Then he returned a third time and told them, “Are you still asleep and resting? That’s enough: The time has arrived: Look, the Servant of Humanity is being arrested into the hands of the wicked. Wake up – let’s get going. Just look, the one who will have me arrested is getting close.” Right away, while he was still speaking, Judas – one of the twelve – arrived with a brigade of soldiers with swords and knives – from the chief priests, scribes and elders. (Mark 14:41-42)
Why didn't Jesus avoid his arrest?
We can see from Jesus' statements here that he was waiting to be arrested. He knew Judas and the guards of the chief priest were coming to arrest him. Yet he did nothing. He didn't leave. He didn't hide from them. He waited for them to come to arrest him.
Typically, when a person knows that he will be arrested unfairly and persecuted, he will not await capture. He will hide or run off. Jesus not only knew that Judas was going to have him arrested. He authorized Judas to do this:
“What you shall do, do quickly.” (John 13:27)This is what Jesus instructed Judas at the last supper, right before he went up to the Mount of Olives. Then we find that Jesus goes up to the Mount of Olives and waits to be arrested there. Coincidence?
No. This was not a coincidence. Jesus arranged for his own arrest. Yes, certainly Judas took the 30 pieces of silver, as this was part of his incentive. But Jesus let this happen. He allowed Judas to arrange for his arrest and allowed himself to be arrested. Why?
Why did Jesus allow himself to be arrested?
The first and most obvious reason is that Jesus did not want to stop teaching the Truth. The temple high priests of the time wanted Jesus to stop preaching, because he was gaining followers and they were losing followers. He was on a collision course with the organized temple teachers. They wanted him to stop and he didn't want to stop.
Jesus didn't want to stop preaching because this was his service to the Supreme Being. He loved God and Jesus was God's representative:
"By myself I can do nothing; As I hear, I make choices, and my choices are just because I do not seek to please myself but to please Him who sent me." (John 5:30)It is also important to remember that Jesus was not attached to being in the physical world. His home was the spiritual realm. He was happy to return to the spiritual world and reunite with the Supreme Being:
“My teaching is not mine, but comes from He who sent me. (John 7:16)
"Very truly I say to you, he who trusts in me – the works I "do, he will also do – and greater works than these will he do, because I am departing to go to the Creator." (John 14:12)Why should Jesus want to remain in this physical world - a world of envy, violence and greed? Why would he want to stay here if he had a home in the spiritual world and an intimate relationship with God?
Didn't Jesus descend out of love?
Jesus' mission was to teach us about the Supreme Being. That's what he had been doing. He was doing this out of love for us. Jesus loves us and wants us to be happy. This was his purpose for coming here.
But as usual, those who are attached to power in the physical world wanted to get rid of Jesus. Jesus was threatening these positions of power. So they wanted to remove him.
Certainly, Jesus could have run off and avoided capture. But then it would have been difficult for him to preach in public. He would have had to keep running away from the high priests' soldiers for the rest of his years, or he would have had to stop preaching. That was unacceptable.
So Jesus understood that his work was almost done. He knew that it was time for his students to also become preachers and begin spreading his teachings from there.
After all, Jesus wasn't creating any new teachings. He was clarifying and passing on the pure teachings of Moses, Samuel, Jeramiah, Ezekiel, David, Abraham and others that had taught before him. This is why Jesus' teachings often quoted the teachings of the prophets. Even his most important teaching was quoted from Moses:
“The most important of all the instructions is, ‘Hear O Israel – the LORD our God is our only Lord – and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ – this is the most important instruction." (Mark 12:29-30)This quote, "Hear O Israel – the LORD our God is our only Lord – and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength," is directly quoting Moses from Deuteronomy 6:5.
So how could Jesus be teaching something new if he was quoting the prophets even for his most important instruction?
Was Jesus the only representative of God?
Some claim that Jesus taught something different from the Prophets. That Jesus had his own teaching. If anything, Jesus was clarifying the Prophets' teachings. He was trying to teach the pure version of their teachings.
This is also why Jesus found himself in the same predicament as some of the Prophets had, when they faced persecution for their teachings. Jesus understood that this was how the temple institution operated at the time and before him: They would persecute those whose teachings didn't agree with their ritualized versions.
While these institutions were tied up in rituals and sectarian conflict, the Prophets and Jesus went about the business of serving the Supreme Being by teaching about love and devotion towards the Supreme Being. But for doing this, many of the prophets, including Zechariah, Elijah, Amos, Miciah and John the Baptist, were murdered.
Yes, Jesus' own teacher John the Baptist was persecuted for his teachings. So why would Jesus run from such an honor?
The reality is that Jesus knew that death was not the end of his life. He knew he would be returning home to be with the Supreme Being when the physical body was finished.