Reading the Gospels is like putting pieces of a great puzzle together. Each book focuses on certain aspects of Jesus’s character and ministry. He is the King of the Jews in Matthew, the Servant and Prophet in Mark, the Son of Man in Luke, and the revealed Son of God in John.
As we go through Holy Week leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, there is one part of the story that does not get told.
Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown over his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked. -Mark 14:52-53
Who was this young man and why was he only wearing a linen cloth? The answer is found in John 18:4-6, which has a critical piece of Jesus’s capture outside the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Who are you seeking?”
They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Jesus knew what was coming. His arrest would start the domino effect which would lead to His crucifixion. Yet, in the midst of it all, as He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, He reveals His God-hood when He speaks the words “I am.” God spoke those same words to Moses in the book of Genesis (Exodus 3:14) before going to Egypt to free the oppressed Israelites from Pharaoh. In Mark, He speaks them to the crowd of men working on behalf of the chief priests and scribes.
Jesus speaking those particular words, the revelation of the great I Am was so great that it caused a man to be given life again. In the Bible, linen cloth was used to bury the dead. Linen cloth was used to wrap Jesus after His death on the cross (Matthew 27:58-60).
Too often, I’ve minimized God’s power when circumstances have overwhelmed me. I was sure that my fear would get the better of me rather than believing that God could easily give me the strength from His very Word to overcome it. When you’re feeling spiritually bound and doubtful that God can help you, remember this young man who was brought back from the dead. No situation is impossible for God and He clearly shows it in His Word to us over and over again. Every word within its pages gives us the confidence we need to know that we do not serve a weak God, but One who has conquered death itself.