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Bound By The Law

Daily Devotions: by Christina Farris

John 18:1-13 KJV
(1) When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.
(2) And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
(3) Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
(4) Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
(5) They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
(6) As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
(7) Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
(8) Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
(9) That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
(10) Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.
(11) Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
(12) Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,
(13) And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.

Jesus authority to lay his life down was given to the soldiers to take him, and yet they found the need to bind his hands and feet as a common criminal. No matter how innocent a person is in todayís world if one is going to jail they will be shackled in almost every case, there only a few exceptions, even when compliant to the law. This law was Jewish military force of the temple. One would think because Rome was in control that Jews would not have soldiers of their own, but it was probably the only protective force the Jewish people had left of their faith. They were perhaps Roman soldiers, but there duty was to control civil laws of the people, in the court. They could havea person flogged or beaten for certain crimes, but other crimes would go before the Roman courts.

These two courts one would find Jesus guilty and the other innocent but willing to do as requested by the lower court a government of the Jewish people. Unfortunately even today, with the obedience to the law of the land, there is a fine law of religious laws and governmental laws. Some laws concerning health and religious rights are followed unless a court order is given. Religious law can cast you out of their assembly as well as embrace you. Some church have a membership roll that is decided on by the people. No one ever thinks about these issues unless you tangle with rules of church or org. Yet most groups today claim it on a matter of faith and not obedience to the organization or church, a personal liberty to choose based on faith. For example some states allow person to abstain from life giving medicine, while others say go head, take the breaks off and allow medicine to be tool of God. People are chastised or excommunicated from some groups if they use medicine. It is a fine line between what best for someone and freedom, especially when it comes to children.

Churches are said to have sanctuary from the legal law but I do not think that still exist at least in America. Yet at one time people could take refuge in a church if they were seeking asylum from legal problems. Yet it would not surprise me if some churches still gave some protection in the world. Yet it was only used for the purpose of negotiations with the law. Eventually arrest or proof of innocents would come. The episode of rights with the David Koresh group in Waco Texas is proof there is no protection from the law in religious org. Legal system that must be followed in our land despite religious precedence. Yet God is whom this country trust or part of it anyway.

The point is these soldiers from the temple kept watch over the Jewish civil laws. When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus they had two false witnesses against him. Yet when they came to take him, they had already paid Judas to show them where he was. Yet when the soldiers came Jesus handed himself to them but first showing his authority and power they fell backwards. There own power in their body could not hold their footing against the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus made the point of asking who they sought and telling them who he was in regards of being the person whom they sought.

Christ authority to lay his life down and to pick up life is fully seen in the garden. Yet to think of someone saying just take me, when his own men had swords, makes one wonder why not fight these few men. If Peter was close enough to cut off an ear he was close enough to kill the soldier, but did not. Christ would heal the soldier but not in Johnís version of the story.

The point being Christ had the ability to call on the angels of heaven, and to call on the Roman government before he even went the first time to Rome, but to do so would of denied his faith and priesthood rights. To deny the authority of the Temple. Christ came as servant not has a man in authority position above all, yet his had the power which was clear to calm the winds, to heal the blind, to raise the dead and to still the water. Yet he took no authority from the temple or the legal system. Laying down his life to the rules of the land. He pushed the law as far as he could within the guidelines of faith. Then he cross over the line in the temple by claiming his Lordship. That one claim of God would send him to the cross, yet Rome felt no threat from Him.

The authority of Christ makes one ask would Jesus ask us to go against the laws of the land? War is different, following the laws and rights to disagree is a different story as well. Yet guidelines are clear that Christ set, but his authority was greater then the legal law of religious realm and government of the land. Peter was imprison but angel released him, by the power of God, and not man. What God calls you to do for His name is with protection and yet does not mean consequences will not be paid. Where is the line one might ask, it is with the authority of God? Some things just take much prayer and fasting to know and other things are easy because of the compelling of the Holy Spirit.

Dear Heavenly Father thank you for the demonstration in the garden of your Sonís authority to lay his life down. Yet He willing walk the road of the legal system of that time, for each of His followers. In Jesus precious name, Amen.

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