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Jesus is here in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas, with the Band of Soldiers, apprehend Christ. He is arraigned before Pilate.
(John 18:1 ) When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.
I detain the Reader at the very entrance on this Chapter, in order to beg his attention to what the Sacred Writer hath said of this brook Cedron, or Kidron. It is evidently the same as that mentioned, 2 Samuel 15:23 . And as David, in passing over this brook in his distresses, was clearly a type of Christ, it merits our attention the more. Some have thought that the name of Cedron, or Kidron, which signified black, was given to it because it lay in a dark valley. And others conclude, that its name was taken from the black and foul waters which ran into it from the temple sacrifices. In either sense, the gloominess of it, and the filth of it, rendered it loathsome. And if, as is supposed, the prophetic Psalm concerning Christ had an eye to this brook when it is said, that he should drink of the brook in the way; Psalms 110:7 . it may serve to lead the mind to some very solemn and interesting reflections. Here it was that the good king Josiah caused the polluted vessels of the temple to be burnt. 2 Kings 23:4 . And all the uncleanness found in the house of the Lord in Hezekiah's reign, was carried here. 2 Chronicles 29:16 . Jesus passing over it, and drinking of the brook in his way, may not unaptly be supposed to represent the filth and blackness of sin, in which Christ as our representative appeared. And his drinking of it might be supposed to refer to the cup of trembling, which, as the Church's Surety he drank to the very dregs, that his people might drink the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. Isaiah 51:22 ; Psalms 116:13 .
And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus oft-times resorted thither with his disciples. (3) Judas then, having received a hand of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns, and torches, and weapons.
It is sweetly said, that Jesus oft-times resorted thither with his disciples. Yes! no doubt the Lord had enjoyed many blessed hours in communion with his Father in this hallowed spot. And no doubt had oft refreshed his faithful Apostles in it with his divine discourses. Here then, where Christ in his human nature had received the richest consolations, shall he now sustain the bitterest conflicts. And as in a garden his Church in her Adam-nature fell under the temptation of the devil, so in a garden will Jesus begin his triumph over hell, to take his Church out of the hands of Satan. Judas, it is said, knew the place. No doubt had often heard, in common with the other Apostles, the Lord's heavenly discourses there. But what discourses of heaven, and heavenly things, can affect the minds of them w ho are earthly, sensual, devilish? Reader! depend upon it, if all the damned in hell were liberated from their chains, no other mind would they have, but what would be still hellish. And if the devils were permitted to change their place, there would be no change accomplished by this of their nature: devils they would still be. Nothing but a sovereign act of grace could alter their mind. And this we are told will never be accomplished. They are reserved, scripture saith, in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. Jude 1:6 .
Of this awful character Judas, I have said so much already (John 13:0 .) as to render it unnecessary to enlarge in this place in adding to the account. But I cannot forbear observing, in this miserable man's history, to what a desperate degree of hardness the mind of man, under hellish influence, is capable of arriving. It is very evident, from the relation which follows in this Chapter, that when the band of soldiers fell to the ground at the voice of Christ, Judas must have fallen with them, for the Evangelist is express in noting, that Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. Reader! pause over the trembling account. Here were chief priests and Pharisees, Roman soldiers and officers, and Judas the traitor, all standing together in conspiracy against the person of Christ. Now, I humbly ask, were not these the different heads and representatives of all the enemies of God, and of his Christ? The chief priests and Pharisees were the representatives of the Jewish church. The Roman soldiers of the Gentiles. And both were prophesied to join hand in hand to the death of Christ. See Psalms 2:0 . And what was Judas? Was he not the awful representative of all the reprobate? Jude 1:4 .
I must not pass away from these verses, without first noticing the circumstance of this band of armed men coming to apprehend Christ, with lanterns, and torches, and weapons. What was this for? In all probability it was moon-light, being full moon according to the season of the Passover; yet, as if to make sure of their object, they bring lights with them, as well as weapons. Judas, their leader, no doubt had told them of some of Christ's miracles, and therefore they used every precaution. But, if the Reader will attend to what is related in the following verses, he will discover how the Lord rendered all these circumstances, (as he did indeed every other) to minister to his own glory, the joy of his Church, and the confusion of his enemies. Luke 4:28-42.4.31 ; John 6:15 .
Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? (5) They answered him , Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. (6) As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. (7) Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye ? and they said, Jesus of Nazareth. (8) Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he, if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: (9) That the saying might be fulfilled which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none, (10) 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. (11) Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (12) Then the band, and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,
It is not wonderful that the Roman soldiers should have been ignorant of Christ's person, for they little regarded the Great Redeemer of mankind, unconscious of their need of one. But that the chief priests and Pharisees, and especially Judas, should not instantly have recognized Christ, is astonishing. Some have thought that the Lord for the moment struck the whole party with blindness, as the angels at Lot's house struck the sodomites, before that the Lord struck them to the ground. Genesis 19:11 . But be this as it may, certain it is that somewhat overawed the whole company, and probably it was a large one, if, as some suppose that the Chiliarch (who in John 18:12 is so called) commanded not less than five hundred men.
But I pass over this, and indeed every other consideration, to call the Reader's attention to two grand points here presented to our contemplation. First, the promptness of Jesus to meet his enemies, in going to them unasked. And, Secondly, the miracle which he wrought in smiting them to the ground. Of the first, I shall have occasion to speak more particularly in the succeeding verses. And of the second, I will only beg to observe, that, according to my apprehension of things, this was the greatest miracle that we have upon record, produced by apparently the slightest exertion of Christ's power. Reader! figure to yourself an army of soldiers, with weapons, falling backward to the earth only at the simple words of Jesus, I am! And then ask your own heart, Who but God could have wrought such a miracle! How was that prophecy of the Psalmist concerning Christ fulfilled, When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Psalms 27:2 . And how blessedly also was that prophecy of Isaiah accomplished, which he spake concerning this stem of Jesse, and the Branch which should grow out of his roots, when it was said of him, that he should smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he should slay the wicked. Isaiah 11:1-23.11.4 . Oh! how easily might the same breath which cast them to the ground, have cast them into hell! And, Reader! do not overlook how graciously the same words of Jesus which minister comfort to his people, prove destructive to his enemies. See Isaiah 58:9 ; Matthew 14:25-40.14.33 . For when at any time the Lord speaks graciously to his own, it is for the most part in making himself known unto them. I, even I, am he that comforteth you. Then thou shalt call, and the Lord shall answer: thou shalt cry, and He shall say, here I am. It is I, be not afraid. See Isaiah 58:9; Isaiah 58:9 ; Mark 6:49-41.6.50 . So that the very presence of the Lord, and the manifestation of that presence, which confounds the Lord's enemies, comforts his friends; yea, the very same words, according to the manner in which the Lord speaks them, give life, or destroy.
When the Reader hath duly pondered these things, I would beg to call his attention to what I before glanced at in these words and actions of Christ, in the promptness of Jesus, in going forth to meet his enemies, and voluntarily surrendering himself into their hands. Jesus knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth and said unto them, whom seek ye? Now the voluntary surrender of himself as a sacrifice for the redemption of his Church and people, is among the grand events of the whole business, and therefore I more earnestly request the Reader's attention to it.
And for the proper apprehension of it, we must look back, according to the scriptural account of these transactions, to the everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure, in which the Almighty Covenanters engaged before the foundation of the world. We are too apt to begin the subject of Christ and his Church, at that part of it which concerns the redemption of the Church; whereas, in truth, this is but the consequence of things, and not the first chapter in this wonderful volume of God! Christ, and his Church, were set up from everlasting. And for the time-state of the Church, the Lord Jesus, as the Head and Husband of his Church, volunteered from all eternity to come and deliver her from the ruin of the fall, which in the Adam-nature, in which she was to be born, in common with the whole Adam-race, it was foreseen she would be involved. And hence we hear Christ, by the Spirit of prophecy, ages before his incarnation, saying, Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire: mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required; then said I, Lo! I come! In the volume of the book it is written of me. I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart. Psalms 40:6-19.40.8 . Now the freewill offering of Christ as a sacrifice, constituted the principal feature in the merit of it. So that we find, no sooner doth scripture open to the Church the subject of redemption, and proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ as the High Priest, the Altar, and the Sacrifice, but we discover also, in the same Scriptures, the voluntary will and freeness of the Lord Jesus, in giving himself a sacrifice.
