When Jesus came out of the garden the third time, he was ready, for he had fully accepted the Holy Spirit's Will as the only Will. There was no longer a separate will within the mind of Jesus.
Jesus smiled at the three. "Are you still sleeping?" he asked. "Enough," he said gently. "The hour of glory has come. Let us return to our brothers and be one with them."
(v 43 - 52) It was that evening that Judas appeared with a group of armed men sent by the chief priests and some teachers of the law to capture Jesus. Judas led them to Jesus by walking up to him and addressing him as "Rabbi." But before Judas stepped away to make room for the arrest and capture, he kissed Jesus as a signal of special love, that Jesus may know that all that he did, he did for certainty. Jesus understood Judas' kiss and realized it came from confusion, so he neither accepted it or denied it, and he loved Judas all the same.
A man standing behind Judas quickly seized Jesus. And another man from the other side of him did the same. An apostle, reacting from fear, leapt at a man and struggled to take his sword.
"No fighting!" Jesus exclaimed loudly. "I have not come to fight, but to teach. Everyday I have been teaching in crowds and in temples. And even now, I stand to teach the same message. We are one, my dear brothers. There can be no conflict between us."
Jesus nodded to the men holding him, indicating that he would go with them in peace. They led him away, and Judas followed to see what would happen.
In the darkness left by the arrest of Jesus, the apostles became very afraid. Their imaginings led them to different conclusions, and they scattered in all directions. But one apostle remained within the garden seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit in quiet.
(v 53 - 65) The men who arrested Jesus took him to the high priest, chief priests and teachers of the law. Judas was admitted into the room with them to witness what he had come to see. Peter, who had followed from a distance, waited outside for news of what was happening with Jesus.
Many witnesses were allowed in and dismissed, one and two at a time, but the witnesses' stories were not the same. It was clear that each one thought he had heard or seen a different thing, and no one had a consistent perception of the man called Jesus.
Judas looked on the confusion and recognized that it was his. And he became afraid.
Peter felt separate and alone. The fear rose within him also.
Someone testified that he'd heard Jesus tell the apostles that the temple was nothing. Another testified that he had said he would make it nothing by destroying it. And yet another testified that Jesus planned to build his own temple. The high priest asked Jesus which version of the story was true. But Jesus recognized that there was no truth in any of it. There was no truth within the questioning or within the fear or within attack. And so he rested within the peace and oneness of his mind, sure of truth and grateful for it. Jesus said nothing. For there is no response to a question that asks nothing. And Jesus loved the high priest as he loved everyone, as his Self.
The high priest felt impatient, for he was anxious to prove that Jesus was guilty and insane. He asked Jesus, "Are you the Christ, the Son of our Lord?"
"Yes," Jesus answered, "as are you."
Some within the room heard Jesus as he answered, but the high priest and those who were afraid of their own guilt did not. "See!" the high priest exclaimed, pointing at Jesus, anxious to be seen as victorious over him. "What more do we need to hear? This man is clearly blasphemous!" And many were eager to agree, and so they shouted at Jesus and spat at him. But a few remained quiet, asking for clarity within their heart. Judas saw the confusion in the room. And in it, he perceived his own guilt. Peter felt afraid and wanted to hide from his fear.
(v 66 - 72) Peter sat beside a fire warming himself when Judas passed by. A woman saw Peter looking at Judas, and she said to him. "You are one of them, aren't you? You are friends with the one they have in there." Peter felt afraid to be identified with Jesus. And so he said, "No," and moved further away from the crowd. Peter stood by the gate, rubbing his own arms and worrying about how he should protect himself, when the same woman came upon him there. "I know you are one of them. I saw you with him myself."
Although the woman did not sound accusing, Peter felt threatened. He hid his fear with anger and denied any association with Jesus or the apostles. Others standing near by heard the conversation between them. One person spoke up. "Surely you know him, for you are of his kind." Peter denied himself and Jesus, and pretended to be something he was not. He ran away from them. Just as Peter made his escape, he saw light break on the horizon and heard a rooster crow. He felt grateful that the darkness would end. And then he remembered Jesus' words to him, and he realized all that he had denied in fear. He fell to his knees crying, and asked the Holy Spirit to help him see another way.