John 18:2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he…” ESV
Today is the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday. The observance of Lent is considered a time of repentance observed through personal denial. It’s so easy to see in this passage how Judas’s betrayal has separated him from God. I ask you to consider two things to remember about observing Lent: 1) Betrayal is what separates US from God and 2) repentance requires acknowledging OUR betrayal.
Jesus has provided us a simple example of three little words with so much power they knocked his betrayers to the ground; “I am he.” Don’t miss the power of those three little words when recognizing your sins have been a part of that betrayal too. “I am He” acknowledges the reality that our identity with Jesus is what turns a simple act of personal denial into an act of repentance with the power to change us.