Day THREE Devotional: the ARREST!
Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, praying, when: “Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees” (John 18:3 NKJV).
A detachment was from 300-600 soldiers. But they came with “LATERNS, TORCHES, and WEAPONS” (John 18:3 NKJV). These soldiers were heavily armed, the S.W.A.T. team of the time. They were ready for insurrection.
Jesus then went forward to them and said: “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, ‘Whom are you seeking?’ They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am He.’ And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them” (John 18:4, 5 NKJV).
Even though He knew He would face the cross Jesus WENT FORWARD! However Something SUPERNATURAL was about to happen that would STUN everyone! “Now when He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground” (John 18:6 NKJV).
When Jesus spoke “I AM”, the Covenant name of God. Notice the word “He” is in italics indicting it was added by the translators but not in the original. Look at their RESPONSE to the I AM statement of Jesus, they literally were “staggering and stumbling backward, as if some force hit them and pushed them backward” (Rick Renner – Sparkling Gems from the Greek p. 220).
So the picture here is the soldiers were “hit” with something so hard they it forced them to the ground as if they had dropped dead. It must have been startling. This proves that Jesus was not taken by FORCE. He surrendered of His own will. He settled that in the garden, this was all part of God’s plan for man’s redemption.
Jesus WILLINGLY laid down His life for YOU & for Me! Think about it!