Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Grace to Persevere ...

"They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said." - Matthew 27:28-29
A number of years ago, Pastor Saeed Abedini, a Christian with dual United States - Iranian nationality, was imprisoned at Evin Prison in Tehran, being tortured and cut off from his family. All this because he encouraged peaceful assemblies of Christians in private homes. While an international outcry for his release was overwhelming, there were many believers who asked why God would allow such persecution?

In the midst of such rejection from unbelievers we might step back and consider the events recorded in today's reading. Our Lord was humiliated and mocked, even before he suffered the agony of scourging and crucifixion. Concerning this experience our Lord said in John 15:20, "Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." 

Never believe that God's children are meant to live a well received and respected life in this world my friend. No matter how much we try, at the end of the day those who follow Jesus will be mocked and humiliated just as He was. While God allows such persecution, He also provides the strength and grace to say "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)

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