Matthew 26:47-56 (ESV)
47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.
Jesus was still speaking to his disciples in the garden when Judas showed up with both Roman soldiers and Jews from the Temple Guard. They came armed with swords and clubs. How strange this must have been for Jesus and his followers. As Jesus said, “Day after day I sat in the temple teaching,” yet now they came to him as if they were in pursuit of a dangerous criminal. Maybe they were afraid the crowds gathered for the festival would come to Jesus’ aid if others saw what was happening. Little did the soldiers and guards know, but even Jesus’ own disciples were about to abandon him. Nevertheless, Peter quickly attempted to rescue Jesus. Peter had been sleeping. When he heard the commotion and awoke, he realized this was no longer an ordinary Passover night. He immediately responded by cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus told Peter to stop, as Jesus didn’t need Peter’s help. If Jesus wanted to, he could have called for 72,000 angels to defend him (A Roman legion was 6,000 soldiers). After this, the disciples realized they would probably go down with Jesus, so they panicked and scattered. They fled just as Jesus told them they would, and he went toward the cross alone.
Having poured himself out in prayer to God, Jesus was now calm and totally in control. His followers, however, panicked out and ran away. But Jesus knew with certainty this path for his life and death was foreordained, and there was no getting out of it. This route was best. What about you? Do you follow Jesus’s example of total trust? After you pour yourself out in prayer to God, how do you face the trials and challenges he keeps before you? When we have prayed and done all we can, we are left with the will of God. We cannot change what God has determined to do with us. But we can change our attitude. We can go through our trials screaming, yelling, crying, pouting, and feeling sorry for ourselves, or like Jesus we can maintain our calm, composure, and confidence. Maybe we aren’t in control the way he was, but we are in him. And nothing can mess up his perfect plan for our lives. If you are a Christian, decide to put on the attitude of Christ in whatever difficulty he allows you to meet today.