43 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. 44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him. 47 Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 48 “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled. 51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.
There are many stories of wickedness in the Bible. Judas has plotted with the authorities and he is to lead them to Jesus and they are to arrest him. It is he who is calling the shots as it were. He is to betray Jesus with a kiss and then they are to have a guard ready to arrest him.
We have seen movies with this kind of theme but this is not a movie. It is a story of how poorly all humanity treated our Lord leading up to and at the cross.
The hymnwriter, Samuel Crossman, puts it this way:
My song is love unknown, my Savior’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake my Lord should taken frail flesh, and die?
He came from His blest throne salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none the longed-for Christ would know:
But oh, my Friend, My Friend indeed, Who at my need His life did spend.
Sometimes they strew His way, and His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” Is all their breath, and for His death They thirst and cry.
They rise and needs will have my dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save, the Prince of life they slay.
Yet cheerful He To suffering goes, that He His foes From thence might free.
Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine;
Never was love, dear King, never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, In whose sweet praise I all my days could gladly spend.
Lord, we thank you that Jesus cared enough. Help us to care enough. Amen.