I did not grow up in an ultra-religious family although we were most definitely Christian.
So unlike some of my friends, I didn’t have a bunch of rules surrounding lifestyle choices that are not explicitly addressed in Scripture (i.e. length of dresses, makeup/no makeup, movies, music, etc.). But one thing was definitely impressed on me: You didn’t take the name of the Lord in vain-not even with “softer” stand-ins like “dad gum it”.
By the time I had kids, I had done considerable Scripture study and managed to draw up a list of “do’s and don’ts” that might put the most strict holiness traditions to shame.
But something I’ve learned in the decades since is that whether or not I’m participating in mocking Jesus has more to do with my heart attitude than *just* my outward behavior.
Now it is absolutely a fact that my external, observable acts flow from internal, unobservable attitudes. But they are not always as congruent as one might like to think.
By an act of will, I can look holy while still harboring very unholy thoughts, beliefs and attitudes.
When I try to appear holy, act as if my omniscient, omnipresent God cannot see my heart and compare it to my outward appearance, I am mocking Jesus. I am making His sacrifice small-behaving as if my own sin is inconsequential.
It’s not a thought that comes naturally to me because I tend to justify and rationalize my own behavior.
But every single time I choose self over my Lord, I am mocking Him as surely as those who struck Him, called Him names and dared Him to come down from the cross.
Today, Chole invites us to consider all the ways we may join in on the acts that we read about and are grieved over-the many ways others mocked Jesus in His last hours.
Is it not odd in a generation that rarely blinks at fictional violence sold as ‘entertainment’ that we spend relatively little time considering the all-too-real suffering of our Savior?…Fast mocking Jesus? Who would ever do such a think in the first place? Perhaps we would when we, like Annas’ official are more concerned with saving face than honoring truth. Perhaps we would when we, like the religious leaders, act as though Jesus is blindfolded and cannot see what we are doing. Perhaps we would when we, like the guards, use one of Jesus’ names in vain. Perhaps we mock Him more than we know.Alicia Britt Chole
**As promised, I am sharing thoughts on 40 DAYS OF DECREASE (a Lenten journal/devotional). If you choose to get and use the book yourself, I’ll be a day behind in sharing so as not to influence anyone else’s experience.**