Betrayed to Death

Condemned to Death
Matthew 20:17-19 NIV

Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

Coming to faith in Jesus Christ means we die with him to sin and self so that we might be raised with Christ to newness of life in Him. Jesus Christ not only died on that cross to pay the punishment of our sin, but he died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died, not just to forgive us our sin, but to put sin to death in our lives. He who knew no sin became sin for us on that cross that we might become the righteousness of God.

Yet, not only is faith in Jesus Christ death to sin and living to righteousness, but it is a choice to follow our Lord in obedience and to suffer as he suffered. For, through our suffering we learn obedience, perseverance, patience, endurance, hope, and compassion. We grow in our walks of faith, our faith in strengthened, we mature in Christ, and God makes us holy and he conforms us to his likeness. We also learn not to rely on ourselves, i.e. on our own flesh and strength, but we learn to rely on God for our every need.

But, why did Jesus suffer? What caused his suffering? Why was he condemned to death and hung on a cross to die, although he had done no wrong? Besides the fact that this was the will of God, His will, that he should do so in order to bring us salvation, what led up to his death?

Jesus was hung on that cross to die, and he suffered much mistreatment and persecution because he confronted people with their sins, he called for repentance and faith in himself, he told the truth regarding who he was/is, and because he lived a holy life separate from the world of sin and he did not conform to man-made religion nor to the traditions of men.

So, if we are living holy lives, separate from the world of sin, and separate unto God and his service, and we are not conforming our lives to the ways of our society, and we are not willing to follow man-made religion, but we teach the truth of God’s Word, and the truth of the gospel of our salvation, then we, too, will be hated, mistreated, rejected, abandoned, persecuted and even put to death for our faith and our testimonies for Jesus Christ.

Can you drink it?
Matthew 20:20-23 NIV

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.

“What is it you want?” he asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

The cup that Jesus drank from was the cup of suffering and death on a cross for our sins, in order to deliver us from our slavery to sin. The cup we must also drink from is a cup of suffering and death to sin, which involves mistreatment, persecution, false accusations, being slandered and gossiped about, and being hated, betrayed and abandoned by those who are supposed to serve, love, honor and protect us, i.e. by our leaders, whether they are in our homes, in our churches, or within our own governments.

Especially in the times in which we now live, and particularly here in the USA, so many of our leaders, who call themselves Christians, have abandoned and betrayed those whom they are to protect and serve. They profess one thing while they live another. They lie, cheat, steal, murder, deceive and commit adultery and perjury, while they pretend that they care about us, and that they are serving us, when truly they are serving themselves to their own pleasure. They claim to be working for us when truly they are working against us. Nothing from their mouths can be trusted.

But, we have been called to suffer at their hands. This is not to say that our Lord will never rescue us, in this life, from such persecution. Sometimes he does deliver us from persecution. In fact, he taught his disciples that if they were persecuted in one place, that they were to flee to another, but not always. Sometimes he led them to stand still and to see the salvation of the Lord. Sometimes Paul fled and other times he remained because God had something he wanted to do through him despite the persecution.

Be a Servant
Matthew 20:24-28 NIV

When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Through all that we go through in this life, though, we should take the role of servants of our God. I am not saying here that we must become door mats for people to walk all over and that we are to submit ourselves to abuse. Jesus didn’t until it was time for him to take up his life for us on that cross. All throughout Jesus’ ministry he confronted his persecutors with the wrongness of their treatment of him, and he spoke boldly against their actions, even in public, because of the stubbornness of their hearts, and because he did not want his followers to fall into their traps.

And, scriptures teach us that we should confront sin in sinful humans, and that if a brother or a sister is caught in a sin that we should humbly restore such a one, and that we should snatch people from the flames and save them. Scriptures teach that we should share the whole counsel of God and the truth of the gospel, and that we should expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, and that we should test the spirits to see if they are of God. And, they teach us, too, that we should daily put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us, too.

So, being willing to suffer injustice for righteousness’ sake does not mean that we become “milk-toast,” i.e. easily dominated, for Jesus was not. We are to stand strong on the Word of Truth and never compromise or back down. Yes, we must do what we do in love, but this love is God-like love which speaks the truth in love so that those who hear might turn from their sins and turn to follow Jesus Christ with their lives. God-like love prefers what God prefers, which is what is righteous, holy, just, honorable, trustworthy, pure, and honest. And, it hates what he hates, too, which is what is evil, hateful, dishonest, impure and immoral.

So, taking a stand for what is right, exposing what is evil, warning others against this evil, confronting sin and calling for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, or renewed faith, is what Jesus and his NT apostles did, and it is what we must do, too. And, this is one way in which we serve others in the way Jesus did. And, in this way, too, we lay our lives down in order to see others be free from their slavery to sin, and to be able to walk righteously before God. For, because of this, we will be hated, abandoned, betrayed, rejected, falsely accused, mistreated, gossiped about (and slandered), and even killed, because we, too, are telling people the truth about their sin.

For Our Nation
An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

Monday, April 2, 2018, 6:10 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. Bring it home to our hearts, I pray in Jesus’ name.

 

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