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The Road to Golgotha (Part IV)

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. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. (Matthew 26:47-50)
The key point Matthew is making in his narrative is that Jesus willingly embraces not only his betrayal but also his betrayer. Jesus is not distancing himself from Judas. He still has arms extended wide. We shall see this amplified later in the context of Peter.

This is a tremendous source of comfort for all of us. There is no doubt we are in the garden, not with Jesus but with the crowds. We are carrying swords and clubs. We are those who everyday seek to crucify Jesus all over again with our sinful deeds.

Is it then not amazing that Jesus, in the midst of our daily sinful betrayal,  still keeps open the hand of friendship? We falsely say to him "Lord" when we do not mean it. But Jesus never pushes us back for our lack of seriousness. It is this steadfast love of Jesus that is propelling him to Golgotha.

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