Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
Jesus. What images form in your head at the mention of his name? I was reading in John this morning, attempting to send my heart into Easter mode. I confess it doesn’t always get there. I wanted to enter into the defeat of what it must have been like to see Jesus slaughtered and buried. I came away in awe, not about the loss of hope, but instead about the man Jesus was. I don’t mean man as in God in human form, but the kind of man that would be bragged about sitting around a campfire or in a locker room. Stud. Warrior. Hero.
In chapter 18, John describes in detail the arrest in the garden.
Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” (John 18:4, ESV, italics mine)
I love those italicized words. Jesus is in complete control. He knows not only what’s going on, but is wholly intent on entering into the pain and chaos. He even initiates it all. “Whom do you seek?” I can only imagine the weakness in Judas’ voice as he replied. Upon Jesus’ answer, the Pharisees and soldiers collapse. Again Jesus speaks. “Whom do you seek?…I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” Within hours of death, Jesus offers no attempt to protect himself, only those behind him.
Compare this example to the first man in another garden. When the Enemy slithers in, Adam doesn’t know what’s going on. He is not in control. He is there, but without a hoe or shovel in hand. He makes no move to act or speak. He is silent. He is weak. He does not protect Eve, but lets her take the fall. He is the definition of self-protection. He shows no strength, and the chaos overwhelms him.
Now my heart is ready to celebrate. Adam is not the defining sculpt of a man. I meet, see, and am Adam everyday. My heart longs for Jesus. Oh to be in the care of such a King. Adam is ruled by chaos. Jesus rules over the chaos. Thank God. Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. Life is available because of a man, a stud, a warrior, a hero.
For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22, ESV)