"He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth."
During His darkest hour, Jesus remained silent. The help He was waiting for from Heaven never arrived. He felt that during the mission that had been assigned to Him, He didn’t have anyone to lean on. However, He knew that God had equipped Him with the nature of the Lamb to offer His own life in exchange for the redemption of the world. When He was facing adversity and felt the violent waves of pain come to crush Him, He drew on another aspect of His character, the Rock. He set His face like flint and endured the cruelest mocking anyone has ever suffered (Isaiah 50:5-7).
Even when Jesus was alone in front of the executioners and could see how everyone who used to be close to Him had disappeared, there was something that kept Him going. It was the memory of people that He had met who knew the value of what He was doing. He thought of the woman that had poured the alabaster jar at His feet. He thought of the tears of repentance with which she had washed His feet, how she kissed His feet and wiped them with her hair. Those memories brought great satisfaction to His soul. He thought of the man with leprosy, full of humility and who came to Him saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” And after Jesus told him, “I am willing, be clean,” He saw how the leper’s mutilated fingers were immediately restored. Jesus also thought of Zacchaeus when he decided to change his life and give his savings as an offering to the needy.
What did Jesus have in the moment of affliction? He had a heart full of love and compassion for all of humanity. Although there were some ungrateful people, He knew there would be millions who would be thankful for all eternity. Beside all those pleasing memories of people He had helped, Jesus was also thinking of you. He could clearly see the future and He thought, “I have to fulfill the plan of redemption. This Son and daughter of mine will believe in me in the future; they also need my help.” With all these thoughts running through His mind, He was building the courage to face the unbearable punishment.
It would have been really easy for Jesus to break free from the situation He found Himself in. He could have convinced the rabbi through Biblical knowledge about what He was doing; and that He was not breaking any law given by Moses. He could have interceded before Pilate to convince him that everything was a huge mistake. He could have ordered His angels to deliver Him; but He didn’t. He knew that if He didn’t shed His blood, there would be no redemption.
We all deserved the wrath of God to be unleashed over our lives as a consequence of our sin, however, Jesus chose to take our place. He became cursed so that we would not suffer eternal condemnation, and hanging from that tree, He shed His precious blood. God’s perfect Lamb was slain for you and me.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
“From time to time I would go to church but I had not yet surrendered my life to God. One day I found a friend that owed me some money, so I politely asked him to pay me back. As he was usually under the influence of drugs, he began to stab me with a dagger in different parts of my body. I was lying on the floor and he ran away. I was quickly taken to the hospital and the doctors realized my case was very serious because I had lost a lot of blood. I made an effort not to lose consciousness because I knew that I was about to face eternity without really being ready for it. I remember that when the doctor took the mask to give me an anesthetic I asked, ‘Am I going to wake up again or is this it?’ As I was beginning to lose consciousness I started to enter a tunnel. Then I saw myself in a wide corridor and thousands of people were appearing there. None of them had the power of will to live. The multitude was simply leading us to our destiny and while time passed by I was more certain of my condition. I was walking to eternal condemnation. I made a review of my life and I couldn’t find any reason to obtain salvation. The only good thing I could recollect was that when I started to attend church, Pastor Cesar Castellanos told me, ‘Fast for three days.’ I had locked myself in my room in order to fast and pray. I began begging for divine mercy. However, despite experiencing His blessing upon my life, I later fell away and returned to my usual vices. By now I was ready to cross over into eternity and I knew there was no turning back. Then suddenly, I cried to Jesus with all my heart. ‘Lord, even when I knew I did a lot of bad things, remember those three days of fasting! I beg You for a second chance. I promise I will consecrate my life to You and I will serve You with all of my heart.” God heard my prayer. When I opened my eyes I was so surprised to see Pastor Cesar and his wife Pastor Claudia standing there. The doctor who was looking after me asked, ‘What saint do you commend your life to? We almost gave you up for dead. What happened to you is a miracle.’ Thank you Pastors for your prayers and teachings that saved me from the trap that the enemy had set for me.” (Nelson Rodríguez)
"I've been drawn and overtake by His love. Today I live to serve Him and to tell others of His salvation."
Today's post is an excerpt from Pastor Cesar Castellanos' book, Declarations of Power for 365 Days of the Year: Volume Three.
TODAY'S BIBLE READING
- Old Testament: Isaiah 31-33; Proverbs 24:1-22
- New Testament: Luke 22:54-62; Hebrews 7:11-28