In John 18, we approach the end of Jesus’ life and ministry here on Earth. Let’s rewind the tape. His ministry began when he came to the Jordan River to be baptized by his cousin John. Heaven opened, the Spirit of God descended and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” After that, Jesus was led into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Weakened and hungry from fasting 40 days, Spirit-filled Jesus resisted the enemy’s temptation with the almighty Word of God:

“Man does not live on Bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
“Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
“Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”

Later, the devil left Jesus, and angels came and attended him. God in the flesh needed the gentle restorative care of angels. And they showed up, without delay.

Back in John 18, difficult scenes begin to unfold: Jesus’ betrayal by a beloved friend, hundreds of soldiers arrest him in an olive garden, the hiccup of his fear-filled fisherman friend with a sword, followed by abuse and insults from High Priests’ whose very job description was to worship God.

In a heartbeat, he could have called the angels. They were waiting in the wings, at his beck and call, ready to rescue the one they adore. With a word, Jesus could have stopped it. He could have easily said, “I’m the Great I AM and frankly, I’ve had enough!”

In Matthew’s account of this dreaded night, Jesus rebukes Peter—“Put your sword back in its place… Do you think I cannot call on my Father and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”

Picture a 70,000-count, highly disciplined, well-trained, heavily armed angel army. It would be so awesome to watch Jesus flex and fight. But what’s even more awesome, what makes my head spin, is that he didn’t. He had all the authority to call in angel reinforcements by the tens of thousands.

But instead, he chose to love me, to obey His Father, to die. Awesome love.

I’ll close with lyrics from a hymn that came to mind as I pondered John 18.

“They bound the hands of Jesus
In the garden where He prayed
They led Him thru the streets in shame
They spat upon the Savior
So pure and free from sin
They said crucify Him
He’s to blame
He could have called ten thousand angels
To destroy the world and set Him free
He could have called ten thousand angels
But He died alone for you and me”

Donielle Winter
EFCC Member

Subscribe to the Daily Fill