Step back with me in time. Let's pretend for a moment that we are young men - men called out of our ordinary lives to walk with the heaven-sent One. For three and a half years we've followed Him, listening spellbound to His words, watching in awe as people were healed, delivered, raised from the dead. We have come to know Him intimately and yet, there is so much about Him we still cannot comprehend.
It is a dark moonless night, and we stand with Him in a garden. There is something in the air, something different about this night, but we cannot quite understand what it is. He has celebrated the Passover with us, washed our feet and led us to this place where He has prayed with such anguish. He is suffering, and we are at a loss as to what we should do.
Standing there, feeling helpless and inadequate, we see the lights of torches flickering through the trees. We look to Him with trusting eyes as Judas steps out of the shadows. The kiss of betrayal and the mob steps forward.
Instinctively we draw close to Him. When He asks who they are seeking, and the answer comes back, "Jesus of Nazareth," our hearts begin to race. He answers, "I am He," and before our astonished eyes they drop back and fall to the ground.
Again He asks them who it is they seek. "Jesus the Nazarene." The answer comes, "I told you that I am He; if therefore you seek Me, let these go their way."*
At that moment I am catapulted forward in time. I stand, not before an unruly mob, but before the Lord of creation. I see myself there, dressed in filthy rags, heart pounding, eyes cast down. Once again He steps forward and stands in my place. He takes His robe of righteousness and places it gently around my shoulders. I am His own. He has endured the punishment I rightly deserved and secured eternity for me. The great heart of love that sheltered and protected the disciples beats for me too.
"Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this cause the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not."
I John 3:1
I am linking this post to two others today - Ann's (where a scholarship is being offered) and the She Speaks Conference website. It is a conference about "women connecting the hearts of women to the heart of our Father God" something it has been my hearts' desire to do here on my humble little spot in the blogisphere.