Leviticus 17-18 Matthew 27:27-50
“But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and died.” (Matthew 27:50 NCV)
He had endured the kangaroo court of the Sanhedrin. He’d been used as a pawn in the struggle between Pilate and the Jewish leaders. He’d been flogged and beaten. He’d been mocked. He’d been crucified and mocked as He was lifted up for all to see. His clothes were used as prizes in a game of dice. Even those who were crucified with Him, mocked Him. As we read all the accounts of the crucifixion, we see that Jesus answered these attacks and insults with God’s love. And then He died. I’m sure the Pharisees walked away thinking that this problem was solved while the followers of Jesus who were there left in despair, neither group realizing that it wasn’t the end of the story.
We can’t choose how people react to us, nor what will happen in our lives. What we can choose is our reaction. When you follow and live like Jesus, people will react in strange ways. They may slander you. They may attack physically, seeking to hurt, or even kill you. They may seek to trick you or take advantage of you. They may drag you before the courts. If people treated Jesus this way, they’ll treat you that way. Jesus responded with God’s love and forgiveness. If Jesus responded this way, can we do anything less? The most important life goal any Christian can have is to lead others into a relationship with Jesus Christ and help them learn to live in grace. If that’s our goal, it helps us focus the way we respond to slander and attacks. Love them like Jesus did.
Lord, take away my desires for revenge against those who would hurt me. Show Your love through me.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.