Such Love

“In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, `I am the Son of God'”
(Matthew 27:41-43)

Lent 25

Reflection:
There are times in life when we feel totally cornered, humiliated and rejected. We would like to lash out at others in ways that will defeat and silence them, and show our rightness and worth.

Throughout Jesus ministry it seems that the religious leaders were intent on either proving Him wrong or destroying Him. They refused to see the truth in what He said and did, and hid behind the security of their positions and their interpretation of the law. Jesus had remained silent throughout His trial. Now, at this final moment of ridicule and dismissal – of Him as the Son of God and Saviour of the world – how tempting it must have been to stride from the cross in splendour and majesty and to humiliate them in one glorious display of His Divinity.

“If God wants Him” – how that barb must have hurt, at this moment in time when He was about to cry out in desolation, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And yet, Jesus did none of these things. He trusted and remained true to God and to the mission and ministry that God had given Him. And so His response to them all was the response of a God who loved them even to the end.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
(Luke 23:34)

We all have to learn that however rejected, overlooked, inadequate or hurt we may feel the answer is not to strike back in pain or hurt –  even although we sympathise with the disciples who asked Jesus,

“Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”
(Luke 9:54)

Our identity and security is in the One God Almighty, the God of power and love, who has called us into relationship with Him and has committed Himself to us throughout eternity. In the fullness of His love the barbed arrows and hurts that come from others take their proper place and do not become overwhelming and destructive of our life and peace. It takes prayer, and the practice of confirming our identity and value in God, holding on to His promises to us and the wonderful gifts of both Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Out of that security and perspective we can in turn be sad for those who live and act from the perspective of a fallen world. We, however, are the beloved and eternal sons and daughters of the Living God. And so Jesus can say to us,

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”
(Luke 6:27-28)

The truth is that God’s love for us is far more powerful and healing than the destructive hurt of the world.

Prayer:

Father, please continue to pour Your love into my heart and help me to live as Your beloved child. Amen.

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