[Lesson 81: The Last Supper] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 83: Jesus Is Condemned]

Lesson 82

Jesus Is Arrested

John 14; Matthew 26

Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.

In the last program, we learned about the last supper which Jesus ate with His disciples before He was to die. We heard the Lord Jesus inform His twelve disciples that one of them would betray Him and deliver Him over to His enemies. We also saw Jesus pass the bread and the cup to His disciples, telling them that the bread which He broke illustrated His body which He was about to give as a sacrifice, and the cup containing the juice of grapes illustrated the blood which He was going to shed. Thus, Jesus again showed His disciples that His reason for coming into the world was to pour out His blood as a sacrifice that removes sin and imparts eternal life.

Today we plan to continue in the Gospel and hear more profound and wonderful words spoken by the Lord Jesus on the night in which the temple guards came to arrest Him. We are reading in the Gospel of John, chapter fourteen. Jesus, knowing that the time for Him to lay down His life had arrived, spoke to His disciples, saying,

(John 14) 1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going."

5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" 6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to [God] the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." 8Philip said, "Lord, show us [God] the Father and that will be enough for us." 9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him… 23If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 25"All this I have spoken while still with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Thus the Lord Jesus comforted the hearts of His disciples and prepared them for what was about to take place. Did you hear what Jesus announced to them concerning the Counselor {Lit. Helper}? It is vital that you understand this, because some people today distort the words of Jesus and try to make men believe that He was announcing the coming of another prophet. But what Jesus said about the Counselor could not refer to a prophet, nor to any man, because Jesus said that this Counselor was an invisible spirit who would come to live inside of Jesus' true disciples.

Who is this Counselor? The Lord Jesus tells us plainly who the Counselor is. Listen again to what Jesus said,

"I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-the Spirit of truth.…He… will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.…the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:16-18,26)

Again, we ask the question: Who is the Counselor that Jesus promised to His disciples? He is the Holy Spirit, who comes from God and was in Jesus. He is the Spirit of God and Jesus. He is the Holy Spirit, whom God would place in the hearts of all who believe in Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Jesus promised His disciples that after He died, rose again, and returned to heaven, that He would send His Holy Spirit into their hearts, so that He might regenerate them, cleanse them, strengthen them, and "guide them into all truth." (John 16:13; see also Titus 3:4-7) A few lessons from now, God willing, we will see how this is exactly what happened in Jerusalem, when (ten days after Jesus ascended to heaven) the Holy Spirit came down and began to live in the hearts of all of Jesus' disciples, just as He promised.

In a later program we will learn more about this Counselor, the Holy Spirit, who can transform a self-centered sinner into a person who loves God and desires to please Him. But now let us return to the Gospel to see what happened on that extraordinary night after Jesus ate the last supper with His disciples.

The Scripture says:

(Matt. 26) 30When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for [the prophets have] written: "'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 32But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." 33Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will." 34"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the cock crows, you will disown me three times." 35But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.

36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." 39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

Let us pause here briefly. What is the cup of suffering which Jesus dreaded to drink? Why was Jesus overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death? Jesus was in unimaginable distress because He knew that the time for Him to bear the punishment of sin for the children of Adam was at hand! The hour of which all God's prophets had prophesied had arrived! Men would torture the Redeemer and nail Him to a cross, but the most horrible thing for Jesus was knowing that God His Father in heaven, who loved Him, and whom He loved, was going to heap on Him the punishment of the sins of the whole world! That is the reason Jesus prayed saying: "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup (of unfathomable suffering) and be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will!"

Next, the Scripture says:

(Matt. 26) 40Then [Jesus] returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." 42He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." 43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

47While he was still speaking, Judas [Iscariot], one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him." 49Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him. 50Jesus replied, "Friend, do what you came for." Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

51With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. [But Jesus touched the man's ear and healed him, and said to the one who wanted to protect him, (Luke 22:50)] 52"Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?"

(Matt. 26) 55At that time Jesus said 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. 56But this has taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. 57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled.

Thus we have seen today how Jesus delivered Himself into the hands of those who wanted to kill Him. Perhaps someone would ask: "Why did Jesus allow Himself to fall into the hands of his enemies? He who calmed the storm, drove out demons, healed the blind, and raised the dead-why didn't He save Himself from His enemies?" Jesus Himself told us why. When one of His disciples attempted to protect Him, Jesus told him,

"Put your sword back in its place.…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?" (Matt. 26:52-54)

Why did Jesus allow Himself to be arrested by His enemies? He did so to fulfil the Scriptures of the Prophets who prophesied repeatedly that the Messiah must suffer and shed His blood as a sacrifice which takes away sin. The Righteous Redeemer had to die for the unrighteous in order to bring us to God. Jesus the Messiah came into the world to fulfil the words of the prophets. He came to fulfil the meaning of sacrificial sheep. He came to save you and me from our sins. That is why He allowed Himself to be arrested by His enemies. Jesus gave up His life for you and for me. Praise be to God for sending us such a Savior!

Friends, this is where we must stop today. We hope you will join us again in the next study to see how the chief priests and the people of Jerusalem and their leaders collaborated in judging Jesus and condemning Him, thus fulfilling the words of the prophets. . . .

God bless you as you remember what Jesus told His disciples, when He said,

"I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord!" (John 10:17,18)