On the Grace of God

John 18

When Jesus is arrested, we find Him going out to a place well known to all of His disciples. He and the others go there and, when Judas arrives with the guards, it is Jesus who steps forward and speaks. Knowing that it is He whom they are after, you would expect perhaps one of the others to step forward first, but instead it is He Himself. This happens that we might see a truth, that even throughout His arrest, it is He who has the authority. It is Him in control, and He going of His own will. The fact alone that He went to a place known by all of the disciples, including Judas, reveals that it was not Judas who found Jesus, but rather, Jesus who found Judas.

When the guards reveal that it is Jesus whom they are seeking, His response is simply, “I AM” (though translated in most versions as “I am He,” ego eimi literally translates to I am, with no pronoun attached). And the sheer power of this statement is so strong that it drives His accusers to the ground. This further serves to illustrate the power and authority which Jesus has in this very situation. At His own arrest, He is giving the orders and commands, which are in turn obeyed, even by the very guards who have come to arrest Him.

Consider for a moment this fact which is often overlooked. We know that when they come to arrest Him, Peter impetuously unsheathes his sword and severs the ear of one of the guards. And we know that immediately, Jesus heals the wound, healing the severed ear, and then rebukes Peter for his actions. And yet, what is so often overlooked is the reality of the situation. Peter unsheathes his sword and attacks a servant of the high priest; a guard with the authority to defend himself without question, or at the very least to arrest Peter for such an affront. And yet, Peter does so with no repercussions. He attacks him with no retribution, and no penalty aside from the rebuke of Jesus. Even in the face of such a grave offense against a servant of the high priest, Jesus command of “let these go their way” is obeyed.

And this fact serves as a great reminder to we who are in Christ. No matter what crimes we have committed, what transgressions we are guilty of; if we humble ourselves before the Lord, we always have this opportunity for this great mercy; for this forgiveness of God. Jesus has conquered the very power of death, the greatest threat that this world could ever hold over us. He has authority over all things, on earth and in heaven. If we are willing but to empty ourselves of ourselves and seek His mercy, His forgiveness, His grace; there is nothing in this world that will ever again have dominion over us. No sin, no passion, no power in the world can ever have dominion over us, if we but humble ourselves and fall before the Lord, seeking His mercy.

Christ is in our midst.

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