9th Hour

9th Hour on Holy Thursday:-Seizing Christ

“And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” (Matthew 26, 27). The disciples used to kiss the Lord whenever He came as a sign of honor and respect. Judas’s kiss was full of deceit. He hid his evil intentions with a kiss. The Lord allowed him to kiss Him to show us that we should forgive whoever wrongs us and to bear without complaining.

He who hates, disguises it with his lips, And lays up deceit within himself;[Prov. 26:24]

“In the same night when He sat with His disciples He gave His soul over to death with the will of His Father and in His own good pleasure. They took hold of Him who takes hold of all, bound the ruler of all and shackled the Son of the living God ; they drew Him in wrath and He followed them in love, they took Him and He followed them like a meek sheep which is dumb before its shearers”. [the Anaphora of St. John Chrysostom]

Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. [Psalm 41:9]

When they first seize Him, they tied His hand, they tied the hand King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. He allowed this because He was to take all our sin and the full punishment that came with them. Seeing her only son seized and tied, Mother of God, sorrow entered her heart and bitterly cried. This was third of the five greatest suffering Mother of God had to endure  during Christ’s journey to the Cross.

“One day when St Mary was standing for prayer and being in ecstasy, heard the voice of our Lord speaking to the Theotokos, saying to her, “tell me, My mother, which were the greatest of your suffering when you live in the world which you did suffer for My sake”. The Virgin Mother replied, “My Son and God, five times i endured my greatest suffering for Thee: First, when i heard from the Prophet Symeon that thou were to be slain; second, when i looked for Thee in Jerusalem and did not see Thee for three days; third, when i heard that thou were seized and bound by the Jews; fourth, when i saw thee on the Cross crucified between the robbers; and fifth, when i saw Thee placed in the tomb”

The Mother of God seeing her own Lamb led to the slaughter cried and said, “..why has the worse counsel prevailed? Why has they lay hand on Thee unjustly?”.  The first part of the Psalm Prophecies the nature Judas who spoke in peace and even kissed the Savior, but had evil in his heart to betray his Master. [Psalm 2]

When men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, St Peter reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. According to the Church Holy Tradition, the name of the servant who had his ear cut off was Malchus. St Peter wanted to cut off his neck but God deviated it to his ear marking to indicate the deafness of the Jews to the works of prophets and the teaching of Our Lord and their lasting enslavement by Satan because they insisted in rejecting the word of God. The law of the release of a slave stated that after six years, the slave is asked to choose either be freed from his master or stay in his service. If he chooses freedom, he is freed. If he doesn’t want to be freed then his ear would be pierced and he would serve his master forever. [Ex. 21:2-6]

In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. [Mt. 26].

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