Recently, I spent a day with 15-20 brothers and sisters in Christ at a local abortion clinic. It was the week of our church's evangelism conference and we were all being encouraged to step out in faith by going to one of the evangelism outreach days. The day I went, we went to two different abortion clinics to stand up for the lives of babies and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I went to the abortion clinic that day, I really had no idea what was in store for us.
The day was intense. We experienced some encouragement--honks, waves, thumbs up, smiles, "God bless you's", and "thank you's." But from many people, especially at the second clinic, we were the objects of intense hatred. I don't know if I can even describe or possibly get across all that we experienced. I think it's something you can never really understand until you experience it yourself. We were cursed at, screamed at, despised, flipped off (what must have been a hundred times), and called names that I cannot repeat. People shook their heads at us, looked at us with disgust and disdain in their eyes, laughed at us, mocked us, and so many other things. I think one lady was even trying to tell me that she wished that I had been aborted.
And you might think that after spending a day at an abortion clinic, I learned new facts about abortion or new ways to defend the cause of the innocent. But what I really learned was something completely different. I learned about Jesus. I think I learned (even if just a tiny bit) of what Jesus must have went through when He walked this earth. Let me share. When we were at the second clinic of the day, we had been there for about two hours. I was holding a sign a sign that said "Deliver Those Who are Being Drawn Towards Death" and another that said, "Children Are a Blessing From the Lord" out by the street. After two hours of experiencing nothing but curses, middle fingers, hateful looks, mocking laughter, I burst into tears. But it wasn't because I was hurt by their words, their thoughts, or their looks or that I felt rejected (although we surely felt that).
It was because I was so torn up inside. My soul was aching and hurting for the sake of these people. I felt crushed and helpless for the sake of these people who were driving by. They all felt such hate for us. They despised us so. But I just wanted to scream and cry out to them, "Don't you know that we're out here for you?? Don't you understand that we're out here because we love you? Don't you see that we're out here in hopes that God might use us to reach you? Don't you understand that we stand out here for you? Don't you understand??" It tore my heart out that these people we were out here to reach were so hard and so full of hate for us. I wanted so badly for them to understand.
Despite how hard and exhausting it was to experience all of this, I think I needed it. I needed this because it helped me see how Jesus must have felt while He walked on this earth. When men screamed at Him, spit on Him, despised His mere presence, mocked him, cursed his name, was betrayed, He must have felt the same way. "Scored by mankind and despised by these people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me. They wag their heads." Psalm 22:7. Like before the crucifixion. When the group of soldiers mocked Jesus by putting a purple robe on him, put a reed in his hand, spit on him, and hit him in the head, His soul must have longed to cry out to them. He must have longed to tell them, "Don't you understand who I am? Don't you understand that I am here for you? Don't you understand that I love you?"
As the guards nailed His hands and feet there on the cross they mocked Him. They nailed a sign above his head saying "King of the Jews," mocking Him still. They continued to despise Him by telling Him that if he were really God he would be able to come down from the cross himself. He must have just been in anguish for His people. He must have wanted to cry out, "Don't you understand? Don't you understand that what I am doing up here is all for you?? Don't you see that I am suffering and dying on this cross for your sake? Don't you see that I'm doing this all because I love you? Don't you understand that I endure all this for you?"
It just blows me away at the thought of it all. He--God--the perfect One, the Most High, holy, powerful God. He came here to love me. To love us. To die for us all, that we might be saved from the eternal judgement that we so deserve. He, God, endured all for us. The cross. The rejection. The scorn. The mocking. The curses to His name. The the soul-deep hatred of men. All for us. What an incredible King. What an incredible love for a people who don't deserve any of it. He could have chosen to destroy our proud mouths with but a simple word from His mouth. But instead He chose to suffer what was needed in order to secure our eternal redemption.
This verse (that I've probably read a hundred times), now takes on a whole new meaning: "He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; Like a lamb led to the slaughter, and like a sheep before it's shearers is silent. He opened not His mouth...Out of the anguish of His soul, He shall see and be satisfied; by His knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous." Isaiah 53:7,11. Jesus took on death and scorn and the mocking of sinners all for me. To make this undeserving, wretched mocker His child. What a grace so unfathomable and so divine.
I pray that someday you also have the chance to be mocked and scorned by this world, that you might see and understand how great the love of Jesus is for you.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
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Today I am giving away a free copy of the Bible study book
True Woman 101: Divine Design, courtesy of Moody Publishers!
True Woman 101: Divine Design, courtesy of Moody Publishers!
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