“The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” And they said many other insulting things to him.” Luke 22:63-65 NIV

It seems up unfathomable that anyone could do anything mean to Jesus. I remember watching Empire the other week in an episode where Cookie Lyons had a mild heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. Her husband Lucius  ran into the chapel and ripped a crucifix with Jesus hanging on it off the wall and slammed it on the table and he angrily told Jesus, “If you allow Cookie to die I will unleash holy hell upon your earth like the world has never seen!” Really Lucious?! That’s your prayer?!

That scene goes against everything I understand about who Jesus is. He’s not a man that we can lay hands on or threat, but yet we have.

Luke says that when the Roman soldiers of the Empire arrested Jesus they blindfolded him and punched him in the face and asked him to prophesy and tell them who hit him.

When I read that I cried, because all at once I was in that room. I saw the evil sneers and laughs as they sucker punched Jesus and busted his lips that taught the saving words of God. I saw them slap his face that shone the glory of God to so many sick people that he healed. How can anybody disrespect Jesus?

Because it’s impossible to restore people to changed hearts and lives who turn away once they have seen the light, tasted the heavenly gift, become partners with the Holy Spirit and tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age. They are crucifying God’s Son all over again and exposing him to public shame (Hebrews 6:4-6).

I don’t want to be the one punching Jesus in the mouth or slamming him on the table and saying disrespectful things to him by the way I live.

Instead, I want my life to reflect the love of God by how I live my life and treat other people. The kind of religion that God requires is for us to love each other and to look out for the least of these. When we do right by them then we are doing right by Jesus.

Dear God,

Forgive us for striking each other with wicked fists because in doing so we have struck you and blindsided you with our rage. Forgive us and take us out of our rage and embrace us with your love.

In Jesus’ Name,