Have you noticed that when great pressure is on, deep aspects of a person’s character appear? There can be positives or negatives. When the pressure is extreme it presses out what is already there, it is too late to change the core, that core has been already formed.
The scene of the arrest in the Olive Press Garden give you insights into the core of the Son of Man. Let me try and show you; first by examining what those involved expected.
The arresting party was likely 200 minimum in size. We know this from the words used to describe the attachment of soldiers. It may have been much larger. Heavily armed and with torches, they were led by Judas.
This tells you several things. First, they were expecting a fight. Second, they were expecting to search in the hidden places and third, they didn’t know what Jesus looked like.
When they arrived the Son of Man stood in front of them bold, courageous and protective of his friends. Rather than provoke a fight he defused one even when Peter hacked off someone’s ear.
Make no mistake; this could have turned into a bloody event, a skirmish or even a riot. The Son of Man could have raised an army from his followers but he did not. What he did was come into the light, because he was the light, he told them the truth – because he was the truth, he defended his followers because he was the shepherd, he healed the injured man because he was the life, he restrained Peter because he was the Prince of Peace.
Jesus stayed as the party arrived because he was laying down his life of his own freewill and when he said “I am He” they fell back because he used the mosaic title for God himself which revoked a response of reverence.
Can you imagine the force when the “I am” himself uses the words “I am”? They would carry an innate power.
The deeply satisfying thing to say about this magnificent person is that the more the pressure was piled upon him the more these beautiful characteristics oozed out. He was the same yesterday, that day and every day.
What of you? As the Son of Man takes up residence in your soul then he will create inside of you in an architecture or in a reservoir and, like an olive under pressure, the goodness of your soul will ooze out under pressure.
There was no anger, no hiding, no lashing out, no vicious remarks, no bitter words. Goodness and grace poured out of him.
Make no mistake agian that this was a moment of enormous courage, one man standing against hundreds. Remember also by the time he stood before them he had knelt before his Father in prayer.
This battle was won before they even arrived.
1When 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.” 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?”
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