“Now them who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him.  And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him: Prophesy! Who is the one who struck you!”  Luke 22:63

Put away your sword….do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels!”  Matthew 26: 52-53

Today, we seem to be all about strength.  Countries vie over who should be called a “super power”.  We hear about strength in numbers of strength of character.  If we can tie the word “strong” into our names we proclaim that we have  virtue:  “We are ___________ strong!”  I should be strong enough to stand my ground and if you believe the same, and we disagree with each other, then the fight is on to see who is stronger.  We often beat ourselves up when we don’t have strength:  “I should have been stronger and not done this or that.”

As in so many things, Jesus shows what it is to be strong and in His example, turns the world upside down.  Jesus had seemingly been at the pinnacle of His earthly strength.  The Holy City, Jerusalem, had welcomed him with mostly open arms.  When the powers that be tried to silence Him with their questions and ridicule, His strength of knowledge and wisdom, completely silenced them.  With one word or request from Him, the crowds would have pronounced Him their king!.  What did Jesus do?  He started out with a show of private humility which some might call weakness.  He washed His disciples feet.  It seemed such an act of weakness that Peter would have none of it.  His Strong Jesus should not do that.  Then Jesus was arrested.  At first some thought to defend Him.  Jesus reminds them just who He is; the Son of God.  With one request the strength of the mob would be turned to meaningless weakness as compared to the angels who were at His beckon call.  Jesus weakly remained silent.  At any moment during His trial and subsequent execution, He had the strength to personally curse His tormentors and/or come down off His cross.  In seeming weakness, He died.  I can not imagine the monumental strength that it took to withhold His power, which would have been righteously unleashed, to strike out against the evil of His tormentors and the degradations they were putting Him through; can you?

So what good is strength if it goes unused?  Why would He find it more beneficial to seem so weak instead of striking out against the evil that was momentarily against Him?  Because Jesus had the strength of focus.  He had the power of being true to His mission.  He had the intestinal fortitude to withhold His capabilities.  Above all He knew the strength of Love.  Jesus Christ’s love for His Father kept the focus of His Father’s mission forefront in His mind.  Yet it was not just love focused above, Jesus loved us enough to go through with His mission of dying for us, to save us.  When His flesh cried out to stop the torment, His Spirit prevailed to the bitter end.

I think that is one of the reason’s that Jesus Christ’s message is a difficult one for so many.  It is the paradox that a message of such strength comes from One whose earthly history seems to be one of great weakness, of limitless untapped potential.  The enemy would love for us to focus on that weakness.  He would love us to discount the message due to our human measurement concerning the strength of the messenger.  Yet here is the bottom line.  And this bottom line is as true and powerful today as it was those thousands of years ago.  Jesus Christ Won!  Through His strength to allow Himself to appear weak, He now sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty!  All earthly kings, princes and any in power will kneel before Jesus Christ.  For several days, Jesus seemed weak.  For eternity Jesus Christ possesses the ultimate strength and victory.

So here it is.  I have a mission; we have a mission from God (I know sounds like a line from Blues Brothers but it is true).  It is a mission of love for Him and each other.  As in any mission, there is an enemy trying to defeat us.  Our enemy will want us to deny the mission, feel that we can’t accomplish the mission and/or feel that we can accomplish the mission without any help.  Jesus Christ tells us; Come unto Me, and we will be successful in our mission.  The world may very well call us weak when we bow down on our knees and ask for help.  But we know from whence our victory commeth and who will provide our strength.  My flesh may very well want to become and show off that it is earthly strong.  May it be that my spirit, connected through the Holy Spirit to Our Father Almighty, will always be stronger.  For that is where my true strenght and victory will come from.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, from Goliath, to the walls of Jericho, to the Pharisees against Jesus, you have so often showed how the powers of this world may seem invincible but are defeated by and through You.  Help us Dear Father, to rely on Your Strength and not our own, by humbling ourselves and calling upon Your Holy Name.  Strengthen us Most Merciful Father, to follow the example of Your Precious Son Jesus Christ, that there may be times when we must be weak to allow Your strength to show through us.  We praise You in that we know that You will make us victorious as You did Your Son Jesus Christ, that in that victory will gladly and loudly praise Your Name.  In the Name of Jesus Chrsit we pray.  Amen