Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March 24, 2016

"When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.  Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jewsTwo rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” Matthew 27:35-40
Have you ever been mocked or ridiculed?

How did that feel?

Were you ridiculed in the process of dying to save the world from sin?

Me neither.

But Jesus was. We see it in this portion of the Scriptural account of the crucifixion of Jesus. It is worth noting because of what Jesus did while He was doing something historical. The same people who had cruelly beaten Him and then nailed Him to a cross piled on verbal abuse as He hung there suffering. They were attempting to heap shame upon His shameful treatment and the shameful method of execution and the shame of His nakedness.

In a day and age when Christianity and Christians are being mocked and reviled with increasing regularity and intensity, it is good to note how Jesus responded to their mockery.

He took it!

He stayed on the cross!

While they were giving Him grief He was giving them grace!

That's the proper response to mockery and insults.

But how do I do that, Brad?

Only by His strength!

The same grace and strength that Jesus manifested while being verbally abused on the cross is the very same strength and grace He can instill in you by His Spirit!

And by the way, three days later when He walked out of the grave having conquered sin and death He made a mockery of their mockery!

While that wasn't His purpose it is the power of grace and truth!

As you pray this morning will you ask God to give you the grace to bless those who curse you and pray for those who despite fully use you?

Will you promise Him that in His strength you will give grace to those who give you grief?