Read: Matt 26:17-75 The rejection of Christ has now begun. Judas has set the place to privately conspire against Christ joining the leaders to arrest and execute Jesus in a setting without resistance by the crowds. Christ takes the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane where they will pray. Jesus spends three hours in prayer preparing for the hour of betrayal. He alone knows what is unfolding. The other disciples are completely unaware. They fail the Lord as they sleep through each requested hour to “watch and pray”. Now 800 soldiers arrive with torches and clubs and weapons. Off they lead Jesus from the quiet evening to an awaiting tribunal. The plan of selfish men who want power is now in full bloom.
In the middle of this surprising hour Peter decides to swing one sword against all odds. Christ stops him and says, “Don’t you know I could call for twelve legions of angels right now and they would come!” 72,000 angels! From the visible perspective it looked like the soldiers were in complete control. But what is Jesus revealing? The unseen world has 72,000 angels surrounding that very place waiting for one small word of permission and down with heaven’s thunder they would descend.
As we follow Christ we may face hours of surprising rejection too. What Peter learned that night was a truth of immense strength. It may be a surprise to me but not to Christ! I may feel helpless and I may look weak. But there is surrounding every saint and child of God an innumerable host of angels. Whatever happens to us only arrives at our doorstep by God’s permission and only stays there by God’s permission. We are never in any situation as truly helpless.
God is asking us to put up our swords and stop whacking at the soldiers or enemies invading our quiet garden. Maybe you have already drawn your sword and swung at a head or two. Maybe you even have drawn blood and at your feet there is a bloody ear. Stop! Listen to the reassuring words of our Great master…all this is to fulfill the Word, the great plan of God! This painful moment is but part of the whole plan. Forgive. Rest. Be willing to be led away into a black and uncertain night. God will not forsake you.
Lord, help me to trust you when the darkness and unknown are all about me. I do believe but help me not to take matters into my own hands but to wait for your timing and plan to unfold.