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The power to destroy all of your enemies.
The power to be the most important.
The power to show the world you are the ruler of all.
Hollywood often portrays powerful, vengeful people as heroes and winners. When you contemplate that Jesus had the power to destroy the world and all of his enemies, to end the lives of the men torturing and spitting on and mocking him, remember this: he didn’t retaliate.
As the old hymn says, “He could have called 10,000 angels to destroy the world, but he died alone, for you and me.”
Not only that, he became the propitiation of God’s wrath for you.
Don’t we all sit on the edge of our seats when the movie star is just about to be killed, or whatnot, and then at the final moment he or she does something amazing to avenge and destroy their enemy? We celebrate their revenge and triumph. Jesus triumphed, yet not through revenge or personal glory.
Most of us cannot truly fathom sacrifice. I am not talking about sacrifice of a few hours at church a week calming our conscious. I am talking about sacrifice to the point of personal discomfort.
When have you or I ever really sacrificed for God, really? Jesus bled and died on a tree for your sins and mine. What have you really done for him lately?
Paul, who was forced to defend his authority to the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 11:23, said, “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24: “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.” 25: “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea.” 26: “I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.” 27: “I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” 28: “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”
Now again I ask, what sacrifices have you made?
Jess Thompson is a resident of Lawrenceburg. The Anderson News welcomes faith columns at firstname.lastname@example.org.