So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees went there with weapons and torches. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to Him, came forward, and said to them, “what do you seek?” John 18:3-4
In reading Greg Morse’s blog on April 12, 2017 from “Desiring God,” I was struck with these thoughts:
Jesus had just finished His final words with the disciples in the Upper Room and the Garden of Gethsemane, as well as His big prayer with the Father. “He knew His hour had come,” as John 13:1 states. For most of the last three years Jesus had been saying, “My hour has not come,” like in John 2:4 and John 7:6, 8. Judas brought the band of soldiers to arrest Him. Jesus knew the Old Testament, so He knew what was going to happen. Isaiah 53 could have been playing in the background.
Jesus was fully human (a mystery) and knowing what was ahead, He still came forward. In the Garden He had prayed, “Father if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done,” from Luke 22:42. In verse 44 we find that “He prayed so earnestly that His sweat became like great drops of blood falling on the ground.” Jesus knew that He was going to be the Passover lamb and that, in taking on the sin of the world, He would be separated from the Father.
Yet He came forward. I would want to either hide or to fight. Not Jesus.
- He came forward with boldness. “‘Whom do you seek?’ They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am He.’” John 18:4-5
- He came forward willingly: “No one takes My life from Me, but I lay it down on My own accord.” John 10:18
- He came forward doggedly: “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of God.” Hebrews 12:2
- He came forward at the right time: “For while we were weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6
- He came forward for us: “Since therefore we have been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.” Romans 5:9-10
- He came forward in love: “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
In light of this, it is our time to come forward:
- To no longer live for ourselves: “Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others…for the love of Christ controls us because we have concluded this: that One has died for all…that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised…therefore we are ambassadors for Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:11-20
- To deny ourselves and to be bold for Jesus: “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny Himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save His life would lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in glory. Luke 9:23-26
- To proclaim His excellencies: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
*Photo from lds.org