Truly one of the most remarkable things to me about Jesus is that He stuck to His guns and went through with it. Have you ever imagined what would have happened had Jesus packed it all in? What would have become of us? The letter to the Philippians aptly describes His willingness to empty himself and become a servant and suffer the ignominy of the cross. Now for deserving and grateful people, one might be tempted to heroism. But Jesus was faced with skepticism, ridicule, opprobrium heaped on Him by the very people He came to help. Even those who should have known better, His own clergy despised and treated Him disgracefully. True He was also extremely popular and well respected by the people and even some of the leaders, and massive crowds followed Him, but the very same people finally turned against Him and asked for His head and the release of a notorious prisoner. And it was not as if the die was cast and no retreat was physically possible, afterall in correcting Peter for drawing his sword He made it quite clear that He could call on legions of angels and He would be delivered, yet He did not. He faced ignominy, opprobrium, shame, hypocrisy, ignorance, unfounded allegations, persecution, became persona non grata in the eyes of foolish men but did not back down. He saw beyond these and saw the joy set before Him and therefore endured. He knew the end would be infinitely delicious. Because of that, God ‘highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name’. He had a choice, you have a choice.
- To every person in the throes of pain over what people have done to you or said about you as you earnestly strive to serve God;
- To every person struggling to uphold their biblical values of morality and holiness as around them people mock and deride and they temselves wonder what is the point;
- To every usher, singer, volunteer who feels undervalued, unappreciated, despised, and left on the sidelines;
- To everyone who has poured out their lives for others and find themselves vilified and despised;
- To every shepherd afflicted by the ingratitude of the sheep,
- every time you feel inclined to repay evil for evil,
- ever time you feel inclined to tell the whole truth about your tormentors and accusers to their detriment,
- every time you wonder what is the point in all this,
- every time you feel like simply doing your own thing and forgetting about church, God and the whole crowd,
- every time you are tempted to retreat into your shell and give up;
Consider Jesus. He saw beyond the natural, He saw beyond the visible, endured the pain of the process, and proceeded to change humanity. He calls you to walk in His footsteps. Do consider Jesus.