The Power of His Name

“I AM That I AM” (Exodus 3:14)

What’s in a name?  The most powerful name in all the universe was first revealed to a man as he stood mesmerized by a burning bush that fire could not consume.  The name revealed to Moses was the name of the Creator of the universe – “I AM WHO I AM”.  That name places Jehovah God far above and apart from any other god.  It means that God is eternal, self-existent, self-sufficient, and unchanging.  That He is all-sovereign, all-holy, and all-powerful.  That everything anyone needs or could possibly want can be found in Him.  He is perfection. There is no other name more powerful than “I AM.”  It is the name God gave to Himself, His eternal name. 

Fast forward from Moses to the time of Christ’s arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.  John records in chapter 18 that “a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees came with lanterns, torches, and weapons to arrest Jesus.”  These soldiers were King Herod’s soldiers.  When John referred to them as a “band of men” he used a Greek word that describes a military cohort – a force of 300 to 600 soldiers.  Imagine the side of the rocky hill the garden sat on lit up with the lanterns and torches from a massive army of 300 to 600 soldiers.  Jesus asked them who they were seeking.  The soldiers answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.”  Christ didn’t hesitate to answer, “I am he.”  We are then told that immediately after Jesus identified himself, all the soldiers fell backwards to the ground.  300 to 600 men falling flat on their rears in one massive collapse. 

Why?  Why did every soldier go kerplunk, like a line of dominoes?  Simple.  Jesus had just spoken his powerful name – “I AM”.  At the mere mention of Jesus name being breathed from his mouth, a great blast of God’s power was unleashed, and down the soldiers went.

But there is one other important event that took place on that hillside outside of Jerusalem that night.  Only Mark recorded it in his gospel.  It is found in chapter 14, verse 51.  There, Mark writes, “A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus.  When they seized him (Jesus), the boy fled naked, leaving his garment behind.”  Who was this naked boy?  Where did he come from?  Why was he even in the garden on that night when Jesus was arrested?  The key to identifying this young man lies in the “linen cloth” he had draped about his body.  The Greek word for this kind of cloth is used only one other time, at one other event in the New Testament.  It is used to describe the cloth Jesus’ body was wrapped in when they laid him in the tomb.  That reveals to us that the garment on the naked boy was a burial shroud that was used to cover a dead body in the grave.

But where did this boy come from?  Was he dead, or was he alive?  The Garden of Gethsemane was situated on the side of the Mount of Olives.  Toward the base of that mount was a heavily populated cemetery.  When Jesus Christ spoke his name, “I AM,” the power that was released was so tremendous that it not only put the soldiers on their rears, it also evidently caused a rumbling in the local cemetery that released the young boy from his place of burial.  He crawled out of his tomb – raised from the dead!  Most likely the reason he followed Jesus was because he had heard his voice and wanted to get a glimpse of the One who had resurrected him.  The soldiers tried to apprehend the boy, who then fled from their grip, leaving the linen cloth in their possession. 

Friends, what weighs heavy on your mind and heart?  What worry, concern, alarm troubles you?  What distracts your mind with distress during the day, and keeps you awake at night?  Place your care and concern into the hands of the Great “I AM”.  The name that was revealed to Moses.  The name that brought down King Herod’s soldiers.  The name that raised a young boy from the dead on the side of a mount.  That is the name that will deliver and protect us.