The disciples woke suddenly to the sound of voices and the noise of a crowd. People never looked for them here. How did the multitude track them down?
But as their eyes focused and they saw the Master speaking to this group of men, they could see that something was wrong. These men were armed and did not look friendly. As they rushed to their Master's side they heard their words:
“Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth.”
“I am he.”
Then suddenly this crowd of angry men fell backwards. The disciples could feel a great power of authority from their Master and they looked at him, bewildered.
That is when Judas stepped forward and greeted the Master. Where had he been? Why was he with these men? Then they heard Jesus again:
"Do what you have come to do."
Then everything went crazy.
The men quickly grabbed Jesus. Panic struck. The disciples tried to protect him. A sword appeared. An ear went flying. Cries. Screams. Fists. What was this? What had happened?
Then the Master's voice.
“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?”
Don't you think for a moment that anyone trapped the Master. Don't think for an instant that any one group is responsible for what happened. Jesus knew. He knew and he submitted himself to it. It was the plan. The Father's plan. No one took his life. He voluntarily, out of obedience, laid it down.
Just as he said he would.
Jesus reached out and touched the injured man. He healed his enemy.
Out of his great love God was reaching out. He was reaching out to his enemy, to heal them of their sickness.
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.”
With that the disciples of Jesus fled into the night.
Panic. Fear. Dread. Anxiety. Confusion. Numbness.
Into the unwelcoming cover of darkness.
And as they looked back over their shoulder, they saw the Master being led away...