Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

SECT. XCVIII.

Jesus is apprehended, accused, and condemned.

47. And while he yet spake, [ same is he: hold him fast. 49.

lo, Judas, one of the twelve,
came, and with him a great
multitude with swords and
staves, from the chief priests
and elders of the people. 48.
Now he that betrayed him
gave them
sign, saying,
Whomsoever I shall kiss, that

a

And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, Master; and kissed him. 50. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.

Lord God, keep us from all sin, especially from betraying thee, like Judas, with a kiss. Thou sufferedst that traitor to approach thy sacred person, and to kiss thee: surely thou wilt not reject a soul that really desires to worship thee. According to thy command, (Psalm ii. 12.) he saluted thee respectfully. Lord, keep us from honouring thee with our lips, while our hearts are far from thee. Let our veneration be expressed by deeds, as well as words. Thy meekness towards him is very remarkable: "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" O give us meekness.

51. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. 52. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father,

and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54. But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? (Isa. liii. 7, 8.) 55. In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, 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.

When Peter would have defended thee by the sword, and struck off Malchus's ear, thou wouldst not suffer him to proceed in this way. Thou couldst easily have obtained twelve legions of angels from thy Father, had it been thy intention to repel thy enemies by force. But this was not in thy view: thou patiently waitedst the ac

complishment of the scriptures; and instead of doing violence to thy enemies, thou touchedst the wounded man, and healedst him. Give us thus to do good for evil. O blessed Lord, how happy is it to be one of thy disciples! Thou canst easily set all right, which their rashness, or imprudence, does wrong. While thou rebukedst Peter, thou madest reparation for his fault. At the same time, thy innocent soul was not insensible of the injurious treatment thou receivedst from these wicked men, as appears from these words; "Are ye come out "as against a thief, with swords and staves to take me? "I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and you "laid no hold on me." But the scriptures were fulfilled, that "thou wast to be numbered amongst transgressors. Lord, give us grace willingly to suffer shame for thy

sake.

56. But all this was done, all the disciples forsook him, that the scriptures of the pro- and fled,

phets might be fulfilled. Then

At that time all the disciples forsook thee, and fled, and thus gave proof of human weakness and baseness, and of the truth of thy prediction. Thus thou wast left alone; but thy Father was with thee still but the time was coming, when thy Father also was to forsake thee. O Lamb of God, how great were thy sufferings! and there was none to help thee when thou stoodst in greatest need. Give us in the deepest distress to remember how thou wast forsaken. We trust thou wilt never forsake our souls.

57. And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58. But Peter followed him afar off, unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants to see the end. 59. Now the chief priests and elders, and all the council, sought false wit

ness against Jesus, to put him
to death; 60. But found none:
yea, though many false witnes-
ses came, yet found they none.
At the last came two false wit-
nesses, 61. And said, This
fellow said, I am able to de-
stroy the temple of God, and
to build it in three days.
And the high priest arose, and
said unto him, Answerest thou

62.

nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 63. But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee, by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. 64. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65. Then

the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 66. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. 67. Then did they spit in his face, and buffetted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands; 68. Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote thee?

Thy enemies so thirsted for thy blood, that they met that very night to condemn thee. But they were at a loss for a pretext: they therefore sought false witness against thee; but Providence counteracted them in this attempt. They could find none. At last appeared two, who accused thee of saying, that thou wast able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days: thus misrepresenting what thou spakest concerning the temple of thy body. To such an accusation thou wast silent but when the high priest adjured thee by the living God, to tell whether thou wast the Messiah, the Son of God, thou wouldst not be silent any longer, but madest that good confession, "That thou art the Mes"siah, the Son of God; and that hereafter they should see thee sitting on the right hand of power, and coming "in the clouds of heaven." But this good confession was pronounced blasphemy, and thou wast judged guilty of death. Then did they spit in thy face, and buffet thee, and smite thee with their hands, saying, "Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote "thee." O Son of God, the brightness of thy Father's glory, and the express image of his person, what indignity didst thou submit to! Here we see what shame is due to sin. Thou endurest all with divine patience : for this let every knee bow to thee, and every tongue pro claim thy glory. Blessed be God, that face which was once deformed and defiled with spittle, and swoln with

[ocr errors]

strokes, now shines in heaven above the lustre of all angels. Glory be to thy righteous Father, who hath exalted thee in proportion to the depth of thy humiliation. Who would value either the censure or the praise of this blind and wicked world, after what they did to thee? Lord, help us to suffer with cheerfulness whatever they shall inflict for righteousness sake.

SECT. XCIX.

Peter's denial of Christ.

69. Now Peter sat without | And after a while caine unto in the palace and a damsel him they that stood by, and said came unto him, saying, Thou to Peter, Surely thou also art also wast with Jesus of Gali- one of them; for thy speech lee.. 70. But he denied before bewrayeth thee. 74. Then bethem all, saying, I know not gan he to curse and to swear, what thou sayest. 71. And saying, I know not the man. when he was gone out into the And immediately the cock porch, another maid saw him, crew. 75. And Peter rememand said unto them that were bered the words of Jesus, which there, This fellow was also with said unto him, Before the cock Jesus of Nazareth. 72. And crow thou shalt deny me again he denied with an oath, I thrice. And he went out, and do not know the man. 73. I wept bitterly.

We read a little before, that Peter followed thee afar off, and went in with the servants to see the end. Now at the first temptation in this bad company he falls, and denies before them all, that he understood what was said, when he was charged with being with Jesus of Galilee. Soon after he denies with an oath, "I do not know the "man." And, lastly, he begins to curse and to swear, saying, "I know not the man.' Alas! what is become of all his resolution now! Lord, give us to profit by this striking example. Keep us from self-confidence, and from preferring ourselves to others. Keep us from pronouncing better of ourselves, than thy word of truth does. Keep us from following thee afar off. Keep us from seeking shelter in wicked company. And, Omerciful Saviour, give us Peter's repentance. He went but, and wept bitterly. He durst no more compare

himself with others, when thou saidst to him, "Lovest "thou me more than these?" He exhorted others to be clothed with humility, and to pass the time of their sojourneying here in the fear of God. He was effectually cured of the sinful fear of man; for he declared before the whole sanhedrim his attachment to thy cause, in the most public manner. Such was the effect of thy strengthening grace, when all his own courage was shamefully defeated. Glory to thee for thy mercy in receiving such a sinner into favour, and in giving him repentance. Thou prayedst for him, that his faith might not fail; and thou turnedst and lookedst upon him, when he had denied thee. Lord Jesus, give us to remember, that if we are thine, thou prayest for us; and look upon us with that pitying eye, with which thou lookedst upon Peter, that we may get true repentance, and may never draw back unto perdition. Lord, let the sincerity of our repentance appear as Peter's did; and let all this love of thine be a powerful restraint from sin.

SECT. C.

Jesus is delivered to Pilate. The Repentance and Suicide of Judas.

CHAP. XXVII.

W
HEN the morning was
come, all the chief priests
and elders of the people took
counsel against Jesus to put
him to death. 2. And when
they had bound him, they led
him away, and delivered him
to Pontius Pilate, the governor.
3. Then Judas, which had be-
trayed him, when he saw that
he was condemned, repented
himself, and brought again the
thirty pieces of silver to the
chief priests and elders, 4. Say-
ing, I have sinned in that I
have betrayed the innocent
blood. And they said, What

is that to us? see thou to that. 5. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. 6. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. 7. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 8. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. 9. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, (a) And they took the

(a) Note on v. 9. The words here cited are not in the prophecy of Jeremiah, as that book has been transmitted to us; but in Zech, xi, 13. Various solutions

« AnteriorContinuar »