I must not, in a work of this kind, amplify pages in bringing a selection of scriptures to this point, in proof at large. But I earnestly request the Reader to consult those I refer to. They may be classed under their several heads. First, what the Scriptures relate of these things, in Christ's willingness to offer himself a sacrifice for his Church, before the foundation of the world. See, in confirmation, Psalms 89:19-19.89.29 ; Proverbs 8:22 to the end. Romans 16:25-45.16.26 . Secondly. The further relation of those things from the first dawn of revelation, and before Christ openly tabernacled in substance of our flesh. Every service under the law ministered to this one end, and every type and shadow had no other object but in allusion to the one offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all. Hebrews 10:10 . In proof of this the whole Jewish dispensation might be brought forward, and the whole code of prophecy also. See Psalms 22:0 and Psalms 69:0 ; Isaiah 53:0 ; Zechariah 9:11 . Thirdly. When the Son of God appeared, and came to accomplish the full purposes of the covenant, every act of Christ, before the time arrived for his sufferings and death, most fully proved that his entire consent was in it. My meat is to do the will of him that, sent me, said Jesus, and to finish his work, John 4:34 . Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business, Luke 2:49 . Yea, the zeal of the Lord's house is said to have eaten him up. John 2:17 . So that everything indicated how exceedingly his heart was engaged in this work. Jeremiah 30:21 . And perhaps as striking an instance in proof, as ever could be given, was the reproof he gave to Peter, who, from his love to Jesus, when the Lord was foretelling his disciples of his sufferings, cried out, Lord, be it far from thee! Get thee behind me, Satan, (said Jesus,) thou art an offence unto me; for thou savorest not the things which be of God, but those that be of men! Matthew 16:21-40.16.23 . See the Commentary there. From all which appears the earnestness with which the Lord looked forward to this great event of his sacrifice and death, as the delight of his heart. He engaged in it from all eternity. And in time, no sooner had his Almighty hands, in common with the Father and the Holy Ghost, created the world, than he began to shew forth, in types and sacrifices, his redemption of the world; yea, he is said to have been the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, because every offering shadowed forth the offering of his body once for all. Revelation 13:8 ; Hebrews 10:10 . And, lastly, to mention no more: the freeness and willingness with which Christ here came forward from the garden, to give himself up to the band of men and officers, become a full confirmation of the whole. He who struck to the ground the whole band, could have delivered himself from them forever; but, as he himself said, how then would the Scriptures have been fulfilled, that thus it must be. See Matthew 26:50-40.26.54 . If the Reader wishes to consult more scriptures in proof of the voluntary offering of Christ, and the Lord's delight in the prospect of his death, he may turn to Luke 9:18-42.9.22 and Luke 9:51 ; Matthew 20:20-40.20.28 ; Luke 12:49-42.12.50 ; John 13:27-43.13.32; John 13:27-43.13.32 .
I beg the Reader's particular notice to the wonderful authority of Christ, expressed in these words, in the very moment of surrendering himself: If, therefore, ye seek me, let these (meaning his disciples) go their way. I humbly conceive, that Jesus spake not as a matter of request, as though he begged it as a favor for his disciples to be at freedom to depart; but a command, they shall go their way. Touch not mine anointed, and do my Prophets no harm. Psalms 105:15 . And, surely, if his overruling power had such sway in the safety of others, how much more, had it pleased the Lord, might he have exercised it for himself. I mention this as an additional testimony of the free-will offering of Christ, in which, beyond all doubt, consisted the infinite value of his sacrifice. And what a very sweet and comfortable thought ariseth out of this view of Jesus, thus giving his disciples a safe deliverance through the midst of their enemies. Surely he standeth round about his people now, as much as then. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation. 2 Peter 2:9 . When the Prophet's servant in the Mount, found himself surrounded with the horses and chariots, even a very great host, sent by the king of Syria to take prisoners, the Prophet and his servant, the poor distressed follower of Elisha, cried out, Alas! my master, how shall we do? But how different did he view things, when, at the Prophet's prayer, the Lord opened his eyes, he saw a mountain full of horses of fire, and chariots of fire, encircling them both around for protection? 2 Kings 6:14 , etc. So was it with the disciples of Jesus, in the hour here described. The presence of Jesus was a wall of fire round about. Zechariah 2:5 . So is it now, and ever hath been, and will be in all ages of the Church. There is a suited grace, a suited strength in Christ, for every occasion. And when faith is in lively exercise, a child of God finds himself enabled to fetch all from Christ, and to live wholly upon Christ. I can do all things, said Paul, (and so may every child of God say the same, when the Lord the Holy Ghost quickens to the act of faith,) through Christ which strengtheneth me. Php 4:13 ; 2 Corinthians 12:9-47.12.10 .
