The humiliation would only intensify. The Prince of Life would stand before whitewashed tombs full of dead people’s bones and be questioned about His teaching. The King of all Nations would be dragged before a mealy-mouthed Roman governor and challenged about His kingdom. Then, the Prince of Peace would be verbally abused. And it would escalate, Jehovah-Rapha, the God Who Heals, would be beaten–His flesh torn, His wounds openly displayed for the curious to behold. And finally, the LORD of LORDS would so humble Himself that He would submit to death, even death on a cross.
But what grabs me this morning, is how the humiliation of Jesus began–they bound Him.
So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him.
(John 18:12 ESV)
It hit me like a ton of bricks this morning, they bound Him. They tied up God. They fastened chains about the Creator and Sustainer of all things.
And I think it so caught my attention because of what else I had read before opening John 18.
In Job was I reminded that God has charge over all the earth. So much so that, if He chose to, He could “gather to Himself his Spirit and His breath” and “all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust” (Job 34:14-15). Jesus could have held His breath, and the posse in front of Him would have dropped to the ground lifeless. He had already caused them to eat dust when He identified Himself to them as the I am (18:6), but had He wanted, He could have returned them to dust. But He didn’t. Instead He continued to sustain their very breath. And with that breath, they bound Him.
In Jonah I again took note of the God Jonah feared (kinda’), “the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” (Jonah 1:9). The God who could hurl a great wind upon the sea to slow down His fleeing, disobedient spokesman (1:4). The God who would appoint a great fish to swallow up and save His prodigal prophet (1:17). The God who had power to appoint a specific plant to grow in a specific place in order to provide a sulking saint with a bit of shade (4:6). The God who would also call deploy a worm with a huge appetite to eat the plant, and then turn up the sun’s thermostat in order to instruct His reluctant evangelist (4:7-8). And this is the God who, before mere mortals, held out His wrists. And they bound Him.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
(John 3:16-17 ESV)
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
(John 1:29 ESV)
Just as Abraham had to bind Isaac before laying Him on the altar, so God the Father ordained that God the Son should be bound in order to be offered as the once-for-all saving sacrifice for all men and women. The Son, submitting to the Father’s perfect will, surrendered to being tied up those He had made so that He might redeem and re-make them. Deity, born as a babe and willing to be bound in flesh, would further humble Himself, allowing Himself be bound by chains. And this, so that He could make provision to break the chains of those bound by sin.
They bound Him.
O what a Savior!
What amazing grace! To Him be all the glory!