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13. Jesus Arrested
(Matthew 26:47-50)
47And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.48Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.”49Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.50But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

When Judas spoke about Jesus, he used the expression, “He is the One!” This phrase includes the name of Yahweh (I am who I am). Thus, the traitor referred to the Lord by the unique name of the true God.
The soldiers and the chief priests rushed upon Christ, bound him, struck Him, and led Him away to the judgment hall. What a horrible affliction! The truth was bound by those who were bound in sin. The hour of darkness came, and the unjust condemned God Himself for His love. Christ did not condemn the traitor who had kissed Him with the kiss of betrayal, but gave him the last chance of salvation and called him, “Friend!” God’s love, forgiveness, and salvation were summed up in this gentle name. Christ calls you “Friend” no matter how great your sin is. Do you hear His voice with a broken heart? Do you repent and weep?

Lord Jesus, You are the Lord of the covenant. You allowed the people of the covenant to arrest You and lead You to the prison of the religious court. In spite of that, You loved Your betrayer and did not destroy him by Your divine power. You accepted his cheating kiss and called him “friend.” How great is Your love and self-control in denying Yourself. We thank You because Your kindness is beyond all minds. Encourage us to believe and trust that You bear us and accept us even when we are unfaithful in our testimony for You and Your name. Thank You Lord for all You have done for us.
Why did Jesus call His betrayer “Friend?”