“Jesus…went out and asked them, ‘Who is it you want?’”
John 18:4 (NIV)
Jesus and the eleven disciples had left the Upper Room and gone to the sacred place of prayer where He and they had often gone to pray when in Jerusalem. Judas, the twelfth apostle was off doing his infamous deed of betrayal.
When they entered the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus had dropped off eight of the apostles and took Peter, James, and John farther into the recesses of the place and spoke to them.
He told them (Mark 14:34 NIV)
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”
The frightened disciples had never heard such words form the Master and it confused them as to what was about to happen.
Jesus then went further into the Garden alone and prayer three times. After the third time of prayer Jesus sensed danger. Perhaps He had heard the crunching of the soldiers’ nail spiked sandals, or else in the darkness saw the light from the torches and lanterns. But there was danger coming and Jesus rose to meet it.
The fascinating thing is that the soldiers and the arresting mob had planned for Jesus and the apostles to offer one of two alternatives. They came with torches in the event Jesus would flee. They also came with weapons in the event of physical resistance being offered. Jesus, however, presented them with a third alternative that caught them off guard. He came forward and asked them if He could help them in their mission.
Jesus put Himself between the disciples and the threat to them. His body became a shield if you will to ward off an attack. This is a beautiful symbol of what Jesus has done for His people of all ages. He came between them and the threat of eternal death. His offering of Himself on the cross has prevented His people from suffering for their sins.
When it was determined that they wanted Him Jesus did a remarkable thing. He agreed to go with them but ordered them to let the disciples go. This is tantamount to telling a police officer on the side of the road what he can and cannot do with you. If the officer says you and your passengers are going to the police station you do not tell him that is not happening. You may protest, but you go.
Here Jesus shows He is in control and His will shall be done and they can like it or lump it. The amazing thing is that Jesus gets away with it. They do exactly as He commands them to do.
So we see that when threats come to God’s people, Jesus controls how and if the disaster will strike and how much damage it will do. Jesus puts Himself between His child and the problem and shields His loved one from the opposing forces.
Do you know such protection by Jesus? Is He standing guard for you? This work He does is free to all who humbly come and ask Him for it.
Will you come and seek His grace today? He waits to hear from all who come and will never turn you away. Come, and come today.