So it begins…
In John 18:1-18 the path to Jesus’s crucifixion begins. Jesus and his disciples were in a garden that they often frequented, and Judas showed up with a small army of men. Whenever I have watched a movie showing Jesus’s crucifixion, they have all shown a small group of soldiers with Judas, but based on John’s description, it was much more than that. This shows that Judas expected a fight.
Is it possible that after all this time he still knew Jesus so little?
When they showed up, Jesus was ready. He asked who they were looking for and they said “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus told them he was who they were looking for. This is where it gets interesting. When Jesus told them, “I am he,” John says that “they drew back and fell to the ground” (John 18:6).
I have never noticed this before. Just imagine this scene. There are 200-600 soldiers that have come to the garden to find Jesus, and when he identifies himself they all fall to the ground. How powerful!
Jesus asks them again who they are looking for and he once again identifies himself. He did this to protect his disciples. They faced an army and if tensions rose then they may attack. Yet, despite Jesus’s moves to ease the situation, hot-headed Peter attacked the high priest’s servant and cut off his ear (John 18:10).
Jesus reprimanded Peter for interfering with God’s will, and then Jesus was taken to Annas, the high priest’s father-in-law. The lamb’s journey to the slaughter had begun. It is also then that Peter denies Christ for the first time. (more on that later)