When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.
2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 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.
4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”[a]
10 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.)
11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
Stare at this picture to gain confidence in the middle of your worst day.
Think what it would stand right before the cross. Before Easter.
I was reading this morning … the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. An estimated 200-600 soldiers show up to seal off escape exits and fight. Jesus is not going to slip through their hands this time. Jesus, however, is not hiding behind a tree or running away. He calmly asks who they are looking for and they respond, “Jesus of Nazareth.” He says, “I am he.”
The next verse is what blew me away – When Jesus said, “I am he”, they drew back and fell to the ground (John 18:6). Jesus made bowling pins out of an entire army. The soldiers all fall on their behinds with their swords, spears and torches flying. The soldiers are thinking who is this guy? Some think, “Poor Jesus, they are taking him away.” No way. Jesus is saying, “OK, you can take me now. I just wanted to let you to know who I AM!” Do you think the soldiers ever forgot this day? It is the same today when anyone encounters Jesus. Love him or hate him … you are never the same.
He is not meek and mild Jesus. Jesus is no victim. No one ever took him. He laid his life down for you and me. He is in control even on His worst day. He can knock down armies and turn Bad Fridays into Good Fridays. He is with you in the middle of your worst days too. Be confident.