Read Matthew 2:16-18; Jeremiah 31:15; John 15:18-25; Psalm 69:4; Mark 10:34; Mark 14:65; Mark 15:19; Isaiah 50:6
I have been thinking about the sad events of this past week. I don't think there are too many of our countrymen who haven't been doing the same thing. Surely, what we have experienced has been far less painful than what Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh and their families have endured. Sadly, these circumstances are not uncommon. We have also heard countless other stories and wondered which of the persons involved was speaking the truth. In the case of the aforementioned circumstances, I have no sense concerning where truth lies. I pray that the Lord will bring to light what needs to be revealed since He alone knows what is in each person's heart and what is true, 1 Kings 8:39; Proverbs 21:2.
With that thought in mind, let's turn a corner and share encouragement, not only for ourselves but also for others who have stories concerning cruel treatment or unjust accusations. Hearing the details that were shared this week may have brought the pain to the surface in their lives, bringing back a wave of fresh sorrow.
We have tender truth to share both with those who already belong to the Savior and those who haven't yet come to know His love, 1 John 4:9-10. The Lord understands the ache of mistreatment and unjust accusations. The Creator/Redeemer also experienced painful circumstances as part of His time here on earth, the greatest picture of love the world has ever known. If man wrote this story, it wouldn't look this way. We would have presented a king who was pampered and respected. He would have received honor at every turn; yet the Bible tells a totally different story, one that can comfort us because the Hero can relate to us since He experienced what we often do, Hebrews 4:14-16.
1. Inexplicable Cruelty
Jesus was merely a tiny child when it happened. After we read about angels heralding Messiah's birth, savagery entered His story. A wicked king, Herod was so enraged and paranoid that he tried to eliminate the Promised One, Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:16-18. We don't know the exact number of the little ones whom he murdered; yet, Jeremiah 31:15 tells us of the weeping due to the tragic deaths of these precious ones. There was unspeakable pain in the lives of many moms and dads, years before Jesus ever did any public ministry. Perhaps Mary and Joseph even knew some of the parents whose children were murdered as a result of Herod's command.
2. Inexplicable Hatred
Who would hate Him? The One Who had compassion on the multitudes because He saw them as they were, as sheep who had no Shepherd, Matthew 9:35-38. He was the One Who showed He was God because of the miracles He did, John 14:9. Yet, John 15:25 says that He was hated without a cause. Shouldn't the One Who raised three people from the dead been loved and honored? Because He was so maligned and despised, Who could understand being rejected and misunderstood more than Jesus does?
3. Inexplicable Mistreatment
We know that the prophets who wrote down the prophesies that God gave them didn't understand what they were writing, 1 Peter 1:10-12. Imagine Isaiah writing God's words in chapter 50, verse 6. Such degrading mistreatment to consider. Someone would be spit upon and have His beard plucked out. I wonder if Isaiah pondered those words and tried to imagine whose life they pictured? We know the answer that the prophet couldn't have known. It was the Holy One Who came to seek and save the lost, Luke 19:10. How unspeakable to treat the Savior this way.
These are only three pictures of the unjust treatment Jesus endured. We have a Savior Who knows about and has Himself experienced, undeserved pain. We can wrap our arms around someone who has dealt with cruel treatment or false accusations, letting them know about what Jesus endured during His time on earth. And here is the most amazing thing about what He did for us. All He experienced was part of God's plan, the one in place before the world was created. Jesus knew about the painful elements of His journey, and He willingly and lovingly walked them out. Why? One reason is that He wanted to bring about the time when there will be no more cruel and unjust circumstances, Revelation 21-22. Everyone who has experienced life's injustice and cruelty can know two truths:
First, Jesus understands their pain and doesn't minimize it. Second, Jesus wants each one to be in His everlasting kingdom where these circumstances will no longer exist. That is why He came, John 3:16. It all boils down to His love for us!
Back to those little ones who were killed by Herod. They are now and have been with the Savior, the same One Herod tried so hard to eliminate.
Lord, help us to be encouraged by the truth of Your Word, and please help us share Your precious truths with others whose life here has been riddled with cruelty and injustice.