Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders. The betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him. Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” (Mark 14:43-49 NIV)
For the disciples who were there that night, and for you and I, this is yet another lesson on sacrifice. Sacrifice that involves taking the pain for someone else. Absorbing the cost, the hurt, the betrayal. The more Jesus shared about His death on the cross the more the disciples missed what He was saying. They were blinded. But when we read this, we're not supposed to judge them for thinking with a worldly viewpoint. That would be arrogant. Instead, we should ask ourselves, "Where in our lives can we exercise this counter-cultural way of living?"
The Jesus way. Humility. Forgiveness.
Mine. Me. My way. Payback. Revenge. Pride. Entitlement. Control. Power. Authority. All rooted in arrogance that assumes, "I deserve this or that," as if man holds the key to judgment. We deserve death. And only by the grace of Jesus are we given a chance to live in freedom, a chance to commune with a God that loves us so much that He would absorb the cost of the world's sin. It's beautiful.
Like never before, I've been captivated by the story of Jesus this week. It's been a very hard week. "Challenging" would be an understatement. I've walked through opposition that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. But God has been teaching me through my hurt.
Reflect on Jesus. How would the Savior of the world react? Humility. Forgiveness. Jesus would seek to understand. Jesus calls us to a totally different response, one that isn't human-stained.
With the amount of armed men he took with him, you could have sworn Judas expected an army when he betrayed Jesus. But Jesus didn't retaliate with violence. He did the opposite.
But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. (Luke 22:51 NIV)
Even after Peter cut a piece of the servant's ear off, Jesus healed him. Really? A miracle? I mean, seriously? He loved. He gave. He served. He sacrificed..
Jesus was accused of many false testimonies, and when asked by Pilate if the accusations were true, He remained silent. Jesus didn't need to defend himself... because he knew His Father in heaven would do the defending.
I think we all, especially me, can take a feather out of Jesus's cap, and not feel the need to defend ourselves, and especially our pride. Often, that's exactly what it is—pride. Jesus taught that we need to die to ourselves in order to live. Counter-cultural. His teaching always is.
When you see Jesus caring for the poor, forgiving his enemies without bitterness, sacrificing his life for others, living a perfectly loving and perfectly sinless life, you say, "I can't do that." You're right—you can't. Jesus Christ as only an example will crush you; you will never be able to live up to it. But Jesus as the Lamb will save you. (Timothy Keller, King's Cross)
"No more of this!" said Jesus. No more of this.