Day 86: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 86: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

The last few days of Jesus’ life was like a bullet train.  His last days of life were packed with activity. Christ’s crucifixion was the most important day in human history.  Jesus’ death was predicted centuries before he was born (Dan 9:26).  Jesus is the vortex of all human history and his life and death were the events that determine your future.

After the Last Supper, Jesus’ deliberately took his disciples out of the city of Jerusalem to a place called Gethsemane.  This was a factory garden.  It was a grove of olive trees, not a setting of pleasant calm, but it was a place where olive oil was made.  Olive presses were there, and workers took olives, crushed them, capturing the oil to sell for lamps, for cooking, for dipping morsels of bread, etc. Olive oil was a staple of life for Israelites.

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. (Jn. 18:1).  Why did Jesus take his disciples here?  The Bible started in a garden—Eden. Eden was a wonderful, satisfying location, full of well-being, safety, provisions.  The first man, Adam had the best without lack, yet he fell to sin. Christ in his garden, faced danger, depression, and denial: Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (1 Cor. 15:45).   Adam choices led to death in Eden, Christ’s choices provided life.

In Eden all was delightful, Gethsemane was a place of toil, and a place of heartache.

In Eden Adam sinned, in Gethsemane Jesus suffered.

In Eden Adam listened to Satan, in Gethsemane the Lord listened to the Father.

In Eden Adam spiritually failed, in Gethsemane Jesus, the redeemer, conquered.

In Eden the conflict was in daylight, in Gethsemane the conflict was at night.

In Eden mankind was lost, in Gethsemane sinners were saved (John 18:9).

In Eden Adam took the fruit from Eve, in Gethsemane Jesus took the cup from the Father.

In Eden Adam hid himself (Gen 3:8), in Gethsemane Jesus boldly showed himself:

Then Jesus…came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” (Jn. 18:4).

In Eden God sought Adam (Gen 3:8), in Gethsemane Christ sought the Father (Matt 26:39)            Adam was driven from Eden (Gen 3:24), Christ was led from Gethsemane. (John 18:13).

In Eden a sword was drawn (Gen 3:24), in Gethsemane a sword was sheathed (John 18:11).

In Eden Satan was in the serpent, in Gethsemane, Satan was in Judas (John 13:27).

In Eden there was a trial with sentencing (Gen 3:11-19), in Gethsemane there was an arrest without charges, without a trial.

Jesus exhibits nobility in his last hours of natural life.  He was fearless in the face of circumstances that brought, 6 illegal trials, brutal beatings, and malicious cruelty.   After barbaric treatment at the hands of demented enemies, his first statement on the Cross was: And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Lk. 23:34).  I cannot explain that, because I do not have the character to repeat that depth of love.

In contrast to Christ’s behavior, his disciples were weak and timid, fearful that people would discover their connection with Jesus.  One of his disciples: Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. (Jn. 18:2). No one had Jesus’ back.  Yet he protected his disciples, though they would abandon him.

So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. (Jn. 18:3).  You’ll be surprised at the audacity and ability of Judas.  Judas organized an impossible collection of people to capture Jesus.  Judas was not misguided, rather he was a cunning traitor.

First, he procured a band of soldiers.  A ‘band’ is 600 men.  Judas persuaded Roman authorities to give him hundreds of Roman soldiers!  A Jew did not just walk up to Roman headquarters and walk away with 600 armed men. This operation was after midnight to arrest a Jewish Rabbi, who was a carpenter. Jesus only did good, why arrest him?  Judas was very clever, organizing and negotiating, to get Romans to participate in a Jewish squabble.  Rome hated the Jews.  Roman soldiers did not want to wander out in the middle of the night to arrest a Rabbi. They saw this as petty and a waste of their time and talent.

Judas also secured officers from the Chief Priests.  To be able to mix Roman soldiers with Jewish guards was a remarkable feat.  They hated one another, yet Judas organized them into a cohesive group – to arrest a Rabbi!  Judas also got a bunch of professorial types, the Pharisees, who themselves hated the Roman soldiers and the Chief Priests.  You’ve got to admire Judas for his skill in organizing these disparate groups.

Judas came… and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. (Mk. 14:43). Judas came…and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. (Matt. 26:47).

Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” (Jn. 18:4). Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? (Lk. 22:52).

Who’s managing this scenario, Jesus or Judas? Jesus boldly confronted the huge array of armed men and took charge.  He asked questions.  He noted the absurdity of their overwhelming force, he puts their charade in perspective.  He does not let their actions go without comment.  He chides them for their fear, by his words and his actions.

Jesus steps forward with unchallenged authority, questioning the crowd for their actions. He controlled the setting – not them. The officers of the Chief Priest were questioned by Jesus (John 18:4-8). Jewish and Roman authorities were submissive to him.

Be sure, Jesus planned to die.  He was not shocked or surprised by events. ‘…before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. (Rev. 13:8).  Jesus was born to die.  The plan was made in eternity past and included him dying for you – if you want the exchange.  He took your sin on himself at the Cross, so you didn’t have to.

The power of the depravity of sin overcame common sense. People hated Jesus with such malice, they seem demented.  Why?  He never broke the Law. Why was he hated so much?

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

How I admire the character of your Son, Jesus.  I know he is the exact replica of you: He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature… (Heb. 1:3).  He is of such surpassing excellence, I am grateful, that one so glorious, so good, is my Savior.  I have not earned his love, nor do I understand his sacrifice on my behalf, but with humility I accept his great sacrifice for me.  His sacrifice is the evidence of profound, eternal love.  I still marvel that one so blessed would forfeit his life for me, knowing my character.  The only words I can think are: Thank you.  I know I have not earned it, but none the less, I am grateful to receive so glorious a gift.

Father, please grant my request to make much of your Son.  Let others hear my testimony of his goodness, since he has changed my entire life.  I count it an honor to express to the world the manifest goodness, and kindness of one who would give in exchange for my depravity, your glory.  The concept is too wonderful for me even to consider, that one would accept the horrors of Calvary for my eternity.  My gratitude is my eternal gift to you for your everlasting kindness to me.  I pray this in Jesus name.  Amen.

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