Betrayal and Denial

John 18  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
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John 18
Cedron (Kidron) was the brook that David passed over in his rejection. Many things in David's life history remind us of what the Lord, by doing the Father's will, passed through in His rejection.
The garden that Jesus entered with His disciples was well-known to His disciples, even to Judas. All met together there, time after time, and heard many things, not recorded, which Jesus taught.
Knowing the place well, Judas, now under the direct power of Satan, used this precious place of rest and fellowship to carry out his wicked work of betraying the Lord Jesus, his Master. As Judas and his band came with torches and weapons, Jesus went forth inquiring, "Whom seek ye?"
His Divine, Personal Glory
These circumstances bring out the personal glory of the divine Person of Jesus. He initiated the contact with His enemies. He gave His life for God's glory; they did not take it from Him. Even on the cross, it was in the full vigor of manhood that He cried, "It is finished."
I Am
Jesus asked, "Whom seek ye?" They answered, "Jesus of Nazareth." He said, "I am He." All, including Judas, went backward and fell to the ground. Jesus asked again, "Whom seek ye?" They answered, "Jesus of Nazareth." He answered, "I have told you that I am He: if therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way: that the saying might be fulfilled, which He spake, Of them which Thou gavest Me have I lost none."
Jesus, the great I Am, gave orders for the protection of His disciples. He guarded His sheep while He went on to complete His work of redemption.
It was Simon Peter who used the sword, cutting off the ear of Malchus, the high priest's servant. Then Jesus said to Peter, "Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?"
John, in his gospel, records very little of what took place at that time.
Then they bound Jesus and led Him away to Annas, father-in-law to Caiaphas the high priest. Peter and John followed Jesus. Being known of the high priest, John went into the palace while Peter stood without at the door. John spoke to the maid who kept the door and brought in Peter.
Peter Tested
The maid who kept the door said to Peter, Are you not also one of this man's disciples? Peter denied it. Then Peter stood by the fire where the servants and officers were, and warmed himself. One of them said, Are you not one of His disciples? Peter denied the second time. Malchus, whose ear Peter cut off, said, "Did not I see thee in the garden with Him?" Peter, while the cock crowed, denied Him for the third time.
The Judgment Hall
Caiaphas demanded of Jesus concerning His disciples and His doctrine. The soldiers smote Him for His answers, and He spoke to their consciences. From Caiaphas's palace they led Jesus to Pilate's judgment hall. His accusers did not enter the hall lest they be deified and not be able to keep the passover. They maintained ceremonial purity, while they frowned at justice.
Pilate, the Roman governor, asked, What do you accuse this man of? They answered, "If He were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered Him up unto thee."
Pilate told them to judge Him according to their law. They answered, "It is not lawful for us to put any man to death." By this it was signified what death He would die, for stoning was the Jewish form of punishment while the cross was the Roman way.
Entering the judgment hall, Pilate called Jesus before him and asked, "Art Thou the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, Are you saying this of yourself or did others tell you that I am. Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thy nation has delivered Thee to me. "What hast Thou done?"
Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My kingdom not from hence." Pilate asked Jesus if He were a king. Jesus answered, "For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice."
What Is Truth?
Pilate asked, "What is truth?" Then he went to the Jews saying, "I find in Him no fault at all." According to custom he released a prisoner at feast time, so he said, Shall I release the King of the Jews? They answered, Not Jesus, but Barabbas. He was a robber.
What a moment of decision for Pilate. This decision determined his eternal destiny. Pilate was in the presence of the One who was Himself the truth. Pilate lost the opportunity to follow the One who is the way, the truth, and the life. Pilate's remorse will haunt him for all eternity, because he caused One to be slain who was not guilty, and more, One who was the eternal Son of God.
Beware, my reader, of your companions and habits. If the wrong companions are regularly allowed, you may eventually tie yourself into a trap from which you cannot extricate yourself.