13 June 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 27:27-31 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
27 Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. 29 They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. 31 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. (Matthew 27:27–31 NLT)
Jesus’ so-called trial before the Jews and Pilate was a mockery of justice and his treatment by these Roman soldiers was a mockery of humanity!
One of the things that has stood out to me this time reading through Matthew’s account of Betrayal, Arrest, Denial, Desertion, Hatred, and Mockery is Jesus’ incredible strength and restraint. Jesus rightly said to his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane that he could have asked his Father for help and thousands of angels would have instantly been dispatched to destroy his enemies and rescue him. Jesus didn’t ask for the angels. But I’m convinced that at any point, he could still ask for help and the rescuing angels would come!
We are conditioned to think in terms of power as the ability to act, to create, to transform, to win, to defeat, to avenge, to destroy. Jesus’ response to these terrible injustices creates an opportunity for us to shake off this conditioning and to see the even greater power of love, the power of willing sacrifice, the power of restraint in the face of injustice and inhumanity. In all of this I can’t get away from a sense that there’s something for us to learn about ourselves here, friends!
We’re seeing the world in terms of good guys vs bad guys (with us the only good guys!). We regard people of other faiths as evil, consider people of other nations and races inferior. We disrespect people of our own nations with different political beliefs and consider people of our own Christian faith whose doctrines and beliefs differ from ours heretics! This has to change, friends! Jesus didn’t see those who mocked him as enemies, but as souls worth giving his life for!
Father, Please help us to see this truth and give us grace to embrace it! Amen!