Third Sunday in Lent – Tuesday
If, therefore, ye seek Me, let these go their way. – John 18:8.
And immediately, while He yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the Twelve, came, and after him a multitude of Roman soldiers and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, elders and scribes, with lanterns and torches and swords and staves. And he that betrayed Him had given them a token, saying: “Whomsoever I shall kiss, the same is He; take Him, and lead Him away safely.”
Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth to the multitude and said unto them: “Whom seek ye?” They answered Him: “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus saith unto them: “I am He.” And Judas also, who betrayed Him, stood with them. As soon, then, as Jesus had said to them: “I am He,” they went backward and fell to the ground. This Jesus did to show that He was surrendering Himself of His own free will. And then He asked again: “Whom seek ye?” And they said: “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered: “I have told you that I am He; if therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way.” He referred to His disciples who at that time were not prepared to bear the affliction which capture would entail.
And so those words of His high-priestly prayer, recorded in John 17, were fulfilled: “Of them which Thou gavest Me have I lost none” (compare John 18:9 with John 17:12). For now they could not lay hands on the disciples. As for Himself, He bade them to take Him.
Note, Christian! You believe in the Lord Jesus, do you not? The Father, who through His Word and the Holy Spirit, has graciously wrought faith in you, and thereby gave you to Jesus. And Jesus does not want to lose you, nor will He do so. He will keep you in true faith. Note again! He who delivered Himself into chains and death for you now says to all hands that reach out for you: If you seek Me, let these go their way. What hands? The hands of the Law, of divine retribution, of death, of judgment, of damnation. Because those hands took Him in your stead, you are free, you are saved.
PRAYER. – My Lord and Savior! Thou, the Righteous, hast been taken for me, the unrighteous; hence I am free. This is most certainly true. Grant me grace to depend upon this blessed truth in life and death. This truth will save me. This day I commend myself into Thy hand: Thou wilt not lose me, for Thy heavenly Father hath given me to Thee, and Thine own beloved heart, O Savior, will never lose me. I love Thee, my Savior. Amen.
The sinless Son of God must die in sadness;
The sinful child of man may live in gladness;
Man forfeited his life and is acquitted –
God is committed.
Hymn 143, 5. (TLH)