(John 18:22 MSG) When he said this, one of the policemen standing there slapped Jesus across the face, saying, “How dare you speak to the Chief Priest like that!”
This morning we continue our PASSION WEEK mini-series. This upcoming Sunday is what the world calls “Easter” and the church calls “Resurrection Sunday.” While I can’t cover it all in five days, this week I have been providing you a short recap of the events leading up to the most important event in history and the importance of what we celebrate.
After Jesus prayed his well known prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mat 26:39), He left the garden and walked into the betrayal of Judas. Peter tried to stop the arrest and cut a man’s ear off. Jesus had already accepted what was going to happen next, He put the man’s ear back on his head, and gave Himself over to the authorities. Jesus was arrested without a valid charge or a witnesses. They took Him first to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest. Peter, who had already denied Jesus to a little girl, stood outside in the cold with the authorities. They started a fire and stood around it to warm themselves as the interrogation began inside. Annas interrogated Jesus regarding His disciples and His teachings. Jesus answered, “I have spoken freely in front of everyone. And I have always taught in our meeting places and in the temple, where all of our people come together. I have not said anything in secret. Why are you questioning me? Why don’t you ask the people who heard me? They know what I have said.” When He said this, one of the policemen standing there slapped Jesus across the face, saying, “How dare you speak to the Chief Priest like that!”
Let’s be honest. When we think of Jesus we think of the miraculous Jesus. We think of the God-man who stopped a funeral precession and raised a widow’s only son from the dead. We think of the God-man who looked out at a vast crowd (5,000 men, not counting the women and children), had compassion upon them, and fed them all with a little boy’s lunch (two fish and fives loaves of bread). We think of the God-man who showed up at His friends’ house (Mary and Martha) after their brother (Lazarus) was dead for four days and whose body was already stinking. Jesus had so much compassion for them that He cried with them before raising Lazarus from the dead. We think of the God-man who walked on water and met the disciples in the fourth watch of the night (3am-6am), when they were tired, frustrated, and fearful. We think of the God-man who met a woman in church who wanted to straighten herself up, but she couldn’t. She had been bent over for 18 years and with just His words, Jesus loosed the woman of her infirmity. Yes, we often think of the miraculous Jesus, the powerful Jesus, the water-walking Jesus and the wonder-working Jesus. But what about the Jesus who was whipped for us? What about the Jesus that was beaten for us? What about the Jesus who, in our text, was slapped in the face for us?
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. Jesus walked in supernatural power daily and no human could have killed Jesus. He had the power to call down a legion of angels to destroy all His accusers, but He chose not to, because of you.
2. No one took Jesus’ life, because they couldn’t. The miraculous, powerful, water-walking and wonder-working Jesus, willingly laid down His life for your sin.
3. Jesus was beaten, battered, bruised and crucified, and He allowed it, because He was thinking of you!
4. Jesus died a horrible death so that you could live a supernatural life. Remember that the next time you are facing something you think is unbearable.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for sending Your Son to die for me. Jesus stepped down from glory and bore my pain that I might step up from my pain and enjoy His glory. Jesus was slapped in the face, hair from his beard was pulled out from His jaw and He was ridiculed in front of the crowd… for me. Jesus withstood 39 lashes with a cat of 9 tails – each tail containing bits of stone and metal on it, so that it would be lodged in Jesus’ back with each forward blow and it would tear off bits of his flesh off with each backward pull. When it was all said and done, Jesus’ back was ripped open for me. They then took railroad-sized nails and drove them through His hands and another through His united feet. The pain Jesus felt is almost too hard to imagine, but I force myself to think about it, because He did it for me. The same man who cause the blind to see, lame to walk, dumb to speak, deaf to hear and dead to rise, willingly endured a horrible death so that I could live a supernatural life. Therefore, I am determined to honor Jesus’ sacrifice with my own. I lay down my life as well. I give You my life Father, all of it, as a sacrifice. I am dead to my old man and I have been made alive in Christ. I humble myself before You and Your Kingdom plans and purposes for my life. My life is no longer about me, it is about You and what You have called me to do. I shall find, follow and finish my purpose before I die, honoring You every step of the way. I will continue what Jesus started, becoming the continuation of His incarnation. Like Jesus, I operate in the supernatural daily. You use me as a conduit of Your power, in the earth, so that people would come to know You as Lord. Use me Father, today, for Your glory! I declare this by faith, in the name of the one who gave His life for me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper!