I AM - Arrested

Contemplating The Cross

February 25, 2009 Gerry Peters www.gerrypeters.com

Welcome
You are about to take a contemplative journey with Christ as he obediently begins his way to the Cross. I don’t want you to rush through the words ahead. Even though the actual story took only approximately ½ hour, I do not want you to march on through as the soldiers did. Please don’t miss the power of each moment that took place in the garden on the early morning of April 15, 30 AD1 There are moments for you to “stop and ponder”. Please take your time here. You can use this portion as a personal study or with a Small Group. I have suggested on several occasions that you write out a personal prayer, or note to God, expressing a response. There is something powerful about writing it down. Sure, you may have it all together in your head, but the action of writing it down will take you a step further. I have included 11 footnotes. They help explain things a little further. Please don’t miss them. Above all, my desire is that at the end of this study, you will have a fresh appreciation and love for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ because of his journey in humility, submission, love and obedience toward the cross. God’s blessings, Gerry Peters Abbotsford, BC Canada

I AM - Arrested

This is an approximated date. However, for the purpose of our journey we will use this date. In so doing, I want you to have a clearly picture of this fantastic story.

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Contents
WELCOME ........................................................................................................................................ 1 CONTENTS ........................................................................................................................................ 2 I AM - ARRESTED............................................................................................................................. 3 THE QUALITIES OF JESUS ................................................................................................................. 6 1. IT SHOWS US HIS COURAGE. ..................................................................................................... 6 2. IT SHOWS US HIS AUTHORITY .................................................................................................. 6 3. IT SHOWS US THAT JESUS CHOSE TO DIE. ................................................................................. 7 4. IT SHOWS HIS PROTECTIVE LOVE ............................................................................................. 8 5. IT SHOWS HIS COMPLETE OBEDIENCE. ..................................................................................... 8 HOW WILL YOU RESPOND? ............................................................................................................. 10 JESUS’ FINAL WEEK TIMETABLE ................................................................................................... 11

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Contemplating The Cross
My prayer for this study is that you and I will meet Jesus with an entirely new appreciation for who he is. I want our love for Christ to deepen; our devotion and our commitment to Jesus Christ reach new heights as they have never been before. Come with me as I do my best to help you capture the setting that would bring Jesus to his final steps on the Cross. Let’s take a contemplative look at what is happening in the first eleven verses of John 18. 18:1 When he had said these things2, Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley. There was an orchard there, and he and his disciples went into it. 18:2 (Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, knew the place too, because Jesus had met there many times with his disciples.) 18:3 Judas obtained a squad3 of soldiers and some officers of the chief priests and Pharisees. They came to the orchard with lanterns and torches and weapons.4 It’s early Friday morning, about 1:00am. An hour earlier the Disciples left the upper room where they have celebrated the Passover meal. They walk across town through the Eastern Gate toward the garden of Gethsemane. Along the way they must pass through the temple courts and by the altar where lambs have been sacrificed and blood has been poured on the altar as an offering to God5. Stop and Think There were an immense number of lambs slain for the Passover. Thirty years after Jesus ascension to heaven, a census was taken and the number of sheep that were sacrificed was 256,0006. Can you imagine what the temple courts were like on this day? Since the age of 12 Jesus has been at this place annually and participated in the Passover Day. But today is different, for he is choosing to be The Sacrificial Lamb, God’s lamb, for the sins of this world. Does Jesus pause to take in this scene? I wonder if he stopped for a moment and reminded the Disciples of the promise of the God’s Lamb.
In John 14:31 the Apostle John records Jesus saying, “Get up, let us go from here”, a reference most likely to the Upper Room. From here Jesus talked to the disciples enroute to the Garden of Gethsemane. Hence, the discourse found in Chapters 15 and 16 is what John is referring to here. “Jesus then went out”, is then a reference to leaving the city and crossing the Kidron Valley. 3 Squad – (σπεῖραν) is a technical term for a Roman Cohort, normally a force of 600 men. Some have suggested that it was not an entire cohort but more likely a group from a cohort, or about 200 men. Others have suggested that the number of soldiers could have numbered up to 1200 men. It is clearly a large group. For this study, I will use the number, 600. 4 All Scripture portions are taken from the NETBible. 5 The animal was slain on the eve of the Passover, on the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan, after the Tamid sacrifice had been killed, i.e., at three o'clock, or, in case the eve of the Passover fell on Friday, at two. The killing took place in the court of the Temple, and might be performed by a layman, although the blood had to be caught by a priest, and rows of priests with gold or silver cups in their hands stood in line from the Temple court to the altar, where the blood was sprinkled. (Passover Sacrifice, Jewish Encyclopedia) 6 Josephus.
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Take time right now to write a brief personal prayer of praise and thanksgiving to Jesus for being our sacrificial lamb.

