The theme for today’s service is the “betrayal and arrest of Jesus.”
While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Luke 22:47-51, ESV.
There was a program last Sunday night that detailed a devious story of lies by a woman that put an innocent man in jail and has caused devastation for his family. The former corrections officer was remanded in custody and spent nearly four months in Goulburn jail before the charges were dropped. “I’m not the man I was before,” he said. In an emotional court appearance, the formerly jailed man read out a victim impact statement saying he had lost everything. “There were times when I considered ending it all,” he told the court. He said he cried in disbelief during his first night in jail, and over the four months there he never felt more “alone or helpless” – a struggle compounded by his past work as a prison guard.
This story reminds me of the injustice we read about in the Gospels only on a much greater scale. Not only was Jesus innocent of all charges, he never sinned, (Hebrews 4:15). Not only was Jesus cruelly treated and unjustly convicted but He was humble, gracious and merciful and He forgave them and amazingly, He destroyed the power of the devil. (Hebrews 2:14-15).