One foot in front of the other, the betrayer walked up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi” (Matt. 26:49), and kissed him. This mark of friendship and affection was the prearranged signal for the arresting party to seize Jesus (26:48).
In the literal and spiritual darkness of Gethsemane, Jesus looked at Judas and said, “Friend, do what you came to do” (Matt. 26:50). Only then did the armed crowd seize Jesus (26:47, 50). Only then.
When Peter tried to stop the arrest, Jesus told him to put away his sword (Matt. 26:52). Jesus claimed legions of angels were at the Father’s disposal (26:53), so he was not helpless in the Garden of Gethsemane. The arresting crowd was large, Judas was betraying him, and the disciples would soon flee, but despite the intimidating circumstances, Jesus was not helpless. A vast angelic host could intervene at his appeal.
Jesus was the one in control at Gethsemane, not Judas or the armed crowd or the disciples. He told his betrayer, “Friend, do what you came to do” (Matt. 26:50), as if to show that the subsequent arrest happened because he directed it to take place! No matter how clever and sinister the conspiracy against him was, the hour of his suffering and death would not arrive earlier than the timetable established before the foundation of the world.
Now the hour of suffering and death was near. Jesus had resolved to drink the cup, and the betrayer had arrived at the appointed place. The crowd had their swords and clubs, but they were not in charge. At Gethsemane, Jesus said, “Friend, do what you came to do,” because he was no helpless victim. He was in total control.