Tuesday March 10 2020

Confident Resolve

When we approach Easter, there are many things we think about: Jesus’ death in our place, the disciples’ lack of understanding, God’s choice to have women be the first witness to the empty tomb, resurrection hope. There is a multitude of directions to go when thinking about the end of this most significant week in history. 

But there is one we rarely consider: how Jesus got through that experience. Yes, we note Gethsemane where he wrested with his coming fate and eventually handed it all over to God. But what did that mean for him? Is there anything for us to learn from how Christ faced the intense rejection by the world that the Cross represented?

During the entire second half of his ministry, Jesus taught his disciples that they would face opposition, resistance and rejection just as he did. Their spiritual development depended upon how to cope with this reality – a reality the modern-day church also faces. 

What can Jesus’ arrest and trial teach us about our own calling in such a world?

First – trusting the Father. Jesus did not fight back or reflect fear in the face of the rejection. 

Second – Jesus rested in the confidence of his identity. He was secure in this place. 

Third – we rest in the confidence that vindication and justice will come. When we face opposition, it can seem so risky to let such circumstances go, to not fight back. But Jesus’ confidence was not set in the present; he knew a day of vindication would come. 

There is an irony in the whole story that should not be missed. This word from Jesus in Mark 14:62 about the Son of Man seated at God’s right hand is technically what got him crucified. The religious leaders had struggled to get testimony they could take to Pilate – then Jesus suppled that testimony himself. 

Jesus was so committed to going to the Cross for us that he provided the very words which got him crucified. He did it because he knew God would vindicate him three days later. That is how deep his love for us is. 

How can we respond to resistance or rejection? Like Christ did. We trust God in the face of opposition. We rest in the identity God gives us so we need not fear the rejection and overreact. We know that in the vindication tied to Jesus we find our own restoration when all will be set right. In this is the way of the cross. 

Extracts from Darrell L. Block