Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself.” Mark 15:29-30
Listen: Mark 15
While Jesus was at his lowest point in his entire earthly life, everyone passing by “hurled insults at him.” They all wanted to pile on and add to the pain and mockery he had already experienced. Little did they know, he had the power to pull himself off the cross and retaliate. They thought he was staying on the cross because he was weak. In truth, it was his strength which kept him there. He was humble enough to receive the mockery without retaliating. His strength was on great display simply by enduring the shame and trusting God to take care of him.
The early believers continually looked back on this moment throughout the years following Jesus death and resurrection. At least three times a New Testament writer points back to this moment for the benefit of an early church (Philippians 2:1-11, Hebrews 12:1-3 and 1 Peter 2:21-25). They used it to remind the early believers that Christ experienced shame just like we do. They allowed Christ to be their teacher in how to respond to persecution and mockery. This helped them have patience and humility in the midst of shame and to know they didn’t have to retaliate when they are humiliated.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Have you ever been mocked or shamed? Have you been excluded or ostracized? Often, we fill with rage when we experience these types of wrongs. We desire to lash out and mock in return. We want to make others feel what they made us feel. Take a few minutes today and write down a person you are harboring bitterness towards or whom you feel has shamed you. Pray something like this, “God I give you my relationship with ____. I give up my desire to retaliate and respond. I’m not trusting myself to take care of me. It is you who is my protector.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.