A different kind of strength

I had a vision this week past as I worked. I saw Jesus carrying His cross on the road to Calvary. I watched as He saw the eyes of many who lined that path on which He labored. In the eyes of many was judgement and condemnation. They judged based on what they had heard. They condemned on the story of their leaders. Many drew conclusions without proper investigation. Few looked deeper to see the heart and identity of this beautiful Man.

This was the people of whom many had memorized the first five books of the Bible by the time they were 12. This was the nation to whom the oracles of God were entrusted. Surely they knew the prophesies? Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! …Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9) Jesus had done this very thing and still they did not know Him.

I know those eyes that Jesus saw. It’s hard being rejected. It’s even harder being rejected when you’re innocent and when the ones doing the rejecting have made little attempt to discover the truth.   No matter how much one might have conquered the fear of man rejection still stings the human heart and when you’re innocent that rejection stings still deeper. Yet I saw then in the eyes of Jesus a response to the rejection He bore. His eyes were full of passionate love and desire. He trusted in the end of the story. He knew that many of those same people would one day rejoice in the day of His wedding. He could so easily have cleared His name in that moment. He could so easily have called upon a legion of angels to deliver Him. Yet He remained silent (Isaiah 53:7). Could it be that true strength is not found in being proven right in the moment of unjust accusation but in living for love to win by the full unfolding of its story?

As I saw the vision I felt the pain that Jesus felt and I wondered: what do you do with your heart in that situation? How do you carry your heart in such a time? I continued to pray and the answer came. This song (below) began to play:

Holy is the Lord by Jaye Thomas – Purchase Here

and the words of 1 Peter 2:23 rang through my head: who being reviled did not revile in return, while suffering He uttered no threats, but He entrusted His soul to the righteous judge on the throne.

I knew then that worship was the answer. In that time of pain Jesus turned His heart in worship towards His Father, in trust towards His Father, in joy towards His Father knowing that there was a day of redemption ordained, that there was a glorious story of love to be unfurled of which an innocent man dying willingly upon a cross was but part. Then my own heart exploded with worship to the Man with the beautiful, meek heart and the glorious Father with a stunning plan even for my own life and I set the song to repeat for the rest of the day. Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus Come.

J. Ratcliffe

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