What Happened From the Passover to the Cross?

We have all heard the Easter story. If you have ever been to a church service on Easter, you know the story of the Passover supper, Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, the arrest of Jesus, the scourging, the trial, the mocking by the Roman soldiers, the carrying of the cross to Golgotha and the actual crucifixion on the cross. We have seen movies and heard descriptive sermons of this night. But there are many details about the Easter story and the Resurrection that we don’t really think about, and some, that we may not even know. So, what really happened? And why are these details just as important to our Christian life as the actual resurrection of Jesus? Let’s find out.

The first thing Jesus experienced that night was betrayal by one who was close to Him and had been with Him from the beginning. Why did Judas betray Jesus? Betrayal happens when someone is offended and is unwilling to release the hurt to God. Why was Judas offended? John 12:1-8 gives us the reason. Judas allowed offense to enter when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with very expensive spikenard rather than selling it. He was not happy when Jesus allowed her to do it. He opened the door for Satan to put the thoughts of betrayal in his heart.


Jesus suffered great agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew what was to come and how horrible it would be. He did not just pray a nice simple prayer. The original Greek tells us that he was in a fierce wrestling match between His human will and the Father’s will that was so great he was on the ground, writhing in pain, rolling this way and that way. He was actually sweating great drops of blood. Sweating drops of blood is an actual, but rare, medical condition that occurs when the mind and emotions are under severe stress. He was pushed to the limit of what a human being can endure mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. And the disciples were sleeping, no help at all.

SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH/RENEWAL Even though the disciples were sleeping on the job, so to speak, God was not. He knew Jesus needed to be strengthened and helped. And He knew Jesus needed supernatural help. Luke 22:43 tells us that an angel appeared and strengthened Him. He was instantly recharged and ready to face the test in front of Him.


How many soldiers did it take to arrest Jesus? John 18:3 tells us that a band of men and officers of the chief priests and Pharisees came to arrest Jesus. In the Greek, a band means cohort or 1/10 of a legion. That is 600 soldiers plus the police officers who guarded the temple. So, we are told by scripture that over 600 soldiers were sent to arrest one unarmed man, Jesus. They were aware of the miracles Jesus had done and wanted to take no chances that anything would go wrong or that there would be any resistance. But Jesus had already won the battle over His will and He surrendered to them.



Jesus was deceived by a kiss from Judas. When Judas kissed Jesus, he called him “Master” which really means “Teacher, masterful teacher” or “Rabbi, wonderful Rabbi”. Judas did not call Him “Lord” and there is no evidence in the gospels that he ever referred to Him as “Lord”. Judas saw Jesus only as a masterful teacher. With the exception of Judas, all of the disciples were completely submitted to Christ’s authority.



Jesus was not actually arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, but rather in a cave in the Garden of Gethsemane. When the soldiers came, they filled the cave and the surrounding hillside. The soldiers came seeking Jesus of Nazareth, and when Jesus answered, “I am He”, they were knocked to the ground by the divine power of God. In the original Greek, it says they were staggering and stumbling backward and falling to the ground as if they were dead. At Jesus’ words, over 600 heavily armed soldiers with lanterns and torches were pushed backed staggering and stumbling, falling to the ground as if dead. Imagine the power of God in action at that moment!



Even after this great display of God’s power, Peter felt it necessary to “help”. He let his emotions get the best of him and grabbed a sword to smite Malchus, the servant of the high priest. Malchus was not just some lowly servant. He was the mouthpiece for Caiaphas. Today, we would call him a press secretary. He was on the ground with the rest of the soldiers that had been hit by the power of God. It is suggested that Peter did not try to just cut his ear off but rather decapitate him. And missed, getting only his ear. Peter made a mess of things so Jesus, in His mercy, cleaned up Peter’s mess. He took the time to strongly lay hands on Malchus and restore his ear to normal.



From the time of His birth until His death, the Gospels tell us that a multitude of angels were always on hand to assist Jesus. All He had to do is say the Word. Angels are extremely powerful. Isaiah 37:36 tells us that one angel killed 185,000 men in the enemy’s camp. Jesus said that there were more than 12,000 legions of angels ready to come to His aid that night. A legion is 6,000 so 12,000 legions of angels is 72,000 angels. How much damage could 72,000 angels do? 72,000 angels had the power to kill 13,320,000,000 people, approximately twice the population of the earth today. This was the power available to Jesus on that night. NO ONE had the power to arrest Him. He went with them willingly because it was the will of the Father.



Mark 14:51-52 tells us of a young man, naked wrapped in a linen cloth, following Jesus. The Garden of Gethsemane at this time covered the whole side of the Mount of Olives. It consisted of orchards, caves and a cemetery, including new graves. Some scholars say the naked young man was Mark or, possibly John. However, there was no reason for either of these disciples to be walking in the Garden naked. And the only other time the Greek word “sindon” (or linen cloth) is used in the New Testament, it is used to describe the burial shroud of Jesus. So this young man was naked and wrapped in a burial shroud. He was an “accidental resurrection”. The same power of God that knocked over 600 soldiers to the ground as if they were dead was so strong it resurrected this young man from a nearby grave. The Word also tells us that when the soldiers realized this young man was walking around in a burial shroud, they tried to arrest him. But he ran away from them and escaped. How embarrassing for them would it be if it were known a resurrection had occurred while they were arresting Jesus?

Everything Jesus went through are the same things we go through at different times in our lives.  There are times when we are deceived or betrayed by others, times when we do things our own way and make a mess, times when we have to overcome our flesh or need to submit to the Father’s will, or times when we need additional strength or power for a particular situation.  As a child of the King, we have the very same resources available to us that Jesus had available to Him.  We just have to make the decision to walk in His footsteps.  He stayed before the face of His Father until He received the strength needed to overcome His flesh and submit it to the will of His Father. Even during His arrest, He was willing to take the time to heal the ear of an enemy and fix Peter’s mess.  He did not condemn Judas for His betrayal or deception.  And we need to remember that strength and power are always available to us when we ask the Father.  Not only that, but our ministering spirits are standing ready and waiting to work on our behalf when we speak the Word of God.  The journey from the Passover Supper to the Cross was horrific, painful and humiliating but it was also a night of great power and victory.