When Jesus answers the call on His human life, vs 8, He defends His followers. I am He. Basically He is saying ‘If it’s Me you want, let the others go’. This was the showdown of good and evil. The world was only a pawn in this power struggle. Well, struggle is a misnomer because it implies equal weight or near equal and that is giving evil too much credit compared to The Creator. But if God were to use His full power, all would be destroyed in the collateral damage.
Evil uses God’s love for His creation as a pawn in evil’s attempt to keep the only power allowed it for God’s time and purpose. Evil thinks it is triumphant as it stands in the garden and faces pure good. (That is after it picks itself off the ground and dusts itself off when Jesus declared “I Am!”.) Evil thinks it’s about to win. When evil uses the world as a pawn, it is not the pawns who are the target. God Himself is the target of evil. Jesus took the heat for us. He redeemed all others from the showdown. Let them go their way. Jesus set us free right there, in the garden. As in the original garden where evil was given a time on earth, and was told he shall strike you on the head and you shall strike him on his heel. (Gen 3:15b) The blows were about to come. Only one of the delivered blows is a death blow.
The treasure for us is the knowledge that He fought this battle. He sent his followers away. He interceded to protect them from His own persecution. This was His job. Not the disciple’s, not mine. He knew I could not stand, that His followers would crumple. We know they lived in fear after this, locked in a room. Hiding, lest they too were the next target. Yes, Peter and John followed, but Peter denied Him when confronted and John was young and not tested.
When I see evil at war with God in this world, I must remember that God fights these battles, that in fact they are merely skirmishes in disagreement with full truth that He has already triumphed and this is the clean up time we live in now, where all things are being put under His feet. It is only with the Holy Spirit that we can stand against evil; only God in us; we, hidden in Christ, only in that way do we stand. Certainly not on our own two feet, from that we were excused. In Christ we stand!
Praise God that the battle was won already 2000 years ago! Praise God for the time He has given the world since then to fill His kingdom with those who will choose to believe! Praise God that He has given us His Holy Spirit that we can stand and trust Him as He continues to put all things under His feet!
Do I suffer from thinking it is I who takes my stand against evil? That too is a pride and will cause me to suffer harm. Fully surrendered, my identity in Him, then I stand, but not as myself, for my identity is hidden in Christ and it is He who stands for me.
Lord, teach me to trust You this much- at all times. To be sheltered by your powerful love is a safe place, but only by abiding in You can I stay safe within You. Help me not to venture away from obedience in You. Thank You that You protect me from evil and You have already conquered and You fight the battles! I long to stay in this place of obedience for I know I am weak and I fear the battle. I trust in Your love. Perfect love casts out fear. Fill me with Your love that I may walk in Your peace of mind. As the disciples were changed by the truth, change me too.