18 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. 4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” 12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him (verse 4) and yet, he went to a familiar place that his betrayer (Judas) knew (verse 2). Jesus did not hide. When they came near he asked them “Who is it you want?” They replied “Jesus” and he said “I am he”. Twice he asked them and twice he identified himself. No mix up of identity or communications here.
On the first occasion of him identifying himself, those coming to take him fell over backwards onto the ground. This is Jesus, “I am”, the all-powerful Son of God.
Jesus wanted no violence. He was not hiding. He clearly identified himself and he handed himself over to his accusers.
In John 10:11 Jesus said, I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep.
Jesus, the all-powerful Son of God, knew all that was going to happen to him, and he willingly gave up his life for all.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
What a prophetic statement, the Jewish leader Caiaphas unknowingly made, “Better that one should die for all” (verse 14).
Jesus thank you for giving up your life for me. I am so grateful, forever indebted, that you choose to die so that I may have eternal life. Help me to live my life for you each and every day.
Written by Ps. Zoe Stewart