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A poem of insight and instruction by King David[a]

32 What bliss belongs to the one
    whose rebellion has been forgiven,[b]
    those whose sins are covered by blood.
What bliss belongs to those
    who have confessed their corruption[c] to God!
    For he wipes their slates clean
    and removes hypocrisy from their hearts.

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  1. 32 David wrote this psalm after he seduced the wife of his most loyal soldier, then had him killed to try to keep her pregnancy a secret. This sin with Bathsheba brought great disgrace to David, yet he found complete forgiveness in God’s mercy. The apostle Paul chose the first two verses of Ps. 32 to support the important doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. See Rom. 4:5–8. This was Augustine’s favorite psalm. He had it written on the wall near his bed before he died so he could meditate on it.
  2. 32:1 The Hebrew word for “forgiven” means “lifted off.” Sin’s guilt is a burden that must be lifted off our souls. The Septuagint reads “because they have not hidden their sins.”
  3. 32:2 David used three Hebrew words to describe sin in these first two verses: “rebellion,” “sins” (failures, falling short), and “corruption” (crookedness, the twisting of right standards).

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

47 At that moment Judas, his once-trusted disciple, appeared, along with a large crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent to arrest Jesus by order of the ruling priests and Jewish religious leaders. 48 Now, Judas, the traitor, had arranged to give them a signal that would identify Jesus, for he had told them, “Jesus is the one whom I will kiss. So seize him!”

49 Judas quickly stepped up to Jesus and said, “Shalom, Rabbi,” and he kissed him on both cheeks.[a]

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  1. 26:49 This would have been the customary kiss among the Jews of that day.

Judas, the traitor, knew where this place was, for Jesus had gone there often with his disciples. The Pharisees and the leading priests had given Judas a large detachment[a] of Roman soldiers and temple police to seize Jesus. Judas guided them to the garden, all of them carrying torches and lanterns and armed with swords and spears.[b] Jesus, knowing full well what was about to happen, went out to the garden entrance to meet them. Stepping forward, he asked, “Who are you looking for?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,”[c] they replied. (Now Judas, the traitor, was among them.)

He replied, “I am he.”

And the moment Jesus spoke the words, “I am he,” the mob fell backward to the ground![d]

So once more, Jesus asked them, “Who are you looking for?”

As they stood up, they answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus replied, “I told you that I am the one you’re looking for, so if you want me, let these men go home.”[e]

He said this to fulfill the prophecy he had spoken, “Father, not one of those you have given me has been lost.”[f]

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  1. 18:3 The Greek and Aramaic word used for this company of soldiers implies quite a large number, up to five or six hundred men sent to arrest Jesus. Even his enemies knew his power was great.
  2. 18:3 The Greek word is “foot-soldiers’ weapons.”
  3. 18:5 Or “Jesus, the Nazarene.” This is the Aramaic word nussraya, which means “victorious one” or “heir of a powerful family.” The Hebrew word for “Nazareth” comes from the root word netzer, which means “branch.” See Isa. 4:2; 11:1.
  4. 18:6 This was a stunning event as the great I Am spoke his name before those who sought to seize him. It is obvious in the text that they did not trip over each other in surprise, for every one of these strong men fell backward to the ground by the power of God. Jesus was in charge that night as the captain of the host of the Lord. They could not seize him unless he permitted them to do so. What a wonderful Savior who willingly submitted to the hands of cruel men to bring us the gift of salvation.
  5. 18:8 “These men” were the eleven disciples who were with Jesus in the garden.
  6. 18:9 See John 6:39; 17:12.

48 Jesus looked at him with sorrow and said, “A kiss, Judas? Are you really going to betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

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