A few weeks ago, I was flipping through my Bible.... I was drowsy, sleepy, and wanted to read a passage or two before nodding off - but God had other plans for me. A passage caught my attention and I got lost in Matthew 27: 24-31. I had read this passage many times before, but that particular night, it affected me in a different way - it gave me another picture of what Jesus went through in the hours...moments before He was crucified.
The words swam before my eyes...snippets took hold in my heart."....they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him....knelt before him and mocked him...struck him on the head...led him away to crucify him." I was overwhelmed.....I could picture Jesus - Lion of the tribe of Judah, standing meekly and being stripped of his clothes, spat upon.....struck on the head, mocked publicly and led away to die a foul and shameful death....
I imagined myself in that position - I guard my privacy jealously, and my pride even more. I bristle at slights, and swallow them with difficulty - sometimes not at all...I'm still learning how to submit to His Word...how would I react if I knew that I had to stand in the middle of a crowd, and face abject humiliation - humiliation that words cannot adequately convey - in payment of a debt I did not owe? Would I stand meekly and be led to the slaughter...and still ask mercy on those who had put me there, or would I call down the fire and vengeance of God on their heads? But Jesus did.....He did it for ME....Oh! What love! Love for me held His tongue when He would have berated those who scourged Him...Love for me held His hands when He would have summoned chariots of angels from heaven to fight on His behalf....Love for me kept Him walking, even when He stumbled carrying a cross that was meant for me...Love for me kept Him on the cross when He could have crooked his little finger and stepped down...Love for me.
Look all what He did for me! For ME?!
How, oh how have I loved Him in return? "If you love me," He said "you will keep my commandments." How many of His words do I flout...do I grumble when I hear that soft, gentle voice right before those angry words trip off my tongue? Right as I'm copping an attitude? When my hackles rise at a perceived insult? How do I find it in me to respond to a love like this?
I can't. It's not in me.....but I'm so glad, it's in Him.
Philipians 2:13 - For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure....