Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 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. Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Jesus wanted no harm to come to those who were with Him, so He willingly went out to the ones who had come to take Him away. This was only the first step of the process. He would be mocked, beaten, spat upon, faced the trials of the religious leaders, King Herod, and Pilate, the Roman governor before being condemned to death by crucifixion.
Jesus was willing to endure all that for us, sinful as we are, in order that we might be saved. We cannot imagine the depth of love and obedience to God’s will that it must have taken for Him to accept such a terrible ordeal, even though He was innocent!
Jesus died for every one of us. Are we willing to accept the call He made on our lives to love one another (John 13:34), to take up our cross and follow Him? Today, remember He gave His life for us. May we give our lives to Him, and if needed, for Him as well.
Merciful God, we weep as we see Jesus crucified, but we turn and scatter in the face of the world’s opposition. Make us strong in Your name that regardless of what challenge we encounter we may be obedient as Christ was, and faithful even unto death. Amen.