At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. – Matthew 26:3
Last week, I was struggling with people talking about me in a negative way. I feel kind of stupid for making a big deal out of it now. However, it worked itself out in just the most wonderful of ways. I only bring it back up because of what happened the very next morning. The very next section of Bible reading that I had on deck was Matthew 25-28. I read of all that they did to Jesus and couldn’t believe that I complained.
Matthew 26:3 brought back to mind once when I was on a church leadership team (I’ve been on 3). It was late one evening and something just wasn’t sitting well in my spirit. I longed to just go and lie down on my favorite spot at the altar and just be with God. I didn’t really want to leave my house and drive out there, but I knew God was saying, “Go.” So, I drove to the church thinking I was going to hang out with the Lord. When I arrived, I found the team meeting without me. Immediately, I thought of Matthew 26 and realized that I was about to no longer be welcome on that team anymore. I think God revealed it to me early so I could prepare my heart. In hindsight, at least they weren’t plotting to kill me.
The point is, no matter what I go through. No matter what happens to me. No matter what people do or say about you or me, Jesus had it so much worse. I am a flawed human who gets it wrong a little too often. I pretty much deserve what comes to me. But Jesus . . . He was perfect. How do you meet and make plans to destroy the guy whose only crime was making you look bad? He healed so many. He helped so many. Yet, in their hearts and minds, they said, “that guy has got to go,” and by go . . . they meant “die.”
There I was reading the rest of Matthew. My Lord was mocked, beaten, spit upon, crucified, and placed in a tomb for dead. Never once did He complain. Never once did He call out or seek revenge on His accusers. He just took it. He knew what He was doing. He knew He was giving His life as a ransom for any and all who would receive the mercy and grace that is the Gospel.
He took it for me.
Maybe, just maybe, before I draw my last breath, I will be able to take it for Him.
Lord, grow me into what You would have me be. If all things really do work together for my good, I can rejoice on every mountaintop and in every valley I’ve ever visited. Help me not complain. Help me not seek revenge on my accusers. Where would I be had You never entered my life? How much could you complain about me if You wanted to? What if You were vengeful towards me? I’d have no chance. Help me to honor You with my entire being. Help me to keep the greatest commandment and love You will all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. You are still and always will be the greatest thing this planet offers. Amen.