What kind of power did Christ use to bypass the premature death he could have suffered prior to the cross? Surely if He could calm the savage winds and walk on water, heal the sick and drive out demons and unclean spirits from people, and even raise the dead how did He avoid being murdered prior to Good Friday?
The instances in the Gospels describe well the deadly encounters he experienced. In the fourth chapter of Luke, Christ visited Nazareth. While there he made the leaders so angry that they drove him to the edge of a nearby cliff to throw him over it but somehow, someway he passed through the midst of them.
In John 7:30, He was in Galilee when the people there attempted to take hold of Him. In chapter 8:59, they sought to stone Him. In John 10:39, while at the temple in Jerusalem they tried to seize him again.
Commentaries on Christ’s Close Calls With Death:
Passing through the midst of them – Perhaps invisibly; or perhaps they were overawed; so that though they saw, they could not touch him. John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible.
But he pass[ed] through the midst of them,…. Either in so strong and powerful a manner, and with so much swiftness, that being once out of their hands, they could not lay hold on him again; or else he put on another form, or made himself invisible to them; or he held their eyes that they could not see him, or know him[.] John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible.
[E]vidently in a miraculous way, though perhaps quite noiselessly, leading them to wonder afterwards what spell could have come over them, that they allowed Him to escape. (Similar escapes, however, in times of persecution, are not unexampled.) Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown.
With a majesty that overawed them. B. W. Johnson’s Bible Commentary.
Either he blinded their eyes, as God did those of the Sodomites and Syrians, or he bound their hands, or filled them with confusion, so that they could not do what they designed; for his work was not done, it was but just begun; his hour was not yet come[.] Matthew Henry Bible Commentary.
In each instance Christ escaped the harm intended him but how did he do it- invisibility, sight or mind control, raw courage, or how about a combination of all three? Perhaps this short clip from the motion picture classic, Ben-Hur1 illustrates one way Christ could thwart off those who opposed him by the sheer power of his presence. Watching that clip makes me think of the misguided who claim He was a meek and mild, flower wearing, non-combative type when nothing could be further from the truth!
The commentaries above give some clues but could hints of the definitive answer about Christ’s power to escape death also lie in modern science?
State-of-the-art police crowd control techniques involve such non-lethal weapons as microwave energy pulses, blinding laser beams, chemical agents and deafening sonic blasters. Modern advances have even made invisibility cloaks a reality. The capability to bend light, meta-materials, and optical camouflage technology are ways being researched to make entire armies disappear from the naked eye2.
Then there are mind control methods being studied3. Christ’s use of some kind of mind or thought control, for instance, affected the mind of Pharaoh (Exodus 4:21).
Jesus of Nazareth was without a doubt a god of love and justice but He was also creator of the natural world around us. He made the universe and everything in it. Therefore, isn’t it logical to assume that He is also a god of reason and order?
German born Johann Kepler, was a 17th Century mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. He is best known for his laws of planetary motion. As one of the world’s greatest scientists of his time he was once asked to explain the wondrous discoveries he made. He said that he was merely thinking God’s thoughts after Him. He used God’s Word as the foundation for his thinking and he wasn’t alone. Check out how science and Christianity are in harmony in my article titled “Science is a gift from Christ?”
Imagine all of the wonders of the age we enjoy in our lives. The examples cited above, debatable on moral and ethical grounds, we would consider advanced, but Christ might regard them as mere child’s toys when compared to his awesome powers. Still, don’t they give us a glimpse of just how an intelligent and all-knowing being the creator of the universe must be?
We may endeavor to reach for and catch up with Christ, as human progress was defined per Kepler, but we can never fully realize just how awesome He is from this side of eternity. Just examine the evidence of how in control he was to all matters and events he encountered in His earthly walk. Truly, he is an awesome god!
- BEN-HUR (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1959).
- William Harris & Robert Lamb, “How Invisibility Cloaks Work,” howstuffworks.com
- Steve Lynch, “The CIA & the Military’s Mind Control Research,” AmericanFreePress.net, 8/1/11.