From the altar there was a channel down to the brook Kedron. This channel had been excavated and developed to allow the blood of the Passover lambs to drain away. No doubt the brook was still be red with the blood of these lambs a few hours earlier. Jesus walks down the slope to cross the Kedron brook. He steps over the brook and sees the blood that has been shed as an offering to God. Does Jesus stop to ponder the words that he has just prayed, “The time has come. Glorify your Son” (John 17:1)? Jesus, the Son of God, Deity, the name that is above every name continues on the path to the olive garden. The Disciples and Jesus are in the garden probably no longer than an hour when a stream of torches can be seen weaving its way to the garden. He knows that the leader is Judas. The time has been purposed by God and so Judas’ plan of treason is carried out with little red tape. There’s something astonishing about the force which came to arrest Jesus; included with the detachment of soldiers were officials from the Chief Priests and Pharisees walking hastily in front of the soldiers. A detachment or squad, if used correctly is a minimum of 600 fully armed men7. I find this amazing. What a powerhouse to arrest an unarmed Galilean carpenter. Stop and Think Why do you think such a large group of armed men were sent to arrest Jesus? What did the soldiers fear? What did the Chief Priests and Pharisees fear? What does this say about Jesus?

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Read footnote 2 concerning the “squad”

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F IGURE 1- J ESUS J OURNEY

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The Qualities of Jesus
There are few portions of Scripture that show us the qualities of Jesus as does his arrest in the garden.

1. It shows us his courage.
18:4 Then Jesus, because he knew everything that was going to happen to him, came and asked them, “Who are you looking for?” Jesus steps out from the shadows. Passover is held during the full moon8 and so the garden shadows were well defined. Criminals will run into the shadows if they are pursued by the authorities. What does Jesus do when the soldiers enter the garden? He steps from the shadows and 600 armed men stop. I can imagine they hold their breath wondering who will make the first move. The only sound is that of a lone cricket. “Who is it you want?” I can hear the strength and resolve in Jesus’ voice. The disciples are terrorized by the show of force from those that came to arrest Jesus and now having that fear compounded by Jesus’ decision to confront them. Stop and Ponder Jesus demonstrated great courage while in the Garden with his Disciples. Read the following Bible passages and consider the courage of Jesus. • During Jesus’ journey with his disciples - Mark 4:35-41 • During Jesus’ final week leading up to His crucifixion - John 12: 1-15 1. Why do you think Jesus was able to demonstrate great courage throughout his life? 2. What life lesson can you take from this? Write it down.

2. It shows us his authority
18:5 They replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He told them, “I am he.” (Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, was standing there with them.) 18:6 So when Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they retreated and fell to the ground. “Jesus of Nazareth”. There is Jesus, one single, lonely, unarmed figure and there are hundreds of soldiers, armed and equipped for battle. Just moments before, Judas came and tearfully kissed Jesus but now he demonstrates the character of a coward by retreating to the shadows. Jesus stands face to face with those that want to see him dead. The silence is broken by Jesus stating his name, “I AM he” and tremendous authority flows from him and proves that he is stronger than the might of any army. Let’s try a little experiment. Look at someone and say the name of some current world leader (for example: Barak Obama, Stephen Harper or Queen Elizabeth). What happened? I’m guessing not a whole
Jewish months start with a new moon. 14 days later is the full moon. The Nisan full moon is called the "Pascal Full Moon", and begins the Passover celebration.
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lot. I doubt that anybody was thrown to the ground because of the sound of that name. Now look at what happens when Jesus reveals his name. “I AM”. These are not just two words. Jesus is stating his name. Back in Exodus9, Moses is having a conversation with God, the avenue being a burning bush. God is commissioning Moses to deliver the Jews from slavery. “But God, when I go and speak on their behalf, whom shall I say sent me?” God said. “I AM that I AM. Tell the Israelites I AM has sent me to you.10” It is the name that represents Jesus’ eternal nature of God. I was, I am, and I shall always be. Jesus’ critics had previously charged him with being demon-possessed. When Jesus had made his claim of deity earlier in his ministry they sought to stone him and today this is the primary reason they have come to arrest him. “I AM” is the ultimate claim of deity. As Jesus’ mouth opens to speak his name, the veil that has hidden his glory is momentarily lifted and the power of God thrusts the army backwards to the ground. I can imagine Judas hiding in the shadows of a few soldiers but as they are thrust to the ground, Judas stands alone in perfect view of everyone to see him as he truly is. Jesus is the I AM. Stop and Think What name are you trying to lift up or promote for others to see? If it is your own name that you are lifting up for others to see (In the name of “Gerry”) how futile are your efforts. Even with our efforts within the Church, do we want others to take note of us and give us recognition? In the name of Jesus there is hope, healing, power, purpose and so in all we do, seek the name of Jesus to be lifted high. There is great authority in Jesus’ name. How can you lift up his name in your daily work? Take time to praise God for his authority in heaven and earth. Acknowledge his authority in prayer.

3. It shows us that Jesus chose to die.
18:7 Then Jesus asked them again, “Who are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” 18:8 Jesus replied, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, let these men go.” 18:9 He said this to fulfill the word he had spoken, “I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me.” Jesus could have chosen 10,000 angels to demonstrate his authority and destroy those that came to overpower him. There is no doubt in my mind that there were legions of angels that had gathered all around Jesus, waiting for him to release them. He could have walked directly through those that had come to arrest him. But he did the unusual and assisted in his own arrest. In fact, they did not arrest Jesus, he submitted; he chose to die. They did not arrest Jesus; he arrested them to begin his journey to the cross.

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Exodus 3:1-14 Exodus 3:14, NETBible

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Stop and Think

Take time to praise God that he chose, on this day, to be the perfect sacrificial lamb for the forgiveness of your sin. He did not once refuse the abuse of man and the cross. Read John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 and make it personal. “For God so loved ___(your name)______...” In Prayer, praise God that he made a choice to be your perfect sacrificial lamb.

4. It shows his protective love
18:8 Jesus replied, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, let these men go.” 18:9 He said this to fulfill the word he had spoken, “I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me.” “It is I you want, let the others go.” I think these soldiers had come to arrest all the disciples. But even in this moment, Jesus, the I AM, remains in charge. He makes the decision of who will be arrested. “Let them go.” Jesus sets these men free from the immediate threat of imprisonment and even death. This day was about Jesus going to the cross alone; not a crucifixion to be shared by his Disciples. Stop and Think While we may have to walk through great trial, God is standing in front of us and mediating on our behalf. Read 1Timothy 2:511; John 16:712; John 14:16. – Take note of Jesus’ current role in heaven. Just as Jesus stood in front of the disciples and defended them by stating their case, so he does with all of us who are of the family of God and walk humbly before God. Write a note of thanksgiving to Jesus for his love for you and standing before the Father on your behalf.

5. It shows his complete obedience.
18:10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, pulled it out and struck the high priest’s slave, cutting off his right ear. (Now the slave’s name was Malchus.) 18:11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath! Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
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Jesus was the only one able to go between man and God to enable them to have a relationship, but entirely on God’s terms. He is our “Intermediary”. 12 “Advocate”, “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklhto)

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“Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?” What is happening right now, Jesus says, is God’s will and that was enough for him. There was no need to try and avoid what was about to happen. Even in this most fearful moment, Jesus is a model of complete obedience. However, I do love Peter here. Within an hour or two Peter will deny Jesus 3 times, but right now he was ready to take on 600 men. Malchus’ servant, most likely being the first person to place his hand on Jesus received the full wrath of Peter. Out came Peter’s sword slicing off the servant’s ear. Not bad aim, I suppose, for a fisherman. At precisely the same moment you can hear hundreds of other sword raised and ready for action. I can see Jesus raise his hand for silence and again, at his voice, everyone obeys without the slightest hesitation. Then notice the silence and awe as Jesus picks up the bloodied ear, puts it back in place and instantly it is healed. The only shame about Peter’s attack was that he had poor aim. It would have been great if he had taken off Malchus’ head. Just as Jesus did with the ear, the head would have been placed where it belonged and working just fine. And Jesus willingly begins the procession to the cross where the ultimate sacrifice will be made on behalf of all the sins of the world. Stop and Think Image you are in the garden on the night of Jesus’ arrest. Can you find yourself in the crowd? 1. Perhaps you’re in the shadows and within the crowd that came to arrest Jesus, 2. It could be that you are standing with the disciples, 3. Maybe you are a religious leader. Actually, it doesn’t matter where you are. What’s important is this, whom do you see in the garden? 1. Do you see Jesus of Nazareth? He is nothing more than a Galilean carpenter that made a remarkable impact on the population. You have to admit that he is a great teacher and leader but nothing more. 2. Do you see the I AM? Are you in awe of the power and majesty of God, His refusal to be sidetracked from his purpose and passion to bring man back into a relationship with God; to reconcile man? Do you see the Jesus as he leads the soldiers and religious leaders to God’s altar? He is clothed in humility and grace. Do you see his love for you? Just as Jesus acted with complete obedience, write a brief note to Jesus confirming your obedience to him, the I AM.

