Read: Luke 22:47-53
The title of this section in most Bibles is something like Jesus Arrested. Luke covers the event in seven verses. Incredibly brief, yet powerfully heavy. I pray that you will turn off all your devices for 3 minutes and read the passage linked above, or have it read to you, whatever it takes to let the words sink in.
While He was still speaking…
It’s super early in the morning or late at night, however you want to look at it, and Jesus is trying to explain to His disciples that they need to stay awake. He’s still speaking when Judas appears on the scene with the entourage of those who represent a small victory for darkness.
In their minds, they are doing the right thing. Judas is convinced this will somehow be better for the Kingdom, that Jesus has gone just a bit too far. I certainly don’t know what they were thinking, but I’m sure it was mixed up with truth and facts, but seen through the eyes of pious self-righteousness. The formula could only lead to disaster.
…cutting off his right ear
The disciples were not soldiers, to say the least. I can only assume the swipe of the sword was meant to remove the head of the high priest’s servant, not just knick his ear. The aggressive action from the unnamed disciple is quickly quenched by an instant miracle. That alone should have gotten someone’s attention, but perhaps it was so quick that the servant thought it never even happened. Such is the power of Christ.
Am I leading a rebellion…
Jesus reminds the angry crowd that there is no need for violence, though I’m sure He knows the pain that is just around the corner from the brutal Roman soldiers.
Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.” Luke 22:53
As I read these verses over and over again, I’m struck by the last three words: When Darkness Reigns. I can’t let go of the thought. We sing songs every week about the beauty of Christ, what He did for us, His glory, His splendor, His words. Why would such a savior allow these people their hour of glory?
…but this is your hour
He who has the authority and power over all submitted Himself to the self-proclaimed authority of mere humans.
How many times have I been in their shoes? How many times have I demanded that this is my hour, my time, my way? For some reason, I get this sense of rage in their hearts, an anger that wells up from deep within. I hear this venomous cry in modern songs that are filled with vulgarity. While I’m sure they have a reason to be angry, the resolution to scream out profanities doesn’t move people to love–it merely incites a riot, draws a crowd, and convinces many that they are right in their own eyes. This is when darkness reigns.
There is no amount of anger that can turn hearts toward Christ. Jesus not only knows this truth, He demonstrates it here in the garden in front of His disciples and the priests. He shows the world how much He loves each of us through calm words that cut to the bone.
The reign of darkness is brief. It’s within these moments we all have a choice. Prisons are filled with those who chose poorly.
When darkness reigns in your life, I pray you will have a brother or sister to reach out to, someone to hold on to, or simply someone who is brave enough to look into your darkness, speak the truth, and be the light you need. Don’t expect an invitation or any fanfare. These moments come and go quickly.
Choose the way of Jesus.