Third Sunday in Lent – Wednesday

All this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.– Matthew 26:56.

Forthwith came Judas, and drew near unto Jesus, and said, “Hail, Master!” (Matthew 26:49), and kissed Him. Jesus, however, said to this thoroughly hardened and doomed man: “Friend, wherefore art thou come?” (v. 50a). “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48). Then came the captors and laid hands on Jesus and took Him (Matthew 26:50). When the disciples saw what would follow, they said unto Jesus: “Lord, shall we smite with the sword?” (Luke 22:49). “Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus” (John 18:10). But the Lord Jesus stopped Peter and said: “Put up thy sword into the sheath” (v. 11a); “for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:52-53). “The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11). “But how, then, shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matthew 26:54). And He touched Malchus’ ear and healed him (Luke 22:51). And to the chief priests and captains of the temple who had come along to take Him, He said: “Are ye come out as against a thief, with swords and staves, for to take Me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on Me” (Matthew 26:55; see also Luke 22:52-53); “but this is your hour and the power of darkness” (v. 53b). “But the Scriptures must be fulfilled” (Mark 14:49). “All this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled” (Matthew 26:56). And among them there was a certain young man who had followed Him to Gethsemane, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body. And the attendants laid hold on him, and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked (Mark 14:51-52).

Judas’ satanic betrayal, the murderous hatred of the elders of the church, the dark power of hell, the pitiful flight of the disciples, the capture of the great Lord and Savior at the hands of sinners—what awful things do we see here! Back of it all, however, there was, and in it all there prevailed, the gracious counsel of God for our salvation as revealed in the prophecies of the Old Testament. “All this was done, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled” (Matthew 26:56). God be praised!

PRAYER. – Yes, praise and glory be to Thee, O God, for so limiting and controlling the most accursed wickedness of Satan and of the ungodly, that thereby Thy gracious counsel for the salvation of us poor sinners must prevail and be accomplished. Praise be to Thee for giving Thy dear Son into the hands of sinners for the salvation of sinners. O gracious God, grant to me, a sinner, that I may take comfort from this in true faith and obtain the certainty of my salvation. Amen.

He spoke to His beloved Son:

‘Tis time to take compassion.

Then go, bright Jewel of My crown,

And bring to man salvation;

From sin and sorrow set him free,

Slay bitter death for him that he

May live with Thee forever.

Hymn 387, 5. (TLH)

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