Warning – It’s a blog for grown-ups today. Try to hang in there and finish it all.
Did you ever really think about how absurd it is that Jesus was crucified? It’s understandable that the religious leaders wanted Him out of the way, but the people? How is it that they did not see the miracles and immediately know who Jesus was? In John chapter 9, the man to whom Jesus restored sight said, “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.” Yet the religious leaders ultimately convinced the people that Jesus was deserving of death until they screamed to Pilate to have a true ‘bad guy’ released and screamed ‘Crucify Him… Crucify Him’ about Jesus.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was imprisoned and killed by Hitler’s henchmen during World War II. Bonhoeffer wrote that ‘evil’ took the German society to the the point that the people were convinced that what was bad was really good and what was good was really bad. When there are so few that are left who are truly trying to do what is right in God’s eyes, Bonhoeffer says those few are smeared with mud. He says their courage is called revolt and standing by their beliefs is called arrogance.
I hope you see the similarities between what happened to Jesus (and eventually to the disciples as most of them were murdered), and to Bonhoeffer. Isaiah 5:20 says, ‘What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.’ When evil gets the upper hand in a society, everything is tolerated except the people who stand for God. It happened in Jesus’ day and it has happened throughout history. Today, conservative Christians are called hateful and intolerant by people who call good bad and bad good, people who say that dark is light and light is dark. But Christian – be encouraged, stand your ground, and know this is nothing new. Isaiah reminds us that the sorrow is not for those being persecuted for standing for God, but the sorrow is for those who have twisted good and bad.
(p.s. – And I readily admit, everyone really believes they are right – the good and the bad – even the Westboro Baptist Church.)