Judas, His Band & The Arrest of Jesus
Judas had not expected his treason to have produced such fatal results. He had been anxious to produce the promised reward, and to please the Pharisees by delivering Jesus to them. But he had never calculated that things would go too far or thought that the enemies of his master would actually bring Him to judgment and crucify Him. His mind was engrossed with the love of gain alone.
He appeared sick of the fatiguing, wandering and persecuted life the apostles led, for several months he had constantly stolen from the alms that were put in his care and his materialism, loathing the expenses incurred by Magdalene when she poured the precious ointment on the feet of our Lord, incited him to commit the greatest of crimes. He saw that sufferings and persecutions were on the increase for our Lord and His followers so he sought to make friends with the powerful enemies of our Savior.
Remember Judas was present at the last supper and had begun talks at that time of handing our Blessed savior over to His enemies and continued even after he had sacrilegiously received the Blessed Sacrament at the last supper.
The enemies of Jesus proposed something different, and some questioned Judas saying? Shall we be able to take him? Has He not armed men with him? And the traitor replied, “No, he is alone with eleven disciples; he is greatly depressed and the eleven are timid men’. And he convinced Jesus’ enemies, that now is the time to hand Jesus over, as he had longed stayed away from the other apostles that his disappearance was looking very clear he was on the other side. These words of Judas produced results and was acceded to, so he received the price of his treason-thirty pieces of silver. Even at this, they regarded him with so much contempt and distrust. He didn’t expect to reap the bitter fruits of his treason even before it was accomplished. They watched him carefully and would not let him leave their presence until he handed Jesus over to them.
Now Judas had begun to make arrangements with those who were to accompany him. He wished to enter the garden before them and embrace and salute Jesus as if he were returning to Him as his friend and disciple and then for the soldiers to run forward and seize Jesus. He was anxious that it should be thought that he was there by chance, that so when the soldiers make their appearance, he might run away like the other disciples. The soldiers on the other hand had received orders to keep a close eye on Judas, and watch him carefully not to escape until Jesus was seized.
The band of men chosen to accompany Judas composed of soldiers, selected from the temple guard. They were dressed very much like the roman soldiers, had crested helmets like them and wore hanging straps round their thighs. They had swords, some of them carried spears and they carried sticks with lantern and torches.It was nearing the time and Judas set off with the soldiers.
Jesus was standing with the three when Judas and the band made their appearance. A warm dispute ensured between Judas and the soldiers because he wished to approach first and speak to Jesus as if nothing was the matter but the soldiers refused and seeing the remaining eight running to rejoin Jesus when they heard the dispute which was going on.
Jesus walked to the soldiers and said in a firm and clear voice, “whom seek ye”? The soldiers answered, Jesus of Nazareth” Jesus said to them “I am he” scarcely had he pronounced the words, they fell to the ground as if struck with apoplexy. Peter and the other disciples at this time reviled Judas in ummeasured terms, calling him traitor, thief. Then Jesus asked again, “Whom seek ye” They replied “ Jesus of Nazareth” ‘I have told you I am he” “If therefore you seek me, let these go away”, At these words the soldiers, fell to the ground a second time and again the disciples surrounded Judas and expressed their indignation at his shameful treachery. When the soldiers got up, they told Judas to give them the signal agreed upon instantly and then Judas approached Jesus and gave Him a kiss saying ,Hail Rabbi’ Jesus replied ‘ Judas dost thou betray the son of Man with a kiss? The soldiers immediately surrounded Jesus. Judas wished to fly but the apostles didn’t allow it and they rushed to the soldiers and cried out “Master shall we strike with the sword? Peter who was more impulsive than the rest, seized the sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear, he fell to the ground and great tumult ensued.
When Peter struck the high priest’s servant, Jesus said to him, “put up again thy sword into its place, for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot ask my father and He will give me presently more than 12 legions of angels?”How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled?” Then He touched the high priest’s servant’s ear and it was healed.
Then Jesus again addressed them, ‘You are come out as it were to a robber, with swords and clubs, to apprehend me. I sat daily with you teaching in the Temple, and you laid not hands upon me, but this is your hour and the power of darkness.’
They tied his hands as tightly as possible with hard new cords, fastening the right-hand wrist under the left elbow, and the left-hand wrist under the right elbow. They encircled his waist with a kind of belt covered with iron points, and to this collar were appended two leather straps, which were crossed over his chest like a stole and fastened to the belt. They then fastened four ropes to different parts of the belt, and by means of these ropes dragged our Blessed Lord from side to side in the most cruel manner.
The disciples wandered about at a distance, and wept and moaned as if beside themselves from grief. The archers behaved in the cruelest manner to Jesus as they led him along. It was indeed heart-rending to look upon Jesus; his face was white, disfigured, and wounded, his hair scruffy, his dress wet and soiled, and his savage and drunken guards were dragging him about and striking him with sticks like a poor dumb animal led to the slaughter. Mary was speechless from grief, and was in silence until John appeared and told her all that happened from the supper room till then.
Suffering Lord, may your passion give me strength in a world as uncertain as ours. Amen
Copyright © Uc-Okonmah 2019