Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The Gospel of John is incredibly careful to emphasize that Jesus went to his death willingly. One of the ways John emphasizes this is through a small detail at the arrest of Jesus that the other Gospel writers choose to leave unmentioned. When the men came to arrest Jesus, he asked them, "Whom do you seek?" Upon hearing the declaration, "Jesus of Nazareth," Jesus himself declares, "I AM." The response? The arrestors become arrested in their tracks - falling back and fearing for their lives. Why? No doubt because of the majesty of our Lord shining through on this darkest of nights. And so John tells us - these men couldn't have arrested Jesus if he hadn't wanted to be arrested. As true as it is that Judas handed Jesus over to his enemies, it is just as true that Jesus handed himself over to them. And so Jesus tells Peter, "Shall I not drink this cup that the Father has given me?" Praise God for our Willing Victim.