As Jesus was taken away, his only objection was how the Jewish authorities had come against him. They came under the cloak of darkness (Luke 22:53), just like so many of their deeds before (cf. John 7:53 and John 8:1-3). These men, who claimed to uphold the Law, unlawfully sought to arrest Jesus. They had plenty of opportunity to take him during the day (Luke 22:53), but they needed the cloak of darkness to hide their sin from the people. They were afraid. They were cowards, many people coming together to build up courage. Like a mob, they came against one Righteous Man. Jesus showed them their sin, but they continued in their evil deed unable to reply adequately.
I have had a problem with what some call “road rage.” I don’t mean to imply that I no longer get upset with anyone while driving in my vehicle. However, I believe the Lord has broken me of this sinful habit. I will relate a story that happened to me awhile ago, and apply it to what the chief priests and guards were doing to Jesus.
I could tell that things were different driving to and from work, approximately 16 miles, one way. For about one month, I was becoming more and more irritated with the traffic around me. I would be angry, but then I would apologize to the Lord. This continued day after day. Sometimes I would apologize to Christ and almost while the words were yet in my mouth, I’d be angry again with someone else encroaching upon my space. More often than not, the culprit was one of those big bully truck drivers. Oh, how I wished there was a policeman to follow them around all day long. Pointing the finger at others always seems to keep my mind off my own sin.
In the course of my traveling to and from work, there was an unavoidable small town with three traffic lights and two very narrow streets. In most other places there would be no parking on such streets, but the people living there must park somewhere, and the street is all there is. One afternoon while driving home, I was about the fifth person back waiting for the traffic light to change green, when this huge truck came sailing through the yellow light and wanted to turn onto the street I was on. He was now blocking the intersection. We had the green light, but no one could move anywhere but back. The gentleman in front of me tried to be helpful by getting out of his vehicle and motioned to me to back up. I shook my head and said loudly, “NO!” I was already well into my rage. I pointed to the truck and said, “he moves. I don’t!” I folded my arms and refused to listen to a cooler mind and a helpful heart. I watched as the man looked at me in disbelief and got back into his vehicle.
The four cars in front of me maneuvered this way and that, while I hoped for a policeman to come by. The truck driver passed them and me. He never looked down to see the wonderfully hateful look I reserved just for him as he passed by. This took two of my precious green lights to accomplish. Then the unthinkable happened. Just as the light was turning again, another huge truck did the same thing. It was not until the fourth green light that he was able to make his way through the intersection. This time, however, the truck driver did look down at me, as he passed by. I could read his “thank you” on his lips, and I am sure he could read my lips as well, as I called the legitimacy of his birth into question.
I relate this embarrassing story to show something I have in common with those who bound Jesus and took him away. Jesus was faithful to reveal their sin to them (Luke 22:53), but they turned a deaf ear. This is what I had been doing concerning my road rage. Looking back, I can see that Jesus was speaking to me about my sin for at least a month. Spiritually, I bound Jesus up with force. I turned a deaf ear to him, because he was faithful in letting me know that I was not doing well. Sin was at my door. I needed to repent. Nevertheless, I stroked my anger and was glad to release it upon the bully who encroached upon my sacred space. My deed was under the cloak of darkness, because though it was the middle of the afternoon, the only one there who knew me was Jesus. I had complete anonymity and was able to be my sinful self without fear of being found out.