Brief Devotion on St. John’s Passion

John 18:1-11
The devil had come to Adam in the garden full of deceit to bring upon him the curse of death. Now Judas, into whom the devil had entered, comes full of deceit to Jesus in the garden, betraying Him to death. But Jesus is not like the old Adam, who hid among the trees in fear. He is the new Adam who has come to undo the curse by His cross. Jesus goes forth boldly to meet His captors, fully prepared to drink the cup of judgment given Him by His Father.

Jesus is the great I AM, the eternal God revealed in the burning bush to Moses. His name causes His enemies to draw back and fall to the ground. For all who do not call on His name in faith will fall to their own destruction. Yet He who took up our humanity submits to their capture, saying “Let these go their way,” so that none of the disciples given Him would be lost. For Jesus came that they and all of us who bear His saving name might be released from the powers of darkness. This victory is won not by the sword but by sacrifice.

John 18:12-27
Jesus is led away in chains as if He were a dangerous criminal. For His teaching threatens those who are self-righteous. He is questioned by the religious leaders and then slapped in the face for the answers He gives. They are not really looking for answers but excuses to execute Him and to justify their deeds. We also slap Jesus in the face whenever we try to justify ourselves and don’t humbly pay attention to preaching and His Word.

Peter has three chances to confess that he knows Christ. Three times Peter fails. He would have to live for a while with the awful emptiness of his disloyalty and failure. We know that weakness of the flesh, too, when we deny Jesus with our words or behavior, seeking to avoid negative consequences to our reputation or our income or our life. Apart from Christ, Peter can do nothing, in spite of his good intentions. Continue reading