17 March, 1999
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Matthew 27:25 And all the people answered and said, His blood be on us and on our children. 26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
1 Peter 2:23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
Sometimes I know that we wonder how could Jesus, the Word of God, king and saviour, allow Himself to be beaten as He was and not say one word to those who were abusing Him. He committed Himself to God who judges righteously. Jesus knew that the Father was watching everything that was happening. The Father knew what was in the hearts and minds of the abusers.
To the fathers that are out there. If you knew that your son was going to have to suffer at the hands of others and that it had to be this way for the good of others... it would be hard to stand back and watch. If you could also see into their hearts and minds and know of the corruption that is there against your son, wouldn't you want to lash out against them?
Jesus knew the Father would require a price from those who were abusing Him. He knew how easily it would be for God to wipe out all of mankind for what is happening. Yet what was Jesus' response in all this? Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. If Moses didn't intervene at one point Israel would have been destroyed by God when they were in the desert (Exodus 32). How much more so those who were now beating His Son.
While He was being scourged, His compassion for His tormentors was greater than the pain and humiliation they were inflicting upon Him, because Jesus knew the righteous judgement of God.
Are you afraid of the whip... ?
Acts 5:40 And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
When reading this chapter you will come to understand that the council at this time still did not know for sure whether this Christian group was or was not from God. As was shown in the previous lesson, their motivation was envy. It was still envy at work in them at this point as well.
The council ordered them beaten and sent them out. What was supposed to occur was when they left the chamber and entered the streets everyone looking upon them would know these men have received a beating for their error. It was supposed to bring shame upon the disciples. Instead the disciples went forward rejoicing in the fact that they were counted worthy to be beaten for their stand for Jesus.
Too often we are angered or shamed when others mistreat us for our stand. Yet these things should occur in our lives if we are standing for the truth. In many parts of the world christians are still being beaten, tortured, killed, for their stand for Jesus. We have become too soft in the "civilized" countries to appreciate the cost of being for Jesus and professing His name. The time is approaching when we who had it easy will suffer the same as our brothers and sisters in the harsher parts of the world. Understand this and get into the garden to pray for strength, so that you too may go forth rejoicing when it is visited upon you. Do not be afraid of the whip but rise above it.
It should have been evident to the Corinthians... but...
2 Corinthians 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? I speak as a fool I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
If we too could simply grasp the call of God in our lives, how radical Christianity really is, and what God desires, we too would be living a life that is at least the shadow of what Paul has lived. In trials come building, strength, perfection (James 1:2-4). How many have fallen away because they had it easy and when life turned hard they fell away. They did not prepare themselves. They avoided paying the cost of growth and were easily taken by the snares of the Devil. They fear man and not God. It is easy to speak swelling words... it is hard to live the word.
The challenge before us is to live Godly lives, walking with our Lord, professing the truth and paying the price. When the disciples returned from the beating they prayed for boldness and the Holy Spirit filled them. In each of our lives, like them, we must return to the garden to pray.
1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
How many of us have worn the cloak of self-righteousness, stepping into places we were not sent to, speaking out of turn, loud, stubborn, contentious... and then when mistreated by them, thinking we are paying the price of walking with God. I hate to tell you this but you are getting what you deserve. When you walk in this way you are sowing to the flesh and you are justly reaping what you are getting. At times like this you have laid aside holiness, love, compassion... etc. There are times when a strong word needs to be delivered of course. The answer then is what fruit will that word bring about. Are you really concerned for their salvation or do you want to fight.
The only credit you get from God for suffering is when you are doing good and bear it with patience. When you suffer, with patience, for doing what is wrong, there is no credit to you in God's book, in fact, because God loves you, expect to be corrected, harshly if need be. That too is also not to your credit if you suffer in silence... what you need to do is repent.
Do you want to be commended... by God... observe what Jesus did the last day and do the same. He suffered for us, leaving an example, that we should follow in His steps. From the garden to the grave... follow Him. When you suffer it should be for the sake of others.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 22 And you will be hated by all for My names sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Stop now and look over these last verses again. Ponder them. Weigh them. Meditate on them. Then go and pray in the garden, for it is truth, and it will visit you. You will gain a new understanding of what is before you on...
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