The fact that God didn’t rescue Jesus from the cross is one of the hardest truths to accept. Jesus willingly and obediently endured the unimaginable so we wouldn’t have to. There was no shortcut to the cross nor a dulling of the pain our Lord had to suffer.
The truth is, Christ suffered on the cross. He was mocked and ridiculed as He died. The dreams and hopes of hundreds of people died with Him that day. Dreams of a better tomorrow. Hopes for the long-awaited Messiah. Better days were coming, they just knew it. A new kingdom was starting. The wait, anticipation, and generations of prayers were finally answered, or so they thought. And then Jesus mercilessly died. And their hopes and dreams died with Him.
There is a false teaching which has been widely accepted in many of our churches that teaches when we are in God’s will for our lives, all will be well. We will be happy, healthy, and successful. Yet, when you look at Christ’s life, we don’t see that to be true. Christ suffered and died and that was God’s will. We must grow in our understanding and faith in God and His goodness to accept the truth that being in God’s will isn’t always a “happy” place to be. It might not always “feel” good and it many times doesn’t look “successful” to the watching world. Sometimes, being in His will means to suffer. Sometimes it means we will be mocked, like Christ on the cross. Sometimes it means we will be misunderstood. Other times it means those who have the power to stand up for us and stop the injustices that happen, do not. And yet, even in those dark times, even in the sins of others actions or inactions, God has the power and ability to bring about goodness.
We see this truth clearly in Mark 15:25-27. Even as He was dying, Christ was still bringing glory to His Father. He could have chosen to be angry, to lash out to those who nailed Him to the cross. He could have hurled back insults to those who mocked Him. He could have called angels down from heaven to give those responsible what they deserved. He could have questioned the love of those who sat and cried quietly nearby. He could have reacted in hate and vengeance.
And yet, He didn’t.
Jesus chose instead to extend forgiveness for those who had nailed Him to the cross. Instead, He was still thinking of others and their future without Him physically in their lives, and He made sure they were taken care of. In choosing to love instead of hate, Jesus revealed who He was: the Son of God. In doing so, one of the robbers saw for the first time who Jesus was and gave his life to Him. While the world saw defeat, God was already witnessing victory.
We as Christians must train our minds to think and see life the way God does. We must come to realize that so much of true Christian success looks like defeat. The dying to self. The surrendering of our wills to God’s will. Remembering the first will be last and the last will be first.
Don’t get discouraged when the world mocks you like they mocked Christ on the cross. We can’t expect them to understand our ways. But because we are mocked and ridiculed doesn’t mean we are who they see us as being. They may see us as failures, but God sees us as more than conquerors.
Yes, Jesus was mocked, toured, and died on the cross, but that wasn’t the end to His story. And neither is it ours. We must stop looking to the world for acceptance, validation, and worth.
We must remember we serve a RISEN Savior.
Though His physical death was seen as a defeat, in truth it was the greatest triumph of history and exactly according to God’s plan.
Nothing in heaven or earth can thwart God’s redemptive plan.
Love God Greatly!
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