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How will you respond?
As we come to an end of the first portion of Jesus journey to the Cross, please take a few moments to respond to God. How has Jesus’ ½ hour in the garden challenged you? 1. I accept you as my Lord and Saviour. Thank you for the gift of salvation. Thank you for paying the debt and forgiving me of my sin. 2. Jesus, I want you to reign supreme in my life. You are the Sovereign God. Forgive me trying to lift my name, to get my way. I surrender everything I have and am to you. 3. The soldiers and religious leaders were thrust back at the name of Jesus. Jesus, I want to extend your name forward in praise and adoration. You are my Lord and God.

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T ABLE 1- A S UGGESTED T IMETABLE

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Jesus’ Final Week
Date and Time Sunday, April 10, 30 AD Monday, April 11, 30 AD Tuesday, April 12, 30 AD Event (all in Jerusalem, Israel) 2 mile journey to Jerusalem from Bethany, where Jesus stays each night Jesus protests financial transactions within the temple; argues with chief priests Jesus predicts/announces the date of his execution; debates with religious leaders; responds to question about greatest commandment Judas contracts to betray Jesus Jesus warns against religious leaders, calling them hypocrites and snakes; From Mount of Olives, Jesus mourns Jerusalem's rejection and pending destruction Last supper with disciples - Passover meal and Jesus’ discourse of John 15 and 16 enroute to the Eastern gate that would lead to across the Kidron Valley. Jesus leaves the City, crosses the Kidron Valley from the Eastern Gate to Garden of Gethsemane - Jesus waits for his arrest Confrontation in Garden and Jesus' Arrest Trial 1: Annas, former Jewish High Priest for 16 years - Jesus receives initial physical abuse Trial 2: Current Jewish High Priest, Caiaphas, and the Sanhedrin Court - Jesus bloodied by abuse 3:00am-5:00am Friday, April 15, 30 AD 5:00am-6:00am Friday, April 15, 30 AD 6:00am-7:00am Friday, April 15, 30 AD 7:00-7:30am Friday, April 15, 30 AD Imprisonment at Caiaphas' palace Trial 3: All the Jewish elders, including the High Priest, scribes and whole Sanhedrin. They decide to ask the Roman government to kill Jesus Trial 4: Hearing before Roman governor Pilate, who declares, "I find no guilt in this man." Trial 5: Hearing before Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, who had jurisdiction over Galilee. Jesus refused to answer any questions so Herod returned him quickly to Pilate Trial 6: Pilate repeatedly tried to release Jesus but the Jewish leaders continued to object. Pilate physically tortured and beat Jesus beyond recognition seeking to satisfy the Jewish leaders. However the Jews demanded that Jesus be crucified. Pilate resisted but eventually gave the order to execute Jesus Pilate's Roman soldiers take Jesus into the court ("Praetorium") and enjoy mockery and continued torture, including driving thorns into his skull

Tuesday, April 12, 30 AD Wednesday, April 13, 30 AD

6pm-11:30pm Thursday, April 14, 30 AD 11:30pm -1:00am Thursday, April 14, 30 AD Friday, April 15, 30 AD 1:00am-1:30am Friday, April 15, 30 AD 1:30am-3:00am Friday, April 15, 30 AD

7:30am-8:30am Friday, April 15, 30 AD I AM - Arrested

8:30am-9:00am Friday, April 15, 30 AD

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9:00am-12:00noon Friday, April 15, 30 AD 12:00 noon - 3:00pm Friday, April 15, 30 AD 3:00pm Friday, April 15, 30 AD Friday, April 15, 30 AD Sunday, April 17, 30 AD

Jesus forced to carry his own cross, then actual crucifixion Momentus final 3 hours on the cross Death Burial "Resurrection" - 1st reported appearance of Jesus as alive after execution

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I AM - Arrested

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