LISTEN TO COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 10 – SEALED WITH A KISS
Welcome to this special Easter edition of Redeeming the Chaos with Laurie Christine!
A FAMILY DEVOTIONAL FOR EASTER
For 30 days leading up to Easter, I will be reading to you from my easter devotional book, Come and See! 30 Family Bible Stories for Easter.
Today, I am reading Come and See! Chapter 10 – SEALED WITH A KISS.
Come and See! invites families of elementary-aged children to experience firsthand the anticipation, the sorrow, the tragedy, the fear, and the ultimate triumph of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Through the eyes of six eye witnesses, you will be led on a journey through the busyness of the streets of Jerusalem, to the despair of Golgotha, and finally to the celebration of the empty grave.
This bookincludes 30 short devotional stories, each with accompanying Scripture references and questions for discussion and imagination.
We are going to be reading one story each day leading up to Easter. You’re welcome to grab the kids and listen together for your family Bible time. Or, if you would rather read to your kids on your own, you can DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF THE ENTIRE EBOOK HERE.
LISTEN TO COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 10 – SEALED WITH A KISS
READ COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 10 – SEALED WITH A KISS
SEALED WITH A KISS – Told by Judas, A Disciple of Jesus
The time had come. After I left the other disciples, I ran directly to the home of Caiaphas. The religious leaders were thrilled to see me. I told them that Jesus and his disciples would soon be heading to the Garden of Gethsemane. The priests agreed that it was the perfect location for the arrest. They assigned to me an entire regiment of Roman soldiers and temple guards to go with me to arrest Jesus.
“How will we know which man we are to arrest?” some of the Roman soldiers asked. Many of them had recently arrived in Jerusalem, specifically to help control the crowds during the Passover feast.
I thought for a minute. “Jesus will be the one that I greet with a kiss,” I told them. That’s how you will know which man to arrest.” Normally, a kiss was used as a greeting of respect for a teacher. I laughed to myself. A kiss would be the ultimate act of betrayal.
The Roman soldiers and guards were armed with swords, clubs, torches, and lanterns. I thought it was a little extreme. All this for just one man, who didn’t even own a sword? Whatever. These Romans didn’t do anything half-heartedly.
We arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane shortly after midnight. Clouds had rolled in, and the light of the moon no longer lit our path. Torchlight flickered and danced and cast eerie shadows on the trees around us. Sneaking through the garden, we anticipated the surprise attack. Despite the chilly night air, my sweaty hands slipped as I clutched my lantern.
It didn’t take us long to find Jesus. As we approached, I could see him in the distance, crouched on the ground as if in pain. But where were the other disciples? Aha! Now I could see them. Peter, James, and John were sitting on the ground under an olive tree, sound asleep. Psssh! Well, wouldn’t they be surprised when our little band of soldiers showed up?
My heart pounded with anticipation. I wasn’t nervous anymore. I felt exhilarated. I felt confident. Finally, we would put a stop to Jesus and all the chaos he was creating. Hopefully, they would beat him up and teach him a lesson, maybe even throw him in the palace dungeon. We made our way down the dark path, olive trees rustling in the breeze overhead.
Jesus had stood and awoken the other disciples, presumably when he saw us approaching. “They’ve probably wet their underpants by now!” I chuckled to myself. I wondered how loyal they would be tonight when we arrested their precious Teacher.
I took a deep breath and marched up to Jesus. I hesitated, but only for a second. Then I leaned in and kissed Jesus on the cheek as his bristly beard scratched the side of my face. I quickly pulled away. “Greetings, Rabbi,” I said in mock respect.
“Really, Judas? Are you going to betray me with a kiss of friendship?” Jesus’ voice was so full of disappointment; I didn’t dare look up and meet his gaze. Humph. I never really was a friend, was I?
Jesus stepped passed me and addressed the crowd of soldiers and temple guards. “Who are you looking for?” he asked innocently.
As if he didn’t already know.
“Jesus of Nazareth!” one of the Roman guards shouted from behind me.
“I am he,” Jesus replied.
At that moment, a surge of power seemed to radiate straight from Jesus himself. The entire regiment of soldiers was knocked off their feet in awe, as if a huge typhoon of water had just washed over them, forcing them into submission. My lantern shook in my hands. I mean, I had seen Jesus perform miracles, but I had never seen anything like this before. I shuddered, hoping I had made the right decision to be part of this whole plan of arrest.
As the soldiers scrambled to their feet, trying to regain composure, Peter (one of Jesus’ favorite disciples), ran up to Malchus, the slave of the high priest, pulled out a sword from under his robe, and slashed off the man’s ear! Malchus screamed, clutching the side of his head, while sticky, red blood oozed through his fingers. Oh, Peter. You always did have a hot temper, didn’t you?
I was hoping the soldiers would arrest Peter too, right along with Jesus. But Jesus scooped up the bloody ear that had fallen to the ground and healed it back onto Malchus’ head! Turning to Peter, Jesus said, “Put away your sword. That’s enough of that. Don’t you realize that I have the power to call for ten thousand angels to come and protect us? And my Father would do it immediately if I asked. But the scriptures must be fulfilled.”
Ten thousand angels? Seriously? Who did this man think he was? I was ready for the soldiers to get on with this, and get it over with.
The captain of the Roman guard stepped forward and announced, “Jesus of Nazareth, in the name of Rome and our Lord Caesar, you are under arrest.” Several more soldiers approached, grabbing Jesus’ arms and yanking them behind his back. They lashed his wrists together with thick ropes. “Get moving!” the captain shouted. Jesus stumbled over a rock as the guards shoved him ahead of them down the path, back through the chilly darkness of the olive grove.
Standing alone now in the darkness, I almost expected one of the soldiers to turn back and thank me for what I did. I mean, I was the one who led them to Jesus. I was the one who came up with this whole plan to begin with. Didn’t I deserve any credit at all? But no, not even a word of gratitude. Not even a backwards glance.
As I stood there, wondering what to do next, I imagined what the soldiers might do to Jesus. Whew, boy, those Roman guards could be cruel and brutal. I would not want to be at the sharp end of one of their spears, that’s for sure. After beating him up, the guards would likely throw Jesus into the smelly, dark, rat-infested dungeon. Oooh, rats! I hoped there would be lots of rats. Humph. Well, that would teach Jesus not to be a rabble-rouser, for sure.
I looked around, wondering what had happened to the other disciples. A tiny twinge of guilt pierced my heart. Tiny, mind you. I mean, I had been hanging out with these men for the past three years — eating with them, sleeping under the same roof many times. It’s not like they were my friends or anything like that. To be honest, I didn’t really have many friends… and yet… I did feel a tiny bit of nostalgia. I didn’t know when I would see any of those men again.
But the other disciples had all disappeared.
Figures. They were all talk anyway. I turned and walked away into the night.