Bishop's Reflections #9: The Arrest of Jesus

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At this point in the season of Lent our mind starts to turn from the accounts of the temptations that Jesus faced in the wilderness to the account of Jesus arrest and trial and suffering and death. So over the last few weeks in these short little video reflections I've been thinking about the temptations.

The temptation that Jesus faced to be the one who provided for others, the one who performed for others, the one who possessed or retained control over others. And in all these temptations Jesus rejected them, he was very clear that this was not part of how God had called him to live.

And those themes come up again throughout the stories of the life of Jesus and indeed through the stories of his arrest and trial and death. So there's a lovely account in John's Gospel of Jesus arrest. It's a very vivid picture that's painted for us of the soldiers coming at night, heavily armed, carrying lanterns, searching Jesus out to arrest him. And then John just slips in one little phrase into this account as he says; 'Jesus, knowing all that was about to happen to him stepped forward and spoke to them.' This is a reminder then that Jesus not only knew what was about to happen but in some sense, I guess, retained control over all that was about to happen to him. And yet, chose to submit himself to the soldiers and to undergo suffering.

Some early theologians within the church spoke of the importance of understanding that if there was any part of human experience, or any part of human nature that Jesus did not enter into and experience for himself, then that part would remain unhealed or untouched by Jesus' work. So here we have Jesus entering into the experience of those who feel powerless, those who feel like they are not in control, as if there are other forces at work in their lives. Jesus chooses to enter into that experience for himself in order that he might bring healing. Not healing in the sense of making it all go away and all better but healing in the sense of enabling us to find new life and new hope even in the midst of the circumstances of life.

So I hope this Lent you will draw comfort from knowing whatever your experience is Jesus enters into those experiences and seeks to bring healing and hope. So my prayer for you this week is that you would know Jesus with you in all your experiences and Jesus bringing you healing and hope. Amen.

First published on: 15th March 2021
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