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  • # 213 When God Won't Escape

    The angel hasn't come to take the trembling cup of God's wrath from Jesus, but to strengthen him to finish it--the universe must see what happens to created beings when God lets go--when Satan is in control. Gabriel assures Jesus that many will respond and be saved, that Satan's kingdom will be defeated, and this world will be returned to Adam's children.

    Jesus comes to his disciples strengthened and calm, even though the storm's fury is building. He has come through what no broken human could have--experiencing the second death for every man.

    His disciples are asleep. Sadly he looks at them, "Sleep on and rest, he says, the time has come, Messiah is betrayed into evil hands." As he finishes speaking, he hears the mob approaching.

    "Rise," he says, my betrayer is here," and leads them. He steps in front of his friends, no trace of his struggle on his face now, "Whom do you want?" he asks.

    "Jesus of Nazareth," the mob shouts.

    "I AM he," he answers. The mob falls to the ground, helpless as death from either the energy effect of his declaration, or because Gabriel moves between him and the mob. Jesus' face and form are illumined. He has opportunity to escape, but he stands, calm and self-possessed.

    The disciples are awed. What will he do to save himself and them?

    But quickly things change. Roman soldiers and priests, ashamed of weakness, scramble to recover. Judas remembers his part, pushing Jesus to act.

    Matthew 26:45-47, Mark 14:41-43, Luke 22:45-47, John 18:2-6

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