“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.” John 18:4-9
It’s either humorous or horrific. When the accusers are coming for Jesus, he asks, “Who asks who are you looking for?” They replied, “Jesus of Nazareth,” to which he replied, “I AM he.” When he said, “I AM he,” everyone who came to get him drew back and fell to the ground.
Either they were just playing around, or they were blow back by the power of God. When Jesus said, “I AM he,” he wasn’t just telling them who he was, he was stating his identity. “I AM God,” he was saying. And he said it with such authority that it physically knocked all those big strong Roman soldiers to the ground.
Now I don’t know about you, but I have never knocked anyone to the ground with anything that’s come out of my mouth. Yet Jesus did. The power that was contained within Jesus was the power to shape the universe. Consider that. What resided within his body spoke the world into motion, gave light to the planet, and life to every living thing. When Jesus said, “I AM he,” it was like being struck by a hurricane force wind of the Spirit.
Again Jesus had to ask, “Who are you looking for?” They said, “Jesus of Nazareth,” to which he replied, perhaps with a little less force, “I told you that I am he.” He who could have stopped the arrest but submitted himself. He who knocked down a host of Roman soldiers and Temple guards with a word, contained his power and allows himself to become the Lamb of God for the sins of the world.
It says a lot when someone of strength submits to someone weaker. But imagine God submitting to us? The divine humbling himself and making himself nothing so that our sins might be covered and death, evil and Satan might be defeated.
Jesus did just this for us. He paid the ultimate price by using his power not for his gain but for God’s glory.
“O Lord God, it takes more power, control and authority to submit than to use strength to overcome. Lord Jesus, you demonstrated your best when you allowed yourself to be captured and persecuted for our behalf. Thank you for dying so we might live. Your sacrifice is nothing short of spectacular. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen