Bill Tanzey • Associate Pastor of Community Ministries
How Powerful is our Savior? Ask the Roman Soldiers!
Monday: It Started with a Kiss of Betrayal
This is a familiar scene to Christians: Jesus and His disciples alone in the garden before His arrest. If you were one of His disciples, you would never forget what you saw. Neither should we.
A group of Roman soldiers and temple police came to arrest Jesus. As they approached Him, a supernatural power was suddenly released that was so strong it literally knocked an entire band of over 100 soldiers and temple guards backward and down on the ground! It was as if an invisible bomb had been detonated. So much explosive strength was released that the power knocked the soldiers flat on their backs! Those that came to arrest Him became the arrested — by His power!
For Today: Thank Jesus for willingly undergoing the cross for you.
Tuesday: Now He was in Charge
John 18:1-6; Exodus 3:14; John 8:58
Let’s just say the throng that came to arrest Jesus had their attention arrested. It was Jesus who asked the question: “Whom do you seek?” Notice how Jesus identified Himself: “I am He”. These mighty words come from the root words which accurately mean “I AM!” It was not the first time Jesus used this phrase to identify Himself. When Jewish listeners heard those words, “I AM,” they immediately recognized them as the very words God used to identify Himself when He spoke to Moses on Mount Horeb. Earlier, Jesus had used these words to describe Himself in John 8:58: “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was I AM”. Speaking those words from divine breath made His captors drop like rocks.
Do you get the picture? God was willingly taken away in shackles for you that day!
For Today: Write down three reasons that convince you that Jesus is fully God.
Wednesday: Shocked and on the Ground
By now, the soldiers had concluded that Jesus couldn’t be taken by force. There was nothing in their soldier’s training or manuals to deal with this set of circumstances. They faced a power that was inescapable and omnipotent. Don’t forget: It was Jesus who willfully surrendered to them, knowing that it was part of the Father’s plan for the redemption of humankind. Likewise, it is important to understand that no one took Him. It was Jesus’ voluntary choice to go with the troops. What a shock it must have been for these military men! What a revelation it must have been for His disciples (That’s why John, an eyewitness, gives such detail to this event.) Here we see the Lion of Judah willingly submitting to His role as the Lamb of God.
For Today: Take 5 minutes of private prayer to thank God for what Jesus did for you.
Thursday: They Didn’t Need Their Lanterns, Torches, or Weapons
The band of soldiers had been dispatched to prevent a riot during the Passover Festival: Go track down and arrest Jesus of Nazareth! It was all about control. They were sent to control Jesus. That was a big mistake. How does one control He who controls the universe?
Thinking He would be running like a rabbit, this band of Roman officers and Jewish policemen carried lanterns and torches to track Him down. Little did they recognize that He is the Light of the world! Seeking Him in the dark corners of the garden, they carried weapons which might be needed to overcome any armed resistance. Those weapons would be impotent in His presence.
You see, Jesus, confident of God’s sovereign control, handed Himself over to His captors.
For Today: Ask God for the opportunity to tell someone that He is in control.
Friday: The Jesus We Serve is All-Powerful!
The Jesus we serve is powerful! One of His divine characteristics is that He is actually immeasurably powerful. There is no force strong enough to resist His power: no financial turmoil, relational problems, health problem, or stress – absolutely nothing can overpower the supernatural power of Jesus Christ! When the Great “I AM” opens His mouth and speaks, every power on earth that defies Him is pushed backward and shaken until it staggers, stumbles, and falls to the ground.
For Today: What is your need today? Why not present those needs to Jesus, the Great I AM”? Let Him speak to your heart, directing you to His Word.