« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
is he that dippeth with me in the dish. And Judas said, Master, Is it I?
George. I wonder how he durst put the question, when he knew what he had done.
Aunt. It shews how sin hardens the heart. At the conclusion of the supper, our Lord thought fit to institute a new rite and sacrament, instead of the passover. In commemoration of his infinite love to mankind, he took bread and brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my body. And he took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Lucy. Had our Lord any particular design in instituting this ordinance at the time of commemorating the passover?
Aunt. Undoubtedly he had, as both referred to the same solemn transaction; the one, as a type, shortly to be accomplished, and then to be regarded no more; the other, as a memorial of the same important event, to be observed to the end of time. For it is said, As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Let a man therefore examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. See 1 Cor. xi. 26, 28. After this, our Lord and his apostles sang a hymn, and concluded. But, before they departed, he gave them his farewel exhortations, which you will find in the 14th, 15th, and 16th, chapters of John: in the 17th we have a remarkable specimen of the intercession of Christ, in which he prayeth not only for his apostles, but for all who should believe in his name. Our Lord, having finished his divine prayer, departed out of the city, with his apostles, over the brook Cedron or Kidron, towards mount Olivet.
Maria. When did Judas leave them?
; others, upon their leaving the house. As they walked, our Lord conversed with his disciples, saying, All ye shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But, after I'am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered, Though all men should be offended because of thee, yet will not I. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, This night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. He spake in the warmth of his affections, but he was ignorant of the treachery of his heart, and the force of temptation, forgetting that nothing short of power divine could uphold him.
After they had passed Kidron, they came to Gethsemane, at the foot of mount Olivet, where was a garden well known to Judas : our Lord having often repaired thither with his disciples, for retirement and devotion. Jesus ordered eight of his apostles to stay at the entrance, while he, with Peter, James, and John, went in: and here his sufferings began. He told them that his soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death; but that they must watch awhile with him. He then went a little farther, and fell on his face, and poured out his soul unto
God. He now laboured under more than human nature alone could sustain, the full pressure of God's wrath against the sins of the world, lying upon him. . After praying three times, he rose up and came to his disciples, whom he found sleeping for sorrow. And he said unto them, Why sleep ye? 'rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. He had scarcely uttered these words, when there appeared a company of soldiers, officers, chief priests, and pharisees, armed with swords and staves, and furnished with lanterns and torches. Judas had given them a sign, that the person he should kiss was the mau: and this vile traitor went up to Jesus, saying, Hail, Master! and kissed him. Jesus made this gentle reply, Dost thou betray the Son of man with a kiss? Then, stepping forwards, he said unto the soldiers, Whom seek ye? They answered, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus replied, I am he. Instead of immediately seizing him, confounded and astonished, they fell to the ground.
Lucy. The Lord shewed by this, how easily he could deprive them of the power of hurting him.
Aunt. It evidently proved that they could do nothing but by his permission; and that none could take away his life unless he laid it down of himself. As soon as the men had recovered their consternation, Jesus repeated the question, to which they returned the same answer; he then requested them, if they sought him only, to let his disciples go their way; thus taking care that they should escape that storm, to which he willingly exposed himself. The rude multitude then laid hands on the blessed Jesus: upon which, Peter, to shew his promised courage,
drew his sword, with which he smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear.
George. 'I suppose his intention was to cleave his skull.
Aunt. But Jesus rebuked Peter, bidding him put up his sword, and telling him, that if he had thought proper to decline' suffering, he could have prayed to his father, and have had more than twelve legions of angels at his command; but how then would the scriptures be accomplished, which declared he must suffer? Our Lord took this occasion to fulfil his own precept of doing good for evil, by immediately healing the servant's ear.
Maria. What wretches they must be to persist in their purpose, when Jesus manifested such goodness as well as power? I feel for the poor disciples : if I had been in their place, I should have broken my heart with grief.
Aunt. Their courage utterly failed them, when they saw their master bound; for they all forsook him and fled. And Jesus was led by the multitude to Annas, who was father-in-law to Caiaphas, the high priest: but he sent him to Caiaphas's palace, where the Sanhedrim were assembled, though thus late at night. Our Lord, making 'no reply to the false witnesses that were brought against him, the high priest at length said, I adjure thee, by the living God, that thou tell us, whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God; upon which our Lord explicitly declared himself to be the Messiah, saying, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the Almighty, and coming in the
clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spokea blasphemy: what farther need have ye of witnesses ? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy: what think ye? The whole assembly, on hearing this, joined with Caiaphas in pronouncing our Lord guilty, and condemning him to death. They then left him to the mercy of the servants and soldiers till morning.
Lucy. What a night must Jesus have endured, exposed to the scoffs and buffetings of those wretches! But where were the disciples during his examination?
Aunt. Peter, hoping to pass unnoticed, mixed with the throng to see the event; and, entering the common hall of the high priest's palace, where the servants and officers sat round the fire, he also sat down with them to warm himself; when a maidservant, fixing her eyes upon him, said aloud, This man was with Jesus of Nazareth, asking him, if he was not his disciple? Peter, startled at the question, denied it before them all, and withdrew into the porch, where he heard the cock crow.
Maria. Did not this put him in mind of our Lord's words?
Aunt. He took no notice of this warning, continuing still in the place of temptation. Another maid charged him with being the disciple of Jesus; but he confidently denied it a second tine, with the addition of an oath; so natural is it for one sin to lead to another. About an hour after, another began to converse with him on the same subject, telling him, that his speech discovered him to be a Galilean; and, to make the matter the more indis