The midnight hour is upon us. The bad guys have come out to play.
“Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Ary you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Thursday has begun. His worst day became our best day. It is the day our sins were washed away with finality.
“In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.” Hebrews 9:22
Blood would be shed on this day and lots of it. His blood, Jesus’ blood. The final sacrifice. No longer would the blood of lambs be required. It was the powerful, soul cleansing blood that Jesus shed for us on Thursday that set us free from the Law of Moses. On this day around 2000 years ago, the events that took place would forever change our relationship with our Creator. Jesus could have called down a legion of Warrior Angels that would have helped Him escape this day, but He didn’t. He didn’t because His love compelled Him to suffer for us. His love for us and more importantly His love and obedience to His Father. He had just prayed for God to change His mind but God said, “No!” The blood that He shed on this day had to flow.
“Now Judas, who betrayed Him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met their with His disciples. So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisee. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.” John 18:2
“Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest Him and lead Him away under guard.” Mark 14:43
“He approached Jesus to kiss Him, but Jesus asked Him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:47
“Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” And kissed Him.” Mark 14:45
“Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to Him went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I AM HE,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I AM HE,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Again He asked them, “Who is it you want?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” “I told you that I AM HE,” Jesus answered, “If you are looking for Me then let these men go.” This happens so that the words He had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” John 18:4-9
His words were a force so powerful it drove the soldiers to the ground. They were a detachment of soldiers. Mighty fighting men armed with spears, shields, swords, and clubs from the elite Roman army could not even stand in His presence. When He spoke His name, “I AM,” they fell prostrate no longer in control of their own bodies. Words were a land mine under their feet, yet our Powerful Savior went like a lamb to the slaughter.
“This is your hour – when darkness reigns.” Jesus told His captors.
They arrested Jesus and all His disciples fled and deserted Him. He loved them all. He succumbed to His arrest because of His great love, but those He loved deserted Him in His time of greatest suffering. One He called friend betrayed Him with a kiss.
It is Thursday, it was the hours when darkness reigned, and His blood flowed red. Don’t forget this day. Never forget. It was the day when His Blood covered our every sin. It was the day when our bought our passage into eternity.
Peter would deny Him. The soldiers would beat Him. And Pilate would sentence Him. He could have called a legion of Angels but He didn’t.
Follow His bloody trail through the Roman courts of Jerusalem. Wince with He blow the soldiers would throw to His head. Feel the crown of thorns as blood like teardrops fell down His cheeks. Can you even now through ages past anguish with Him as the whip with shards of bone ripped through the flesh of His back? Can you stand in the crowd as they lined the Via Dolorosa, the way of grief or simply put, the painful way? He left a trail of blood for you to follow. Is it hard for you not to turn away as He passes before you bloodied and beaten, His blood stained back laden with a splintery wooden beam?
Don’t miss these moments. They are His love letter to you. He would rather die than to live without you in heaven.
“Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death.” Matthew 27:1
I know it’s hard to take this all in, His own disciples couldn’t even follow along. But remember,
SUNDAY’S A COMIN!