John 18th, Psalm 18
John wrote of the Pharisees and soldiers falling down at Jesus’ words “I am he” (John 18:5). The reason for relaying those details isn’t to convey the raw power of Jesus. John has already told us that Word, who is Jesus, made everything that was created (John 1:3). Our Lord’s power is indisputable. What John wants the reader to know from this dramatic moment is that the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus happen only because the King of Kings allows it. Jesus chooses this moment. This is crucial for our understanding of the meaning of the cross. God the Father isn’t simply making terrible demands of God the Son from His heavenly perch. Rather, from before time began, our God three-in-one, knew this moment would happen, and in unity as One chose this work so that humanity might see the glory of God, especially in the face and work of Jesus. There can be no ridiculous talk of “divine child abuse”, for Jesus willingly made this sacrifice to atone for sin. Though Jesus is the lamb that was slain, he still had the power of a lion that could devour all opponents, if He wished. Jesus chose all of the upcoming insults and suffering. This matters a great deal, for love requires a willing response and Jesus’ choice to die proves a love that coerced suffering cannot accomplish. Our reflections on the love of Jesus can truly never completely convey the wondrous love of the Son, the crucified King. Declare the love of Christ with me, then, today.