October 8

Text: Matthew 26:67, 68

Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, "Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?"  (NASB)

The capacity of human beings to be abusive to powerless human victims is frightening.  The Crusades happened.  War atrocities are real.  Death marches and camps are history.  The criminal activities of rape, bondage, and human trafficking continue.  Slavery is not dead.  The activities within some prisons defy imagination.  Spousal abuse and child abuse exist among us.  Horrible acts of prejudice occur.

Why?  For numerous reasons!  However, this is one prominent thread: when people have physical power over people, they often abuse to demonstrate their power.  Often “good” people who are wonderful neighbors cannot handle empowerment.  When people have physical power over other people, they often commit unthinkable acts.  Suddenly, one’s strength becomes the other’s pain.

Jesus was seemingly the helpless victim.  Suddenly the feared man of power appeared powerless.  There was nothing to fear!  Now they could humiliate him and inflict pain on him seemingly without risk.  The situation did not exist because he tolerated them, but because they were powerful!

Surely, if he was who he said he was, he knew who caused his misery.  “Tell us!  Who showed degrading contempt for you by spitting on you?  Who is hitting you?  Who is causing your pain?  Surely you know—you are the Christ!”  To them, being the Christ meant having the knowledge and power that you could demonstrate when others demanded such.  We forget tolerance is a demonstration!

How does Jesus prove to you that he is Christ?

Suggestion for reflection: Do our demands of Jesus generate trials for him or trust in him?  (Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell