Jesus lived His life on mission. Jesus did the will of the Father and brought redemption to all of us. What is the mission of your life? We must choose between the world’s way or the Jesus Way. The world’s way is living for ourselves – our own dreams, money, success, and power. But, the Jesus Way is to live our lives for God and His will. The world and its desires pass away, but the one who follows the Jesus Way lives forever. Trust Jesus and follow Him today.
Jesus Willingly Gave His Life
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?” — John 18:2-3
When you think of Jesus’ arrest, His torture, and His crucifixion, do you imagine Him powerless? Do you see Him as weak, or out of control? Do you think it’s more true that Jesus’ life was unjustly taken from Him, or that He, in His perfection, laid His life down?
As mere humans, being arrested by a mob of soldiers with weapons would mean losing every bit of control over the situation. We would be powerless to stop what was coming to us. And as the limited and selfish beings we are, it’s almost impossible to imagine suffering willingly. Who would step forward to receive the punishment for crimes one didn’t even commit?
“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. — John 18:5-6
Jesus knew from the start that He would be betrayed by Judas. He knew He’d be deserted by His closest followers at the first sign of trouble. He knew He would die a gruesome death. He had the power to stop it all. Just His words, “I am He,” knocked an armed detachment of soldiers to the ground. And still, He stepped forward and identified Himself, and gave Himself up for arrest.
Shall I Not Drink The Cup?
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus. Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” —John 18:10-11
Our natural way of responding to physical threats from our enemies is to protect ourselves by the use of force. Peter, desiring to protect Jesus, was willing to use violence. This revealed the zeal He had at times for the Lord, but it also showed that He misunderstood God’s way. Jesus hadn’t come to be a mighty military leader; not because He couldn’t, but because that was not God’s plan for the restoration of His relationship with mankind. Jesus did not come to use earthly means of bringing forth His Kingdom, because the Kingdom of Heaven is unlike those of the world.
We learn elsewhere in Scripture that Jesus even healed Malchus’ ear. Jesus healed those who would have Him arrested and killed.
Jesus asked Peter rhetorically, shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me? Jesus was saying that — although it may be unpleasant — He would submit to the will of the Father. He demonstrated the very trust, faith, and reverence to our Heavenly Father that humans have struggled to display since the beginning.
Let’s praise our God, and let’s thank Jesus, that he did not take the easy way out.
The War is Won, But The Battle Continues
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. —Ephesians 6:12
When Jesus gave Himself up for arrest, He knew He was not surrendering to the forces of evil. Even as He went to be mocked and tortured on the cross, He knew He was doing the will of the Father, and that He was completing the greatest work of all time.
With God, what can seem to be a crushing defeat can actually be the most decisive victory. The darkest moment can be revealed as a great light within three days.
Today, we know that God’s war with Satan has been decisively achieved on the cross. God is the One in control, and He outmatches any force of evil in complete dominance. But we also know that the battle for individual souls rages on, and spiritual warfare is present in every country and at times in the lives of every believer.
Although Jesus told Peter to put His sword away, we are called today to sharpen and keep ready our own “sword of the Spirit,” which Ephesians tells us is the Word of God. We are to “put on the full armor of God” to do battle with the lies of the Enemy and to protect God’s people from Satan's schemes. This is the spiritual battlefield the zealous Peter sought the good of God’s Kingdom upon in the days after the resurrection. We’re drafted onto the battlefield today, too!
Celebrating God's Goodness // Part 3: God's Goodness in His Church // Jeff Simmons
Jesus: Life-Changing Conversations // Part 5: Nicodemus // Jeff Simmons