Eighteen religious rules were broken in order to convict Jesus.
Jesus never fought the injustice done to Him.
Those broken rules and injustices ushered in God’s will.
Reading the account of Jesus’ arrest in Mark 14 through that lens begs us to consider why. So many things about Jesus turn the Old Testament Jewish ways on end. He had a way of flipping the issue. When we read the story of Jesus’ arrest, we can see that God used broken rules and injustice to usher in redemption.
Rules. We teach our kids to obey the rules. We have them memorize the commandment about children obeying their parents in the lord so that all will be well with them. We train them to avoid the bad by being good, to strive for “good” and “OK.”
Even God gave the Israelites rules on stone tablets, followed by many more “doing life” rules, complete with curses and warnings of what would happen if they didn’t obey and follow Him.
There are many examples where obedience and following the rules would lead to good things. And so it tips over into legalism. We ourselves have been trained to strive for “good” and “ok.” Oh, how we fight to keep it all together because we believe that’s proof of God’s blessing. We want His will to be pleasant. We wish following the rules and obeying the Lord would guarantee an easy path in life.
So did Jesus.
He prayed fervently in the garden for the Lord to remove the cup before Him, even though He knew that was why He came. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that facing crucifixion or being crucified might be the worst kind of trial one could face. Even so, he surrendered.
Surrender meant not fighting the injustice against him. It meant letting the devil have his way for a time. This story is a perfect example of Romans 8:28 and 29 at play.
Through this story we see God working all things for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.
God worked the deception, the lies, and the injustice into the redemption story. And it took Jesus’ surrender to the Lord, His silence in the face of injustice.
Our pastor spoke on this passage a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t help but be struck by Jesus’ actions. He didn’t fight for justice, didn’t defend himself, or demand he be heard. In the court system of Jesus’ day, His silence actually condemned Him and began His path to the hill where He was crucified.
As I reflect back on the years I have fought for Big Bro and my family in light of Jesus’ surrender, I can’t help but see God’s hand in the many ways he didn’t bless my efforts of seeking diagnosis and treatment. Big Bro didn’t get better, but things continued to deteriorate. Worst case scenario happened despite my best efforts, and I did get to the point where I finally stopped fighting and surrendered. God showed me He had said enough and taken over. My job was to let Him take care of things.
My years of trials solidified my view of God’s sovereignty. He truly is over all and has carefully ordained the paths of our lives. As I contemplated this passage and my pastor’s words, I felt a tug at my heart to do less fighting and more following, more letting God’s plan unfold. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that no matter how hard you fight for or work towards something, if it’s not in God’s will plan for your life, you won’t find success.
Let’s take our cue from Jesus and live the surrendered life.
Instead of pursuing easy and problem free, focus on discovering what God has for you to do or learn in each season. Maybe He’ll lead you to resolve issues, or perhaps He’ll bring you through a difficult time, but either way, we can trust that God has good in mind for you.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Although the prophet spoke these words to the Hebrew people in exile, that is still God’s heart for His people. God’s plan will happen, whether we fight it or not. When you consider the entire passage in Jeremiah 29 surrounding verse 11, it’s clear that the blessings lie in surrender and humbly walking with Him. Peace comes when we accept and cooperate with God’s plan.
After years of struggling and walking through heartache after heartache, I came across a verse that greatly encouraged my heart. When I was most tempted to give up hope, I read Psalm 25:15 and was comforted by its words.
“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”
It is important also to remember the words written In Ecclesiastes 3: 11 that remind us, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
When we find ourselves in a snare and our efforts do not bring resolution or relief, we can take comfort in knowing God will release us when His purposes have been fulfilled. The most fitting example of those passages is Jesus’ death and resurrection. It strikes me as a blueprint for the trials we face.
Jesus left heaven and entered a time of difficulty here on earth, relying on others and the Lord’s provision, just as we enter trials and winter seasons in our own life.
He anticipated and entered a difficult trial where he was unjustly accused and lied about, which led to physically and mentally excruciating pain. He even begged the Lord to let the cup pass by him. His humanness didn’t want to experience what he knew was coming.
However, He surrendered and allowed God’s plan to channel through him and didn’t fight it. He didn’t try to defend himself or set the record straight. His surrender ushered in the excruciating pain He had to go through. And He did it willingly.
In God’s time, He lifted him from the trials when He raised Him in victory over death and the devil. That happened through injustice and lies. But from the catastrophe came eternal life and heaven for those who walk with the Lord. The Devil forever lost his power over God’s people. You can’t get a more beautiful ending than that.
Sometimes, God calls us to action, and sometimes He calls us to surrender. Each situation requires seeking the Lord, as Jesus did in the garden. And when God calls us to walk the difficult road, may we take comfort and gain courage in knowing we are following in the footsteps of Jesus.
Sometimes it takes injustice and suffering for God’s plan for us to be accomplished. And that’s ok. He’ll walk right there with us, and we can trust that the pain won’t be wasted.