The Hymn, The Arrest, The Trial, Peter’s Denial
14:26 The Hymn they sang. Jesus sang a song with His disciples on His way to be arrested and crucified. He sang a song! What did He sing? The Passover meal always ended with singing three Psalms known as the Hallel, Psalms 116, 117, and 118. The last being Psalm 118. Let’s look at three verses in this Psalm
22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Jesus would fulfill those verses, He would become that cornerstone. Matthew 21:42 Jesus said to them [the chief priests and the elders], “Have you never read in the Scriptures:‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’’’?
14:27-31 Three predictions. First from Zechariah 13:7, the scattering of the sheep. Second, looking past the cross, He will meet them in Galilee. Third, Peter’s 3rd denial will be before the rooster crows a 2nd time.
14:32-42 Gethsemane. Just East of Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley and opposite the temple on the Mount of Olives. Gethsemane is a transliteration of two Hebrew words meaning ‘oil press,’ oddly suitable considering the incredible agony that was soon to press in on Jesus … even in His prayer at this time.
Eight disciples sat while He took three, Peter, James, and John with Him. Distressed and troubled, two words rare in the NT. The Greek word for ‘overwhelmed with sorrow’ is a rare word in the NT and can mean despair, deep despair. Why such sorrow? Think of any and every sin you know of or are capable of imagining, all of these sins are soon to be put on Jesus as He lays down His life as a ransom for everyone, including us. It is no wonder a man perfectly pure and holy would recoil from such an ordeal – knowing it is coming.
Three times He prayed, three times He found His disciples asleep. They had no idea about what was soon to occur, but Jesus knew … it was time to be arrested.
14:42-51 The arrest. Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed Him. A kiss is a badge of love and affection, but Judas used it to betray Jesus. J. Vernon McGee said, “This makes the act even more dastardly and repugnant.” He further call this act “foul and loathsome.”
Mark implies Jesus was immediately arrested, but John tells a different story. Remember it was dark out and those looking for Him would be carrying lanterns and torches. So Jesus helped Judas by asking in John 18:4-6, Who is you want? And when they said Jesus of Nazareth, He replied I AM not I am he. The Greek ego eimi translates as I AM. In John 18, the soldiers, the temple guard, and the others all fell when He answered.
Mark does not record it , but Jesus healed the ear Peter cut off (Luke) – His last miracle before being crucified. Then He rebuked them. At the end of His rebuke His disciples fled. Who was the young man almost captured and who fled naked noted only in Mark? No one knows, but most likely he was awakened by the noise of those coming to arrest Jesus.
14:52-65 Kangaroo court. The term kangaroo court did not exist in Jesus’ time, but it would certainly fit as trials were never to occur in a private home, but in a public place where witnesses could be found. Caiaphas’s palace/home was about 6 tenths of a mile from Gethsemane where Jesus was arrested. Notice how the false testimonies set up ahead of time could not agree enough for a conviction for at least two witnesses were required per Deuteronomy 17:6. So the chief priest finally asked Jesus a question (v61) He had to answer as to refuse to answer would be as if He were denying He is the Messiah and the Son of the Blessed One (His claim to deity). So He answered quoting from Psalm 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. His answer was of a future time when their roles would be reversed. They all condemned Him
14:66-72 Peter denies Jesus. Now we come to Peter’s denial of Jesus. The use of ‘that Nazarene’ instead of ‘the Nazarene’ indicates contempt for Jesus. Peter made the mistake of believing he could be a secret disciple, but did what Psalm 1:1 said not to do Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful. Luke 22:60-62 says after rooster crowed the second time Jesus looked at Peter and Peter wept bitterly as his betrayal of Jesus knowing Jesus knew and had prophesied this. He knew just as He knows when we deny Him by our actions.