Day 37: Come Down from the Cross | 40 Days of Focus
The Jewish leaders were triumphant. They had finally gotten their Man right where they wanted Him. In smug and sadistic satisfaction they taunted Him as He hung there, “If Your Father loves You so much, why doesn’t He rescue You? You saved others, why can’t You save Yourself? If You are who You claim to be, come down from the cross!”
Wouldn’t they have been surprised if He did? That would have taught them! We know He had to hang there and complete the full act of atonement, but it gets under our skin that they gloated. We’d take a little satisfaction if the ground had opened up and swallowed them, like God did to those who opposed Moses. But God let them go on with their lives, let them go from mocking His Son to begin their duties with the Passover sacrifices.
There are times we may be frustrated at what evil people get away with. Like Asaph said in Psalm 73, when injustice threatened to cause bitterness of soul, he looked to the eternal perspective. And like Jesus, we must entrust justice and vindication to the Father, believing Him when He says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” We’d like things settled immediately, but God more often than not takes the long view. In Acts 6, we read that “many priests” turned into followers of Christ—what better vindication?
- What would have been lost if Jesus had come down to prove a point?
- What does He teach us about waiting on God for vindication—especially since He is still awaiting its full measure?
- Have you experienced frustration, even bitterness when witnessing injustice, particularly directed against you? How have efforts to right such wrongs turned out? Can you turn things over and trust God to vindicate you or bring justice in His timing?
Lord, You so patiently, trustingly, faithfully remained on the cross, though they taunted You to come down. You entrusted Your vindication to the Father, never taking it into Your own hands. Forgive us for our tendency to try to do Your job, often being judge, jury, and executioner. Teach us to wait on You.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries