What Judas Brought to the Garden

Text: John 18:1-3

Judas is one of the most well-known villains in the Bible. Most people recognize him as the one who betrayed Jesus. Judas betrayed Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. What Judas brought to the Garden says a lot about him. It is also interesting to see the contrast between this and what Jesus brought to the world.

What Judas Brought to the Garden (John 18:3)

  • Roman cohort – represented the power of civil authority (Romans 13:4); Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus (Matthew 26:3-4), but needed the Romans to do it (John 18:31); this was the power that would be overthrown by Christ’s kingdom (Daniel 2:44)
  • Officers from the chief priests – the chief priests were the spiritual leaders of the people, but they were not leading them (Matthew 9:35-36); they were simply looking out for themselves (John 11:47-48)
  • The Pharisees – allegedly the “strictest sect” of the Jews (Acts 26:5), but they did not strictly follow God’s law (Matthew 15:7-9; 23:23); like the chief priests, they were interested in themselves, not the people (John 11:47-48)
  • Lanterns and torches – necessary because they came at night; they wanted to seize Jesus secretly (Matthew 26:4); darkness provides a cover for those who sin (John 3:19-20)
  • Weapons – carnal weapons used by the Roman cohort (Romans 13:4); the instruments necessary to capture dangerous criminals (Luke 22:52)

What Jesus Brought to the World

  • Divine kingdom – Jesus told Pilate He was king over a spiritual kingdom (John 18:36-37); His kingdom would endure forever (Daniel 2:44; Matthew 16:18-19); its king and capital are in heaven (Philippians 3:20)
  • Better priesthood – former priests were fallible humans (Hebrews 5:2-3); Jesus was sinless (Hebrews 7:26-28); willingly sacrificed His own life for the people (Hebrews 7:27; John 15:13); despite His death, He holds His priesthood forever (Hebrews 7:23-25)
  • Law of liberty – we have been given the law of liberty (James 1:25); different from the hypocritical standard of the Pharisees (Matthew 23:4); we have freedom in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17); free from sin (Romans 6:22); free from the commands of men (Colossians 2:16, 20-23)
  • Light of the world – Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12); if we follow Him, we walk in the light of life (1 John 1:5-7); His word provides the light to show us the path we must take (Psalm 119:105)
  • Sword of the Spirit – Jesus’ followers are not to use carnal weapons to advance His cause (Matthew 26:51-52); the weapons He gives us are far more powerful (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:17)

Conclusion

  • The contrast between Judas and Jesus can be summarized under one theme – physical vs. spiritual
  • Judas chose the things of this world – not surprising based on his character
  • We must choose spiritual things (Colossians 3:1-2)

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