Saturday, March 06, 2010

Hung Out to Dry

Today’s Reading: Acts 13:28 NIV

28 [Paul said,] “Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have [Jesus] executed.”

Good morning!

Have you ever been betrayed by someone you trusted? Maybe it was a co-worker or a supervisor at work, wanting to somehow level the playing field and protect their perceived territory. Maybe it was someone in your family: a spouse, a child, a parent. Maybe it was your very best friend. Betrayal hurts, no matter who the perpetrator is; yet, it is far worse when it is someone you know and love.

Sometimes the people who love us most see our bad behavior and will seek to find ways to constructively help us help ourselves. When someone rats us out, it often feels like we’ve been betrayed at first; yet, after time passes, we begin to realize the intent was not to harm us but to help save us from our own bad choices and behaviors. Children often feel betrayed and misunderstood by their parents, especially when they are caught in a flurry of bad choices. We learn to love and appreciate each other even more when we are able to set aside our anger and look beyond the initial pain we feel.

Many times, people act out of pure selfishness and personal gain. They are afraid of you, afraid that you might actually be better suited for their job, or better equipped to take care of the situation at hand. Maybe they are afraid of your popularity, that they are not nearly as well-liked as you. Often, people retaliate against each other simply because they are greedy and will not stop until they have it all. Regardless of how you are wronged, the truth remains that it is a devastating life experience when we are hung out to dry.

The religious leaders were concerned that Jesus’ overwhelming popularity with the people would cause an uproar in the living environment and culture they had created. They thought if they could somehow sway the people against Him, it would put an end to His mission, His life. Even Jesus’ disciples were terrified to the point of denying their relationship with the Lord, fearing they would also suffer and die by default. The crowd that welcomed Christ into the city streets just one week earlier decided they were now ready to conduct a lynching. There was nothing fair or right about it. Jesus Christ was being hung out on a cross to dry.

One of the greatest miracles occurred in the moments that followed the kangaroo court and all the injustices leveled against a sinless man. Jesus Christ forgave them all! He bore no animosity against His accusers. As a matter of fact, He loved them so much that He willingly allowed them to kill His body, because Jesus knew He was the Only Way they would find eternal peace with the Father. When we think about all the healings that Christ performed throughout his earthly ministry, we sometimes forget to see the greatest healing occurring at His crucifixion. His blood was spilled out for you and for me.

If you are struggling to forgive someone who has hurt you, ask the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive Him through you. Jesus gave you His blood as a covering for all the mistakes you’ve ever made, and He will help you forgive those who have hurt you. Only Jesus can heal your heart and restore your life in full. Ask Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life today.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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