Easter is my favorite holiday. I look forward to it all year. I love music about the stone rolling away, God calling Jesus to arise, the lion roaring, the angels rejoicing.

I love attending a Tenebrae service on a Friday where the room is dark and heavy, a “funeral for Jesus” as my worship pastor calls it, but then anticipating the blazing excitement of the celebration on Sunday morning.

One of the best memories I have from Israel is standing in the empty grave and then leaving that grave feeling this deep urge to shout (out-loud) His praise all the way back to the bus, then all the way to the hotel, then all the way home to Texas. I walked out of that grave with a zeal that I hope never leaves me.

Easter is my favorite.

There’s a verse that I’ve come to love in the last few years. It’s only found in one gospel, John.

John 18:6, “When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they (the soldiers there to arrest him) drew back and fell to the ground.”

Three words. A total of five English letters. And the soldiers fell to the ground.

Soldiers. These were soldiers. These were strong men. They had armor, weapons and had been trained for war. They were warriors.

But Jesus let them know. In power. In clarity. In a super-natural fierceness.

They had no force to arrest him. They had no strength to seize him. Their training had no influence. Their weapons had no potency. They had no authority over him.

Three words he breathed out, and they immediately fell, likely fully armed, down to the ground.

It was right after this that Peter pulled his sword out of its sheath and cut off one of the soldier’s ear and Jesus looks at him and says, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).

It’s as if Jesus looked at him to remind him, “Look at what just happened, Peter. These soldiers fell to the ground at the breath of three of my words. What do you think would happen if I called out to the Father in Heaven?”

No one sent my Lord to the cross.

The power Jesus with-held, the restraint not to call on His army…all so he could go to the cross to bear the darkness of my personal sin.

Easter. “I am he.”

It’s my favorite. I sure love my Savior.