Yesterday we talked about Hagar's response to being mistreated by Sarai. If you missed it, click here. Today we are going to revisit this idea of obedience over revenge.
Before I could even hit the publish button on yesterday's blog, I had more I wanted to share. With this being Holy Week, I couldn't help but think, “Hagar is not the only one who has been mistreated and obediently silent.”
We are celebrating Easter this Sunday, which means this Friday is “Good Friday.” Good Friday reminds us of the day that Christ was crucified. Isaiah 53 foretells Christ's death. Verse 5 says,
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Is 53:5
Pieced. Crushed. Punished.
Jesus was severely beaten. Beaten beyond recognition. He was mocked, spit on, whipped. He was abused. And yet, He did not defend Himself. In Mark's gospel he let's us in a little bit of what was happening during the crucifixion.
29 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, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!”
In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32
Let this Christ,b
this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Mk 15:29-32
Jesus had the power to come down off that cross. He had the resources to save Himself. But rather than use the resources He had, He chose to stay on that cross. He chose love over hate. He chose obedience
over revenge. He chose life over death for you and for me.
As I thought about this, I wondered how many times when I engage in any type of revenge, am I choosing death rather than life? How many times am I choosing despair over joy? And emotional turmoil over peace?
If we look back at the Isaiah 53 passage we see that Christ's suffereing allows us to experience peace and healing
Hagar chose obedience over revenge. And you can too. Just as Christ endured the most horrific death ever known to man, you can endure your current trial
. When someone wants to engage in a verbal battle, be obedient to the Word. Through Christ's death you can experience peace and healing no matter how horrific your situation.
I pray that you and I, through the strength Christ gives, will be able to accept the peace and healing Christ offers. Freedom is ours through life in Chris!
How can you experience peace and healing today