Luke 22:47-53: Betrayal and Arrest


Judas’s kiss
Peter’s zeal
Jesus’s rebuke


We come to the story of the greatest betrayal in history, the betrayal of Judas. Judas’s act was so wicked that his name is now a proverb, when someone betrays us we call them a ‘Judas’. Despite this section describing the worst act a human being has ever done against the Savior, we are not viewing Christ as a victim but as the God appointed Suffering Savior. Someone has asked the question: if Christ only needed to die for our sins, why then did He have to be arrested, tried, tortured as well as killed as a criminal? I love how Hugh Martin helps us to see what we are looking at here: ‘The anger of the invisible God against the invisible soul of the man Christ Jesus could not be beheld by mortal eye. But [that] the world might be constrained to behold it as in a glass. And hence, to set it forth as if in unmistakable and terrible sacramental signs and seals, in and with which to the experience of the soul of Emmanuel the unseen process of His Father’s wrath was being carried on, the Father wielded at His pleasure, in infinite holiness, the official authority of those in high places of the land; put in requisition all forms of competent and legal order in criminal procedure; sacramentally, as it were, prosecuted the surety by awaking and employing against Him all the constituted functions of “the powers that be” and which are “ordained of God,” every one in his place the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath.” Hence the oracle which we hear resounding both at the commencement and the close of this process we ought to accept as justifying and explaining all that takes place between. “He was numbered with the transgressors, for He bore the sins of many” (Isa. 53:12). And it was to exhibit this hidden, spiritual fact that from the initial process of arrest to the final execution on the cross God exhibited his own Son, a spectacle to angels and to men, in all the successive stages of a prosecuted criminal’s position.’1