25 Dec 2015

Matthew 26:40

Posted by joncooper

Matthew 26:40: “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?”

The book “Who Moved the Stone?” pointed out that the disciples must have been in the Garden for quite a long time. They had dinner, they walked to Gethsemane, and they were there for such a long time that the disciples found it impossible to stay awake. Now, these are the same apostles who were once rowing across the river at two in the morning!

What this means is that they must have spent hours in the garden. Jesus was waiting there – waiting for Judas to come and betray him. However, even though Judas left during the passover meal to betray him, it still took hours for the chief priests and elders to get together a party and make the quick 15-minute walk to the Garden to arrest Him.

The author felt that this was because the priests had to consult with each other to make sure that they could get Jesus arrested, perform the trial, and then crucify Him the next day. He thinks that they had to gather the group up, hold a meeting, make sure everyone approved of a trial, and then send someone to Pontius Pilate to make sure he was willing to try Jesus the following day. They had to make sure that everything would go off without a hitch, because if they arrested Jesus and then had to let Him go, it would have been a disaster.

I think this theory makes sense. It took Judas an unbelievably long time to get to the garden – possibly anywhere from 4 to 6 hours – even though he undoubtedly went straight to the priests. The hold-up had to have been with the priests. Based on the later exchange that the priests had with Pilate, it seems likely that they already had a pre-arranged agreement with him and were surprised when Pilate inexplicably backed out of it and tried to free Jesus.

It’s just an interesting point. There are a lot of pieces to the crucifixion story that may not be as obvious as they seem.


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