Doulos. Servant. Slave to the High Priest, Caiaphas. Sent to the Garden where oil is pressed, Gethsemane. Perhaps his mission was to help in the arrest of this so called Son of God. Perhaps it was just to observe and report back to Caiaphas. Clearly, he was in way over his head.
I read the book of John and see the Greek word, Zoe, over and over again. Jesus is clear, in Him alone is LIFE, and he longs to bless others with this life. To whomever receives Him, He grants power to become sons and daughters of God Most High. Profound, really. He is the amnos-lamb, the only One with power to airo-take away and remove the sins of the world.
I have come that they may have life…I have come that they may have life…I have come that they may have life…over and over again, this is His mission, His warrior cry. Give them Zoe! All that is good and blessed in Him, he wants to bestow on created man. This is the zoe life!
The soldiers are knocked to the ground with the divine revelation that Jesus is the Great I AM. He has proclaimed Himself Yahweh, and the weight and glory of it all forces them to the dirt. Peter is either confused amidst the chaos or full of zeal for his Savior, and takes the opportunity to pull out a gladius, a short sword, and wields it for what He thinks will protect the King and Kingdom. The small sword is meant for stabbing, so it was more than an ear he was likely after.
The response of our Christ has me sobbing on this Good Friday. “The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”
Jesus is about to gulp down the wrath of God that was intended for me…and thee.
Amidst the declaration of his glory (I AM!) and the injustice of His looming arrest, Christ pauses for the slave.
“He touched his ear, and healed him.” He took the time to look into the eyes of the broken, bend down and gently pick up the bloodied mess that mankind always makes, and cup it against Malchus’s head, making him whole.
I have come that they might have life…
Malchus means, “king” or “reigning.” Could it be that after the King of Kings reattached his ear, Malchus allowed him full reign over his life? Did the restoration of the ear give him ears to hear the good news of the zoe life that was standing right in front of him?
In one final act of compassion, Christ reminds us all that He is heading to the cross for the sake of the slaves. He is going to cut the chains that have tied mankind to the slavery of sin once and for all. All we have to do is believe…
Today, I worship the Emancipator of Slaves.