From Rebel to [Re]surrected [Bel]iever

“He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word.” When others say things about us that are not true, lashing out at them is not the answer. We must solely rely on the option of the One who sees all and place our value in how He sees us.

“He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.” A good leader must also be led by the Father. Even if they know the place they are going is not for their own comfort or benefit but for the good of their own people. We cannot fight what we know is right.

“Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream.” His life was cut short so that we could have eternal life. Midstream means “the part of the stream farthest from each bank.” In Him losing His life, we could be found. When we were drowning in the middle of our sin, “His life was cut short in midstream.” We were as far as we could be from Him, “the furthest from each bank.” The bank of hope, rest, love, and freedom. If you’re drowning in the middle of a river, with no shore in sight, you grow weary, hopeless. But when Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice, He bridged the gap between the “stream furthest from each bank” and the sinners in need of a Savior.

“But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.” Leadership isn’t about the treatment you deserve or the praise that you receive. Ultimately, it’s all about those that you lead. Jesus took on the punishment we deserved. Who are we to complain when someone simply complains about us when we know that we only truly need to please the Father? Philippians 2:14-15 says, “do everything without complaining or arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”

“He was buried like a criminal” because we are criminals. We had nothing about us that was desirable. “He was put in a rich man’s grave” because we would all be rich when He rose from it.

As I was reading my leadership devotional, written by John Maxwell, this quote stuck out to me: “When you connect with individuals, you gain the attention of crowds.” This was the heart of Jesus’ ministry. Every person matters. What if Jesus wouldn’t have come? Where would humanity be? One decision can impact the lives of many. Though Jesus’ life was cut short on Earth, He will reign forever in Heaven.

“When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.” When a new believer comes to Christ, He is again reminded of why He came to earth, of why He had to humble himself to humanity. Because Jesus became a servant, obeying the need for the sacrifice, He showed us how we are to love others wholeheartedly and lead them like Jesus. If Christ wouldn’t have come, humanity would have no hope, no purpose.

“I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.” A soldier is someone who serves in an army. Jesus was a victorious soldier fighting for us so that we could become members of the army of the Lord, serving in the battle He’s already won. He had to become a rebel so that we could be redeemed. Even though Christ became one of us, He never sinned. He never forgot to Whom He belonged. His identity was never of this world. He was in this world but not of it. He chose the Cross to prove His unending love and so that those who accept His gift of grace can be transformed from rebel to [re]surrected [bel]iever.

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