Wendy and I are going to be in the Halifax area for Easter – guests of the city officers – so I have been pouring over the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John listening to the writers, noticing their context, trying to smell the aroma, sensing the emotions, attempting to detect the fear, the tension, the courage.
Here’s my challenge to you – can you read it afresh? Can you approach it like you have never heard it before? What do you notice?
Here’s a line I think I had not quite heard well before….
I’ve read that dozens of times and I can’t ever remember noticing that they drew back and fell to the ground….imagine up to 200 Roman soldiers with the Jews coming with torches, lanterns and weapons falling down after Jesus declares that He is the I AM.
It is as if Jesus has to coax them in to following through on the arrest. What happened there? What force was at work that created a physical response?
I remember a few years ago I was sitting in a service….it was likely many other ones, the music was good, it was comfortable….I was sitting on the aisle when suddenly I felt a warm breeze pass us. It was so powerful I turned and asked Wendy if she had felt it? She said she had…within minutes people got out of their seats and went and kneeled at the mercy seat. Not a few – many. Dozens and dozens of people, many of whom had not done so for a long time. The service took on a life of it’s own, not directed by an order of service, but directed by The Holy Spirit.
A spiritual happening invoked a physical response.
Here the Spirit of God is visiting – perhaps to strengthen Jesus, perhaps a mere mention of the I AM. Whatever is at play, it is an act of God. Jesus submission to the will of His Father has power.
So too ours, when we submit we begin to understand “my strength is made perfect in weakness”.
Perhaps our preparing for Easter really only requires one thing. Submission.