Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to Him, so He stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for ?” – He asked. “Jesus the Nazarene” – they replied. “I Am He” – Jesus said. (Judas – who betrayed Him – was standing with them.) As Jesus said “I Am He” they all drew back and fell to the ground ! Once more He asked them – “Who are you looking for ?” And again they replied – “Jesus the Nazarene.” “I told you that I Am He” – Jesus said. “And since I am the One you want – let these others go.” He did this to fulfill His own statement: “I did not lose a single one of those You have given Me.”
In Part 2 of my sermon leading-up to Resurrection Sunday I continue from the Gospel of John – Chapter 18. And that’s Verses 4 to 9. The Roman soldiers and Temple guards – led by Judas the betrayer – repeatedly asked for “Jesus the Nazarene” even though they knew exactly who He was. Jesus repeatedly told them “I Am He” – also meaning “The ‘I Am’ is here” – and “I am the Lord”. Jesus presented Himself just as the Father presented Himself to Moses.
God replied to Moses – “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses – “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh – the God of your ancestors – the God of Abraham – the God of Isaac – and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you. This is my eternal name – my name to remember for all generations. (Exodus 3:14-15)
Our God is omnipotent.
When the Roman soldiers drew back and fell to the ground upon Jesus proclaiming that “I Am He” – they didn’t really understand why that happened. They got back up and confronted Jesus who demanded that His disciples be let go. Jesus was about to sacrifice His own life for His followers. He was protecting His sheep from the wolves by the power of the name the Father gave Him. He guarded them – except for the one headed for destruction (Judas).
I’ll continue this journey through John Chapter 18 – next Sunday Scripture.
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