that Judas laid upon Jesus’ cheek led to the arrest of Jesus, which then led to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus – our hope and our victory. I no longer look at this story wondering of its’ importance, but rather I look at this account of Jesus’ life with thankfulness of how faithful our God is and also with caution; the caution of knowing that if I don’t fully believe and trust Jesus in who He says He is and what He says He will do, I too could end up trading my Savior for things of the world, for mistruths.