If I detain the Reader one moment longer on this very interesting passage, it shall be only to remark to him the very great preciousness in the accomplishment of our Lord's prayer, respecting the safety of his people. The Lord Jesus had just before declared to his Father in that prayer, (see John 17:12 .) that he had lost none of all that the Father had given him. And here the Evangelist records a blessed instance of it, so immediately upon accomplishment. Surely so sweet a proof, and so graciously handed down to the Church by God the Holy Ghost, ought to be had in everlasting remembrance. For what is here said of the Apostles, holds equally good to all the Church of Christ. Not one of them whom the Father hath given to the Son can be lost, either in time or eternity, either body or soul, for both are equally the Father's gift, and equally united to Christ, and equally beloved by God the Holy Ghost. And it would be well if every child of God, from so remarkable an instance as this before us, would take comfort from it against all the exercises he may meet with in his own life. And though Peter seemed for the moment to have made it doubtful, by cutting off the ear of one of the party, yet even this act of violence on the Apostle's side called forth no resentment from them on their's. A plain proof of the restraint Jesus had over the minds of all that came against him, and, by the way, no small proof also of his divine nature in the act. So that the whole forms a very blessed instruction, and of comfort to all the children of God, in all ages of the Church, and I venture to hope that my Reader will not lose sight of it. John 6:39 .
Of the binding of Christ, which as a sacrifice became highly proper, I have already dwelt upon, Matthew 26:57 . But, in addition to what was there offered, I would request the Reader to connect with it the wonderful coincidence of circumstances, which arise from the view of Christ, as a free-will offering. To bind Him, who by the breath of his mouth cast to the ground the whole party of soldiers, and who could have commanded a legion of angels to attend his divine person, how mysterious it appears! And yet, so it must be. His divine nature is proved from the omnipotency he manifested; and the binding him, as another Isaac, as fully demonstrated that he was crucified through weakness, 2 Corinthians 13:4 and both together confirm. the wonders of his person; Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness; but unto them that are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God, 1 Corinthians 1:23-46.1.24 .
And led him away to Annas first; for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. (14) Now Caiaphas was he which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. (15) And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple; that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. (16) But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. (17) Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? he saith, I am not. (18) And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals, for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them and warmed himself.
I have before noticed in the former Evangelists, some of the leading circumstances concerning the wearisome and painful walks of Jesus, from the Garden to Annas, and from Annas to Caiaphas, to Pilate, and to Herod, to which I refer. But there are several very weighty things connected with this view of the Lord Jesus, when led as a lamb to the slaughter, that merit our closest attention, and which, in this place, I would beg to propose to the Reader's notice.
It was according to the law of sacrifices, that the Children of Israel should present them first to the Priest, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And probably this with a view, to see, that the thing offered had no blemish. I beg the Reader to turn to Leviticus 17:1-3.17.9 in proof. Now though Annas, and Caiaphas, were both silent as to the spotlessness of Christ, yet the Holy Ghost so ordered, that Jesus should not be led away, without this testimony: and therefore Pilate, in passing sentence, shall declare the Lord's innocency. See Matthew 27:24-40.27.25 . What a very blessed proof this is, of Christ, the great Sacrifice. Hebrews 7:26 ; 1 Peter 1:17-60.1.18 .
And while we are taking this transient view of the Lord Jesus, in the presentation before the High Priest, as a spotless sacrifice, it may not be amiss to connect with it another; namely, that when led away to slaughter, and bound with the sins of his people; so here again there was a correspondence, in being led without the camp, and suffering without the gate, Hebrews 13:12 . He was taken from prison and from judgment, the Prophet said, when the Lord Jehovah had laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:8 . Surely the wonderful correspondence of those things with the types of old, could not have had such an exact fulfilment, but from God the Holy Ghost, watching over his Church, and arranging the whole to the Lord's glory, and to the joy of his people.
In relation to the following of Christ, by Peter, and another disciple; I do not think it necessary to enlarge. Whether this other disciple was John, as has been generally supposed, or not, cannot be a point of great consequence to seek to know, since the Holy Ghost is silent upon it. I confess I should rather think that it was not John, or either of the Apostles; but rather one of those many private disciples we read of, John 12:42 . For John was of Galilee, as well as Peter, and therefore his speech would have betrayed John, as well as Peter. Neither is it likely that John, a poor fisherman of Galilee, should have had much acquaintance at the High Priest's palace. But be this as it may, it cannot be important to determine; since the Holy Ghost hath not explained.
But in relation to Peter, it was among the overruling providences of the Lord, that he should follow Christ at this memorable hall, because here was to take place that event, of his denial of Christ, and that grace of Jesus towards him, in his recovery from so awful a fall, as hath proved in the Church of Christ, and will prove until the whole Church is brought to heaven, a subject of the deepest teaching of man's nothingness, and Christ's all-sufficiency. See Luke 22:31 .
