“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23
Have you ever been falsely accused? Or, have you ever been accused of doing something you knew was the right thing to do, and you’re reviled for doing good?
Neither evoke pleasant feelings. Each one of those circumstances makes people want to rise up with retaliation and self-defense. And why not? If no one around us is sticking up for us, shouldn’t we stick up for ourselves?
“Like a sheep before his shearers is silent…” The whole night seemed like a systematic stripping of Jesus’ dignity. First, he was betrayed by a close friend, and then all the rest of His friends fled in a panic. No one, it seemed, was brave enough to stand with Him against a legion of soldiers. Peter did charge at them and cut off the high priest’s servant’s ear, but as soon as Jesus healed the ear, Peter fled.
Then came the accusations.
I wonder, sometimes, if the people who came forward to accuse Jesus were those He knew personally, maybe even those He healed.
What if the men who came forward to accuse Him were those who followed for a long time, but left when things got (to them) “weird” or crazy? (See John 6:66 and 8:58-59).
What if they did it just to look good to the Pharisees and Sanhedrin?
Have you ever had a friend speak accusatory to you so they would look better in front of someone else? Did you ever feel like you were on trial for your very character but didn’t know why? Have you ever had people tell about the good things you do but in a way that made you look bad?
Some of the things these accusers said about Jesus were things He did say Himself, or twisted examples of them, such as, “Tear down this temple and I will raise it up again in three days.” (See John 2:19, Matthew 26:61)
And then the kicker—the highest accusation was against His true identity, “…tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God!” they yelled. (See Matthew 26:63).
He told the truth, and the truth was what landed Him in the biggest trouble of all.
Have you ever been in that place, where if you tell people the truth about who you are they will consider that full reason for condemnation? Have you felt like you were on trial? Where you told the truth and it backfired and made everything worse?
It’s a terrible place to be. And it feels utterly lonely.
Like you don’t have a friend in the world.
But you do. And the more you press into Him in that hour, the more you realize how God is your Defender and Defense. These are the moments when “God is for me,” is more than an idea: it’s an anchor, a shelter in the storm, a fortress where you can run to and be saved from your enemies, even when the trial doesn’t go in your favor.
If this is you, please pray with me.
Father, I ask that You would surround us with Yourself as with a shield. I ask that You would guard our hearts and our mouths that we wouldn’t succumb to bitterness, but would shine a light for You even as our darkest hour grows darker. Please show us your goodness and mercy, show us Yourself, when all we see and hear are the accusations of the enemy, or worse, of our beloved friends. Show us Jesus at these times, and help us to know that You are for us. I pray in Jesus’ Name!