The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” And they said many other insulting things to him. (Luke 22:63-65)
When I was young, I was able to avoid bullying by being transparent. But Jesus was on trial, front and center. Mark and Matthew tell us the guards spit on Him, slapped Him, and punched him in the face with their fists. Jesus was supposed to guess who hit Him. We can’t blindfold Jesus. He knew who hit him and heard their ugly words. But I imagine He kept quiet, not playing their game. He kept control even though the guards thought they were in control. On Judgment Day those guards will endure “the look” that Jesus gave Peter, and they will also cry bitterly.
Even though it was the hour of evil, God remained in control, long ago predicting this would happen through Prophet Isaiah: “So His appearance was marred more than any man.” (Isaiah 52:13) Also, God had Caiaphas, the high priest who had Jesus seized, prophesy in the midst of performing the most evil act of mankind. John recorded the prophecy. “You do not realize that it is better that one man die for you than that the whole nation perish.” (John 11:50) Those words comforted Jesus before his beating. Caiaphas had no idea what the words he spoke meant because they were from God. It was God’s way of showing Jesus He was still in control.
It is New Year’s Eve. Some like to start anew with the new year. Perhaps you’d like to leave a bad habit or trait at the cross tomorrow even though we’re not quite at the cross yet. Letting God be in control is paramount in giving up something we haven’t been able to give up on our own. It will be painful but not so painful our appearances will be marred.
Here is the summary of what we’ve learned about leaving a bad habit or trait at the cross: 1) Let God be in control. Give your heart and all authority to Him., 2) Praise God., 3) Make Jesus your Lord and Savior and trust Him to save you., 4) Repent., 5) Love God by strengthening your relationship with Him through prayer and studying His word., 6) Commit to following Jesus. Be a disciple., 7) Take refuge with God., 8) Pray specifics: a) “Give me the power of your Holy Spirit and words of wisdom to defend the enemy’s attacks.” b) “Make the enemy a footstool for my feet.”, and c) “Send an angel to help me.”, 9) Be positive., 10) Surround yourself with loving people, and 11) Use a prayer partner. (I am available for women only.) Write a comment on my website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org It is helpful to join a small group at your church and ask a member to be your prayer partner if you don’t have one. The prayer below incorporates the help we will need. Use it to begin if you wish, but over time, make it more personal. Pray the prayer often, every time you are tempted. Blessings. You are an overcomer!
Dearest Father in heaven, I enter into your gates with Thanksgiving and courts with praise because You are faithful, and Your love endures forever. It is Your will for me to be more like Jesus, my Lord and Savior, so I can accomplish the dreams you placed in my heart. You know the future so I give you authority to do what’s best for me, and I give you my heart to guard. I’m sorry for my wrongdoings. Thank you for Your forgiveness and gift of righteousness, so guilt doesn’t hold me back. Thank you for Your gift of peace through Your refuge. Comfort me. Thank you for providing a prayer partner for me. As I leave _________ at the cross, give me the power of Your Holy Spirit and words of wisdom to fight the enemy. Let me discern the enemy and use the authority you’ve given me as Your disciple to trample on snakes and scorpions and overcome all the power of the enemy so nothing will harm me. When I feel I’m suffering, let me picture the spit and blows Jesus received and be thankful for my many blessings. Make the enemy a footstool for my feet, and, God, send an angel to help me! Father, God, I love you! I pray in Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.