When Jesus was nailed to the cross he was already more than half-dead. The scourging alone and the crown of thorns beaten into his skull had nearly killed him. In such a state it is all the more remarkable to see Jesus with a clear, sound mind and a tranquil heart. Then Jesus was offered some wine mixed with myrrh to ease his pain, but he refused it. He turned down a pain killer, even though he had to be in excruciating pain, because he needed his head to be clear to the end. He willingly embraced suffering and death for our sake because he knew and loved us all when he offered his life as an atoning sacrifice on the cross.
How many times have I been whinging because of a little headache, and used that to excuse my own irritability with my wife and kids, whom I am supposed to love above all others? His head was clear and his heart was calm, and he asked God to forgive those that crucified him. Asked him to forgive you and I, because as surely as the sun will rise in the East tomorrow morning, we crucified him. Every sinner that has ever lived holds that responsibility. He went through all of that for us, and most of us had not yet even been born. That is more than a little humbling.
I am going to try to keep this in mind the next time I think a piddling stubbed toe or sucking chest wound is an excuse to treat someone less than how they deserve to be treated in the eyes of Jesus. I am a delicate little flower, so I will fail, but I am going to try.
At the same time, when someone mistreats me, I will pray to have a tenth part of the graciousness that Jesus showed. More often than not, anyone who is lashing out is in some kind of pain. It may be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, but pain is pain. There is a saying in the Celebrate Recovery ministry that says, “Hurt people, hurt people”. Think about that for a second. The next time someone treats you unfairly, ask yourself what hurt them to make them act that way. Pray for them. Love them when they are unlovable, just as Jesus did for us.Read Day 16 Devotion by Cristy