Mark 14:61-63; Mark 15:1-20 (NIV)
Throughout the second half of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He alerted the disciples that they would face opposition just as He would. Their spiritual development would depend on how well they could cope with that reality. The stakes were high as Jesus faced the high priest, and later Pilate. His life hung in the balance; but He did not fight back or reflect fear. He trusted His Father. Pilate was amazed by this (Mark 15:5). Jesus was deeply rooted in the identity and security that God provided Him: “You would have no power over me if it were not given you from above” (John 19:11). There was no need to whine, rebut, or react in fear. We are told: Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened (I Peter 3:14). Though it is difficult in times of opposition not to fight back, our confidence comes in knowing that one day justice will come (Isaiah 9:7). Jesus responded to the religious leaders with a remark that was considered blasphemy. When asked if He was the Messiah, Jesus said, “I AM,” and then went on tell them how they would see Him sitting at the right hand of God one day. Jesus knew Resurrection Day would come. Justice would come with His government, which would begin in the transformed hearts of His followers and be established in the earth with His second coming (Acts 1:11). The irony of this is that Jesus’ words sealed his doom. They became the testimony that they would take to Pilate. Jesus was so committed to His path to the cross that He provided them the words necessary to make that possible. He knew that God would vindicate Him three days later. How do we respond to persecution (Matthew 10:17-20)? Do we trust God in the face of opposition (I Peter 4:12-13)? Do we rest in the identity that He has given to us (I Peter 2:9) and remember that in the end, God will set all things right (Rev. 11:15). Today, root your confidence in the truth of God’s Word and the example of Christ. The Holy Spirit gave Him the ability to fulfill His calling; and the Holy Spirit will equip you to fulfill your calling.