Christ spent the last night before his death praying with the apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane. That same night, Judas Iscariot – also one of the apostles – arrived with a band of soldiers sent by the chief priests. They were there to arrest him.
Judas had agreed to betray his friend in exchange for money. To identify Christ to the soldiers, he famously kissed him in greeting. This stained glass scene pictures this dramatic moment. Beneath the betrayal, we see St Peter attacking the high priest’s servant with a sword. When the soldiers went to arrest Christ, he lashed out and cut off the servant’s ear.
All four gospels cover the story of Christ’s arrest, while including additional details. St Mark says that a young man – possibly even Mark himself – tried to follow Christ (Mark 14:43-52). St Luke says that Christ healed the servant’s ear (Luke 22:47-53). And St John tells us the servant’s name – Malchus (John 18:1-11).
This particular scene forms part of the stunning east window of the church of the Holy Trinity in Hammersmith, which tells the whole story of the Passion of Christ. The window, by the Hardman firm, features 12 scenes from the arrest to the death of Christ and dates to 1853.
See the full image:
Hardman & Co. / Passion Window featuring the Arrest of Christ / Stained glass / 1853
Where to find this work of art
Holy Trinity, Brook Green
Read the relevant passage
- From the Old Testament: For preaching the truth, The Prophet Jeremiah was also arrested and imprisoned (Jeremiah 38:1-6)
- From the New Testament: It was Judas who betrayed Christ, leading to his arrest by the soldiers.