I pray the Reader to remark what is said in this scripture of the fire in the hall, kindled to warm the servants, and of the coldness of the night, which made it necessary. And yet this was the selfsame night, and but a few hours before, when Jesus sweat the bloody sweat, under the burning heat of his agony in the garden. Reader! what must the sufferings of the God-Man have been, when in the open air, in a garden, and in a night of extreme cold, the Lord was thus exercised, when within a hall, full of company, as it should seem, a fire was kindled to give warmth to the people!
The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine? (20) Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. (21) Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. (22) And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by, struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? (23) Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? (24) Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas, the high priest. (25) And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? he denied it, and said, I am not. (26) One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did I not see thee in the garden with him? (27) Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
John is the only Evangelist which hath recorded this examination of Christ. And the drift of it was, if possible, to discover somewhat more particularly concerning what they deemed blasphemy. See Deuteronomy 13:0 . But though they wished to make this in some measure a cover with the people, yet, as they desired above all things to bring Christ under the Roman power, in order that he might be crucified, and not stoned, as was the punishment for blasphemy, they only designed this examination as preparatory to the bringing him before Pilate. Hence we find, according to the account given by Luke, (Luke 23:1-42.23.2 ) that their charge against Christ before Pilate was, that they had found him perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cesar, saying, that he himself was Christ, a King. There is nothing said of blasphemy; this charge would have thrown back Christ upon them, to be judged at their tribunal, which of all things they studied to avoid. Christ must, according to their wishes, be turned over to the civil power, and in this case, crucifixion must be the punishment.
And here I just detain the Reader to remark how the Lord overruled their minds to confess the very reverse of what they intended. First, by declaring that it was not lawful for them to put any man to death, according to the Roman custom, for sedition, whereby they confessed that the prediction of the Patriarch Jacob, when he lay a dying, was fulfilled, the sceptre was departed from Judah, and the lawgiver from between his feet, and consequently the Shiloh was come. Genesis 49:10 . We have no king (said they) but Cesar! John 19:15 . Reader! do not fail to ponder well these things!
Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgement: and it was early, and they themselves went not into the judgement hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. (29) Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? (30) They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. (31) Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: (32) That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die. (33) Then Pilate entered into the judgement hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? (34) Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? (35) Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? (36) Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. (37) Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice. (38) Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? and when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. (39) But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? (40) Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
It appears from the earliness which is here spoken of in hurrying away Jesus to the hall of Pilate, that the Sanhedrim must have sat up all night. Oh! with what blood-thirstiness did those men hunt after the death of Jesus? Reader! do not fail to observe, amidst the misgivings, fears, and alarms of those wretched characters, both Jews and Gentiles, how sweet the testimony Jesus gave to his person and character. Art thou a King? saith Pilate to him. Thou sayest that; (said Christ,) I am a King. But not of this world, though in this world; here in grace, hereafter in glory. Oh? sweet and blessed assurance from the lips of truth. And, as the Lord here said, he bears witness to the truth, for he himself is truth. John 11:6 .
And, Reader, do not overlook the spiritual instruction which ariseth out of the Jews' preference of a robber to Jesus. You and I have robbed God of his glory, and our souls of happiness: and yet how are we released at the Passover, when Christ, our Passover, hath been sacrificed for us, while Christ is by wicked hands crucified and slain? Oh! thou Lamb of God! truly thou hast borne our sins, and carried our sorrows! And how often have thy people preferred sin and vanity, as those Jews did Barabbas of old, before thee, the Lord of life and glory.
Oh! Gethsemane! sacred, hallowed spot! Did Jesus oft-times resort thither with his disciples? And wilt thou now, O Lord, by thy sweet Spirit, aid my meditations, that I may take the wing of faith, and often traverse over the solemn ground? It was a garden in which the first Adam began to break through the fence of God's holy plantation. And in a garden the second Adam, so called, shall begin the soul-travail of sorrow, to do away the effects of it. And, oh! what humiliation, what agonies, what conflicts in the arduous work? Oh! how vast the glory, when smiting to the earth his enemies, the Lord Jesus proved his Godhead by the breath of his mouth! Sweetly do I see thee, Lord, by faith, going forth a willing sacrifice. Lo! I come! said Jesus. So come, Lord, now, by grace!
Hail, thou King of Zion, for thou hast here most blessedly borne testimony to this glorious truth. Then as a King do thou reign and rule over thy Church, thy people, both in heaven and earth. And let my soul continually discover the goings of my God and King, in his sanctuary. Surely, dear Lord, it is thine, both by nature, providence, grace, and glory, to maintain and order, to regulate and appoint, to establish and confirm thy royal laws, and the government of thy kingdom, in the hearts and minds of all thy people, whom thou hast made willing in the day of thy power! Reign thou, and rule in me, the Lord of life and glory! Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on John 18". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent