The first miracle of the cross:
THE WONDER OF FORGIVENESS
Jesus Was Not Murdered
They did not murder Jesus. It is not as if He – like one of the many freedom fighters of this world – was eventually overpowered and became the victim of His own pacifistic ideals! Jesus wasn’t assassinated, as many great leaders have been. Before He was taken prisoner, He said: ‘No one takes My life away from Me. I give it up of My own free will. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it back. This is what my Father has commanded Me to do’24.
When Jesus was taken prisoner, something happened that, strangely enough, is not shown in any of the films about Him. ‘Jesus – who knew everything that was going to happen to Him – stepped forward and asked: “Who are you looking for?” “Jesus of Nazareth”, they replied. “I Am He”‘25. What happened after this, shows that Jesus was in control of the situation. There was so much power in these words that both the Roman and Jewish (temple) soldiers, as well as all of the priests, the elders and their servants, fell backwards and hit the ground. What a display of power! All the heavily armed soldiers with their burning torches and lanterns fell painfully to the ground.
The supernatural power was in the answer that Jesus gave. He literally said: ego eimi. These are the same words that the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) uses and through which God revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush: ‘I am who I am’26. Jesus was making it clear that He was one with His Father in heaven, who exalted Him by showing His power to the leaders of this earth. Just as Moses was not allowed to come closer to the burning bush, in the same way the soldiers could not come closer to Jesus. They didn’t murder Jesus. They couldn’t capture Him! He voluntarily gave His life. Because He loves you.