Sermon: The Betrayal of Jesus (John 18:1–27)
It’s time. No more signs. No more teaching. No more intercessory prayer. There is nothing left for Jesus to do but to give himself up to his betrayer. On his way to the cross, he will be tried, beaten, denied, mocked, and spit upon. For this reason, it is probably best to understand that Jesus’ work “at the cross” begins here, when he goes out to meet Judas in the garden of Gethsemane. All this marks the absolute lowest point in his estate of humiliation.
Nevertheless, it is also here that we see the glory of Jesus shine most brightly in the Gospel of John. Throughout this Gospel, John has been teaching us that his most glorious moments were not when he gathered to himself the largest crowds, but when he is most exquisitely despised and rejected by his own people. By now, John has prepared us to see the character, love, resolve, strength, mercy, and power of Jesus shine in the middle of his darkest hour. In John 18:1–27, we will start to see Jesus’ glory in its full radiance, for Jesus most fully reveals his true identity at the cross.