76 – Jesus Arrested
Where: Garden of Gethsemane, Mount of Olives, Judea
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And thus about 9 pm on Thursday, Judas arrived in Gethsemane guiding an armed force. The majority of the force consisted of the temple guard, sent by the Sanhedrin, a small detachment of Roman soldiers, from the cohort stationed at Fortress Antonia [as observers and back up], and a few representatives of the Pharisees [only as observers] along with some slaves to carry torches.
Judas came directly up to Jesus saying, ‘greetings teacher’, and kissed his cheek, as was appropriate when greeting a friend. But Jesus said softly to Judas, ‘You hand me over with a kiss?’
Then Jesus turned to the force and said, ‘Who are you looking for?’ The leader responded that they sought Jesus of Nazareth.
“YHWH (I AM)!” responded Jesus. At the name of God, as given to Moses, the religious people stepped back in the face of such a bold statement.
But when the Romans, bewildered by the response of the Jews, asked again for Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus simply said, ‘I am he’.
By now the disciples were beginning to grasp what was happening. Some pulled knives and prepared to defend both Jesus and themselves. The force also began to prepare for a fight. Simon the Zealot slashed out, cutting off the ear of a torch-bearing servant nearby [it turned out that his name was Malchus who was one of the slaves of Caiphas].
‘That is enough! Put away the weapon’, Jesus said calmly to young Simon. Then Jesus reached up, grasped the sliced ear, repositioned it, and applied pressure to stop the bleeding. ‘I could bring down thousands of angels to fight for me if I chose to. But it was important that you used your weapon.’
As the armed men crowded in with drawn swords and raised batons many of the disciples fled, including the boy Mark, who had nearly been captured but had squirmed out of his cloak and run off in just his tunic.
Jesus said to the leader of the force, ‘you came for me as though I were a rebel, when you could have “arrested” me any time at the temple. Night is your time. I will not resist if you let my men go’. Since the leader only had instructions to arrest Jesus and did not want a bloody battle, he quickly agreed. The few remaining disciples quickly moved off when the guards ordered them to leave, and they realized that Jesus did not want them to fight. The guards tied Jesus’ hands. Jesus was surrounded by guards and “escorted” back to the city.
No questions have been asked yet.