In studying John 18 for men’s class tonight. I was struck by the irony of insurrection. In John 18:3 we learn that a group of soldiers along with officials from the chief priests and Pharisees are the arresting party in the garden. It is hard to say if the first group are Jewish soldiers or Roman soldiers. Either way history tells us that during the Passover Roman soldiers were sent from Caesarea to Jerusalem to be on hand to quell any possible disturbances, revolts, etc (see Carson’s John Commentary in the Pillar Series, 577). Why would Passover be such an ideal time for such activities? Passover was a celebration of liberation. The sentiment of the festivities stood in stark contrast to the reality of being under the thumb of their Roman oppressors. The irony was that Jesus came as liberator and in an other-worldly sense came to bring insurrection to the kingdom of this world. He came to bring the prince of this world to his knees in order to liberate all of humanity from sin and death. The Jews were looking for a Messianic liberator. They were looking and pleading for insurrection and that was the very thing they charged Jesus with. How sad that they didn’t make the connection.
I wonder how many times we stand in direct opposition to what God is trying to do thinking all the while we are doing the will of God. What a great and gracious thing God has done through Jesus Christ on our behalf.
As Michael Card has observed, the Gospel is a scandal. It is one of the greatest magnitude.
Grace and Peace, Barry