One time Jesus took three of his disciples to the top of a mountain. We read, “There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. . . . A bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. ‘Get up,’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid.’ As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, ‘Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead'” (Matthew 17:2-9 NIV selections).
Wait a minute! Did you get that last part, the part about “rising from the dead?” Can you imagine how the disciples must have scratched their heads at that? They’d just seen Jesus’ glory, his power! How could one who was SO powerful…die? Who could cause it to happen?!
Finally, only one person could really control it—Jesus himself. And that’s exactly what Jesus did. When the time was right, Jesus went to Jerusalem. He entered Jerusalem on Sunday, in a very public way. On Thursday of that week, Jesus celebrated the Passover (check out Exodus 12–13) with his disciples and told them that one of them would betray him, another would deny him. Then he took them out to a garden called Gethsemane.
While Jesus was there with his disciples, Judas—who had been one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, led a large band of soldiers to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus asked them for whom they were looking, and when they responded that they were looking for him, Jesus said, “I am he.” As he said this the whole band of soldiers were knocked flat on their backs! (John 18:1).
They scrambled to their feet. Then Peter, another of Jesus’ twelve disciples, grabbed a sword and cut off the ear of one of the high priest’s servant. Jesus rebuked Peter, then touched the man’s ear and healed it (Luke 22:50).
What would all these things have said to the people? They would have said, or at least SHOULD have said, “Hey—this Jesus—he’s not just an ordinary human being; he’s much more than that!”
But what is even more amazing is what we read at the end: “Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him …” (John 18:12). Why could they do that? Why could they bind him?
Only because he allowed it. It could happen—it DID happen—only because Jesus allowed it to happen.
Do we begin to see the depth of Jesus’ love for us? Just think—he, the all-powerful one—he was willing to allow himself to be taken captive, to be bound. That’s how much he loves us…loves you!