The Betrayal: A Place of Eternal Love

“Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heav’n, to earth come down! Fix in us thy humble dwelling, All Thy faithful mercies crown. Jesus, Thou art all compassion, Pure, unbounded love thou art; Visit us with Thy salvation, Enter ev’ry trembling heart.” - Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (LSB 700, v. 1)

In Luke 22:47–53, Luke relates the betrayal of Jesus by Judas and His arrest by the religious leaders. At the heart of this scene is the contrast between the powers of darkness and the eternal love of God.

Jesus summarizes the events at hand when He tells the religious leaders, “this is your hour, and the power of darkness” (v. 53). Yet, even in the darkness, we see the gracious light of Christ. Throughout the betrayal and arrest, Jesus demonstrates the love of God. He willingly bears this suffering as part of God’s work of salvation, and He acts in the midst of this suffering to teach, to protect, and to heal.

Though we see the hour and the power of darkness in this moment, Luke also reveals to us God’s eternal love.

In Psalm 136, Israel learned to sing of God’s enduring love in a responsive song. The first voice declared a work of God and then the second voice responded with the refrain, “for His steadfast love endures forever.” So Israel praised God for the wonder of creation, remembering His steadfast love.

In this text, Luke helps Christians continue to sing that song. Faced with the powers of darkness, Christ responded with an eternal love. In repentance, we come before God confessing the ways we have betrayed His calling in our lives, and yet, even now, because of the willing suffering and death of Jesus Christ, God proclaims us forgiven, “for His steadfast love endures forever.”

God Bless,

Pastor Joel