Daily Devotional for Saturday November 18, 2006
It is Okay to Mock Jesus
(Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 26:62-63; Psalms 22:6-8; Matthew 27:39-40)
The "Insurgent" is the student newspaper on the University of Oregon campus, and in a recent edition this paper ran two cartoons of Jesus. In one, He was hanging on the cross naked with an erection. In the other, Jesus is shown kissing another man and they both have erections. One of pop music's biggest stars is Madonna. She is currently on her worldwide "Confessions" tour, and at one point sings while hanging on a huge mirrored cross in a mock crucifixion complete with a crown of thorns. One of the biggest movies of the year was "The DaVinci Code," a movie that denies the deity of Christ, reduces our Lord to a con man, while calling the Christian faith a lie. My friend, in Nov. of 2006 it is perfectly acceptable and even applauded to mock, demean, and debase the Lord Jesus Christ!
I wonder what would happen if that same newspaper ran similar cartoons of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King? Can you imagine the uproar there would be? Or what if they ran cartoons depicting Mohammed as a homosexual? Those responsible would be in fear for their very lives. Or what about if they ran cartoons that mocked and demeaned people who choose to commit the sin of homosexuality. There would be marches and protests by every pro-homosexual group that exists. The fact is, nobody would dare to publish these types of disgusting representations of ANYONE other than Jesus or Christians, since the public outcry would be deafening. People would be fired, students expelled, and millions would be spent to appease those who were offended.
Let there be no mistake, mocking Jesus is not a new phenomenon. There were people who lived at the same time as our Lord who rejected Him, just like there are people who reject Him today. We know from the Bible that in the fulfillment of Scripture He was mocked and scorned in the last hours of his life. So many of the supposed "lost books of the Bible" and these new "gospels" are nothing more than the anti-Christian writings of men who rejected the message of Christ and who He is. Those anti-Christian writings have always existed throughout the last 2000 years, right up to today with the modern day heretics like Dan Brown, the author of "The DaVinci Code" and Michael Baigent , who wrote the equally blasphemous "Jesus Papers." People have mocked our Lord since the days He walked this earth.
What is new is the bold and fearless public attacks on our Lord throughout the world today. I have told you often that the United States is no longer a Christian nation. A classic example of that fact is the way those who hate Jesus publicly mock Him. Just 10 years ago, no legitimate newspaper, even those on major college campuses which tend to be more liberal and radical, would have EVER had the audacity to publish cartoons depicting Jesus in the way the University of Oregon paper recently did. Ten years ago, a blasphemous book like "The DaVinci Code" would have never sold tens of millions of copies like it has today. While Madonna has made a career of mocking Christ and His church, even she has taken her blasphemy to a new level by mocking the crucifixion.
I have done many Devotionals over these past 7 years on the boldness of satan versus the timidity of Christians. Do you believe me now?
The natural question of course is what do we do about it? First, you can't blame those who put out these disgusting and blasphemous representations of Jesus. Oh, don't get me wrong, God WILL hold them accountable, but these are people who have clearly rejected God, His Truth, and Jesus, so what do you expect? They have given themselves over as instruments of unrighteousness so they are actually only doing what comes naturally to them. How can you really blame those who hate and reject the Lord from expressing that rejection and hatred? Hear me carefully. They are not the problem, WE ARE THE PROBLEM!
Maybe now you can understand why I hammer relentlessly on how Christians have abandoned the marketplace for the comfort, safety, and oh yes, the profitability of this Christian subculture we have created for ourselves. In reality, we are in rebellion to God since the Bible doesn't say separate yourselves from the world, it actually COMMANDS us to do the exact opposite! What we are seeing with the open and public mocking of Jesus is one of the results of our abandoning the culture of our day and leaving it to the devil. He operates virtually without any opposition so why are we surprised that he has taken his hatred and scorn for Jesus to the extremes we witness today? Let me warn you my friend, it is only going to get worse!
The answer to this blaspheming of our Lord is to get back into the marketplace and start taking a stand for Christ. Each follower of the Lord can do their part each day where you live, where you go to school or work, where you shop, in the recreational activities you are involved in, and with the people God brings across your path. You take your stand by living a Godly and holy life. You take your stand by not being afraid to speak up for our Lord when you are around people who are speaking against Him. You take your stand by finding ways to serve Him You can't stop the mockers, but you can make sure their message of hatred for our Lord does not go unchallenged!!!
I love you and care about you so much. For anyone who loves Jesus, it has to break your heart to see how our Lord and Savior is portrayed by those who hate Him. I have no doubt Jesus is looking down and saying "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." The reality is, those who were responsible for creating and publishing those horrible cartoons in the University of Oregon student newspaper, Madonna, Dan Brown, as well as Tom Hanks, Ron Howard and all those involved in the "DaVinci Code" movie will die one day. At that moment they will be standing before God their Creator to be judged. If they die rejecting the Lord, the Bible says they will be cast into everlasting darkness.
I believe the last thing they will see, the picture that will be with them as they suffer for all eternity, will be that of King Jesus, the One they openly mocked and scorned!!! Pray for these lost souls. Without the Lord in their heart, they have allowed their lives to be used as agents of satan. Don't forget that there was a man named Saul of Tarsus who persecuted the early church, killed Christians, yet that same Saul was visited by Jesus one day and his life gloriously transformed. He became Paul and went on to live one of the greatest Christian lives ever documented.
I pray that this will be a wake-up call for all Believers today. A wake-up call that we have got to get back into the marketplace where we live each day and boldly, without shame or compromise proclaim our faith in Christ. If this doesn't motivate you, nothing will. For too long, we have been intimidated into keeping our mouths shut while those who live in rebellion to God speak loud and bold without fear or conscience to promote their ungodly lives and choices.
Maybe this will give you some insight into my drive and passion for what we do each day here at Liveprayer. Our number one goal is to bring the lost to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Getting people saved is the ultimate answer. In addition to proclaiming the Gospel to the lost and bringing the hope of Christ to the hurting, I am here to bring Biblical Truth back into the marketplace. I can't stop newspapers from publishing disgusting representations of Jesus, I can't stop pop stars like Madonna from mocking the crucifixion, I can't stop people like Dan Brown from writing anti-Christian books, but I can go out into that VERY SAME marketplace and reach those VERY SAME people with the fact that their only hope and their only answer is faith in Jesus Christ!
Those who hate our Lord are bold and courageous in taking their message of hate to the masses. I challenge you today that if you love Jesus, you should be even bolder and more courageous in taking the message of His love to those same masses! While the world mocks our Lord, we have got to praise Him!!!