The Holy Victim
Daily Bulletin – 4/5/19
Jesus moved about within Galilee; but he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near. But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret. So some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, “Is he not the one they are trying to kill? And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him. Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ? But we know where he is from. When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.” So Jesus cried out in the Temple area as he was teaching and said, “You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come. (John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30)
Take a moment and put yourself in Jesus’ shoes. Imagine what it would be like knowing that people hate or fear you so intensely, that they are plotting to kill you. Jesus truly was a good man. He was a man of deep love and compassion for all peoples. He had never hurt or scorned anyone. Yet, he challenged the Jewish officials and now, they were beginning to plot against him. Did these men truly disagree with Jesus’ teaching? Or were they simply afraid of his popularity and influence with the people?
When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, he continued to preach and teach in the temple area. Naturally, not everyone believed in Jesus, especially some of the temple officials. They doubted because they knew where Jesus was from. He was from Cana, a very small town in Galilee. Yet they also had been taught that when the Christ did come, no one would know from whence he came. How could this man be the Christ if the prophecy was correct? And they continued to argue about this.
Finally Jesus had had it! He spoke loudly to the people and told them: “True, you know who I am, and you know where I was born and grew up. Yet, I was sent here by another, someone you do not know. However, I know him well and he sent me to you.” Many of the people were confused by Jesus’ words. The officials were frightened by his power, they wanted to convince someone to arrest Jesus. However, no one had the courage to lay a hand on Jesus!
Today might be a good day to ask ourselves: “Why do I believe Jesus became one of us?” Seriously, take a moment to explore your belief. And then ask yourself: how does my belief in Jesus, shape my understanding and relationship with him? Do I truly believe that Jesus came to this earth for me as well as every person on earth? Or is this unfolding drama too familiar to us and thus we might allow this familiarity to inhibit us from entering deeply into this mystery?
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus, This mortal existence on earth is but a moment compared to the eternity that I face. Help me to do all for your greater glory.
Jesus is not merely an innocent victim, he is the holy victim: he is goodness itself reviled, tortured, and crucified. Yet, Jesus offers in return an even greater flow of love, as if the quantity of love offered grows in proportion to the quantity of hate heaped on him. How can I do the same? Is my wickedness blinding me? What obstructs my vision so that I can’t see beyond my desire to be admired? What impedes my love? Identify it; name it; pretend to hold it in my hand. Will I allow this little thing to stand between God and me?
- Posted in: Reflections