God’s Thoughts to Me
And they struck Him on the head with a reed stick, spit on Him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. When they were finally tired of mocking Him, they took off the purple robe and put His own clothes on Him again. Then they led Him away to be crucified (Mark 15:19-20, NLT).
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34, NLT).
A Spitting Generation
The Amazing Race sported a challenge during an episode in Argentina where the contestants had to dress up a lama by putting a blanket across its back and a scarf around its neck.
It was easier said than done and a few of the teams were blessed with a glob of lama spit in the face. One team used common sense though.
They wooed a lama with tender, endearing words and won its heart and trust completely with their flattery. She was as tame as a little lamb and allowed them to finish the task without any hassles.
The human race can also be like a bunch of spitting lamas. Looking at what the Roman soldiers did to our Lord Jesus just before they crucified Him, we don’t realize that, often, in our ignorance, we do this ourselves.
Their humiliation of our King was made even worse by putting a purple robe around Him, mocking Jesus’ claim to be the King of the Jews.
They mocked His nobility even further by falling down on their knees, making a spectacle of paying Him homage and worship.
Yet, our Lord only asked His Pappa to forgive them for He knew they were totally ignorant of their folly.
There is another kind of spitting in the face of our Lord Jesus, a kind, to be honest, I used to be well trained in!
This kind is much more dangerous and even deadly in its subtlety! This is the “grace +” kind of mentality that seems to be part of the DNA structure of the human race.
In his book, In Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer remarked that Christianity today is miles wide, but only a few inches deep. In the same work he observed,
“When religion said its last word, there is little that we need other than God Himself … We must strip down to the essentials (and they will be found to be a blessed few)”.
Good adivce we will all do well to heed. But it took me a long time to understand how to untangle the complexity of my selfish ways to save myself.
I was an expert in adding a lot of rules and things to the simplicity and purity of our Pappa’s grace.
I found it impossible to understand the working of grace and know now that my mind was still veiled with the thick veil of religion.
All those times I was trying to create a hybrid gospel of grace + law, I was unwittingly spitting in the face of our Lord.
I was adding and adding and adding to the simplicity of Jesus … adding to the wonder of, “Christ in me, my hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Every time I tried to add rules like Bible reading, praying, doing good deeds, being kind to the poor and so forth, I was also spitting in the face of our Lord Jesus. I was nullifying the finished work of Christ and was deaf to His cry, “It is finished (John 19:30)”.
These actions are not wrong in itself, but they do become a formidable foe once we make them a requisite condition for salvation.
But our Pappa only heard our Lord Jesus’ plea of forgiveness for He knew I was oblivious to this fallacy. He was well aware of my distrustful lama heart.
He gently drew me to Himself by whispering gentle kind words to my heart. He waited until I trusted Him enough to willingly allow Him to cover me with the purple robe of His righteousness. He adorned my neck with the beauty of His grace … His mercy and compassion.
He used another kind of spit mixed with the beauty of His forgiveness … His love … His mercy. He cured my spiritual blindness … He destroyed the veil that blinded the eyes of my heart.
He showed me that all I really needed was just Himself and stripped me of all the extras. He enveloped me in His grace and cherished me tenderly in His Loving Embrace.
Much love xx