Well today, I got stuck right after the first few verses. I saw so many things here that I had never noticed before.
The chapter begins with Jesus going into a garden with His disciples. The Scriptures tell us that this is a place He liked to come with them. It struck all of us that this is reminiscent of how it all begins in Genesis. God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden.
I wonder too, if anyone ever considered what this scene looked like as described by John. I have seen representations of this in movies before, but none like what is actually written here. It says that the soldiers and officers came after Jesus with lanterns, torches and weapons. I wonder why they felt the need for weapons? In the past, soldiers had been sent after Jesus and when they returned empty handed, they told the Pharisees that they had never heard anyone speak as He did.
And then, Jesus, doing the unexpected as usual, steps forward. He tells them who He is. And when He tells them who He is, the soldiers and officers step back and fall to the ground. Have you ever seen that portrayed in a movie? I never have. And then, while they are on the ground, Jesus asks again, “who are you seeking?” It’s almost comical as I imagine Him standing over them, asking them again. They must have recognized Him. He was a popular figure in the last days as He rode through Jerusalem and yet they didn’t just take Him right away. They seem to hesitate. Were they afraid of Him? Were there some among the soldiers that believed in Him but were afraid to go against orders?
I think that it is significant that Jesus’ last time with His disciples was spent in a garden, just like “in the beginning.” I also think it speaks volumes about who Jesus was, that though He carried no weapons, yet the soldiers and officers fell to the ground. It is so very clear here that He gave himself up. No one captured Him. He came forward willingly and began the process of laying down His life for us.
All this and I only got to the first 6 verses. 😉 The Scriptures are so rich!
-March 8, 2016