The Arrest - Insight in Kidron Valley - John 18:1-2
March 14, 2022, 9:00 AM

“1. When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.   2. Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.”   

As we work our way to Resurrection Sunday, the last two days of Jesus were detailed by the Apostle John. This series is called “the Passion according to John”. We begin with Jesus’ arrest.      

Jesus went to the cross out of God’s design and His own will. He never was entrapped, never tricked, never surprised. He was not overcome by the power of the law or Jews or Romans. As the prayer of Christ stated, He knew full well He was about to die and in so doing He would be the savior of the world to all who would put their faith in Him and follow Him. This was the reason for His coming to earth. He never was the victim of circumstances.            

The timing was perfect. Jesus finished His high priestly prayer to the Father. His “hour” truly had come. John very briefly refers to the Garden of Gethsemane and does not mention our Lord’s agonizing prayer in the garden as we read in some of the other Gospel accounts.                

This garden was known to Judas since it was a place where they often went to pray and to rest, away from the crowds. This was the safest place for an arrest, since many in Jerusalem were following Jesus, the crowds made it impossible to safely capture Him.  

In the Greek, Gethsemane means an oil orchard. It is at the foot of the Mount of Olives where Jesus prayed and on top later He ascended into heaven. One person did a study showing how the Mount of Olives is always associated with division. Jesus separated Himself from the other people - going to the Mount of Olives.   

Oil is symbol both of the Spirit and of understanding. In order to bring forth the oil from the olive, an oil press causes great pressure on it. Jesus is the olive root according to Romans 11:16,17 supporting every olive branch and therefore every olive in the tree. We know in His prayer in agony great pressure was upon Him.    

Judas was also hand-picked by God to do the job of betrayal. It wasn’t his insight that brought the soldiers to Gethsemane, it was planned by God. The place, the time, the people and circumstances were all in God’s hands.                   

There are no surprises with Him.          

We never know how the incidental events are really significant expressions of the glory and preparation of our Lord.  

Can you see how God orchestrated different places in your life? What are circumstances you are in now? God knows.  

Prayer:   Lord, it overwhelms me to know that you went so willingly to the cross for me.   Help me to keep my eyes on you throughout the day, knowing that you have all my circumstances in your loving hands.   

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