Sunday, April 8, 2012
Offering My Back
He was a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering.--Isaiah 53:3
Jesus didn't suffer only under the whips or on the cross; He was familiar with suffering. He knew it well, and I am supposed to be like Him. But I expect to be happy, to find goodness in daily living, to smile often and laugh with abandon, to know amusement and warmth and love. I do not want familiarity with suffering.
Jesus tells me to be like Him, to follow Him, to die to myself and to be holy, that is, dedicated, to Him. In theory, I agree. Then He gives me a chance to do it.
I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled my beard.--Isaiah 50:6
Whenever the only discomfort at stake was His own, Jesus did not defend Himself. Ever. He defended the defenseless, He defended His Father, but He did not defend Himself. And I am supposed to imitate Him.
Jesus was born sinless and died the same way. I do not. I was born in sin and live there. Opportunities to be falsely accused come rarely. I am much more likely to be guilty than innocent. But there are those times...those rare times....when I reap harsh treatment I didn't earn, when the only one hurt is myself. In these come my opportunities to be like Him.
Rather than leap to my own defense, I must bare my back and accept the stripes, not acting the martyr, but behaving like a child of the King.
I know all too well that I am not like Jesus. Please let me recognize the few chances I get to truly follow Him. I will not see much goodness of men in this land of the living, but I will see His goodness.