John 10:14 – I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
John 10:15 – As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
John 10:16 – And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
John 10:17 – Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
John 10:18 – No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Hello readers, we have arrived at Easter in the new year already, and today is Good Friday here in Australia. But before we make it yet another Easter of empty sentiment, hollow emotion and fake religious veneer… realize that if you are a Christian, every day should be Good Friday. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:10 ” Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
… So Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection shouldn’t be this once a year historical event where we try to feel something and try to be spiritual after another year of towing Christ behind a life of us doing whatever we want to do with no mind for him. The cross should make a difference in your life every day… it should be the basis for a changed life and a new creature. If you are saved, the cross is just as relevant and needful to us now as it ever has been. There is power in the gospel of Christ… and we need resurrection power in our lives to raise us out this deadness of our heart, mind and spirit.
We need the cross now more than ever. And we need some things in our life nailed to his Christ… because they’re preventing us from believing and obeying God. I was thinking, just last Sunday it was “Palm Sunday”… and yet a few days later, we arrive at “Good Friday”. What does that tell you? It tells you that it wasn’t long before that triumphal entry turned into “Crucify him, crucify him!” When Jesus went into Jerusalem he went to the temple and found a bunch of junk and trash going on in there. If you are the temple of God… what needs to be driven out with Jesus’ scourge? If there is no scourging, you have not been saved.
But anyway, today I want to briefly focus on Jesus as the victim who wasn’t a victim. Because he’s always depicted as this hapless victim in movies and so on. And people say “poor guy” and try to conjure up some emotions about him suffering away at the hands of cruel men. And they feel sorry for him… but none of that translates into repentance of sin. Jesus didn’t endure what he did so you could feel sorry for him. And he wasn’t a victim.
And if anyone could have played victim, Jesus could have. If he didn’t play victim, why do we have a nation of victims? And generally for us, we’re not legitimate victims, we are just unrepentant sinners trying to get by with our sin by playing the victim card. Compare that to Jesus, and he didn’t do a single thing wrong, and he got treated worse than any of us ever will. I was thinking about that recently, because Jesus was the only man who ever lived who absolutely nobody had a valid accusation or grievance against him… yet look at how he got treated.
And in reflecting on the cross of Christ… I discovered something of the love of God. Because to this world, love really revolves around “me, myself and I”. What you can do for “me”, how you make “me” feel and so on. But Jesus’ love is something else entirely. Because his love was given to not just people that could never add something to him or pay him back, but his love was given to a world that hated him. Jesus dying for us shows a pure love, a love that is only of God, which we really cannot fathom. Our selfish love is far different to Jesus Christ’s selfless love.
But back to this topic of being a victim. Because everyone is a victim these days. And yes, there are legitimate victims, but they can still get something out of this too. But most of the time, most victims are self made. Being a victim is a way of excusing yourself from responsibility and accountability for your own actions and from taking power that is there to take in your own life.
When I was reflecting on those verses quoted above… I saw Christ who wasn’t a victim. Despite being portrayed as a victim, he actually took power in his own death. Even when he died, he said “into thine hands I commend my spirit”. He had control over when he died. And before that, he had said what was quoted above about no man taking his life from him, but he laid it down voluntarily of his own free will. It wasn’t that he got betrayed and brutally murdered as a victim by people with power greater than him, he chose that path. If he didn’t want to die, he easily could not have.
People are victims because they do not have the power not to be. And you may say “oh it’s different because he’s Jesus” but hang on a sec. Jesus was fully man. Yes fully God… but also fully man. Those tears he cried were real. That pain he felt was real. That death he died was real. He felt the sting of betrayal. He knows what it is like to be unjustly accused and wrongfully judged. He knows what it’s like to be mocked and beaten and whipped. And yet in all that… he still had power. You see, being a victim gives power to someone else, it gives power to the devil in your life, you can still have power even when your circumstances aren’t bad. You should always have power if Christ is in you, because he has all power and he dwells in you if you are saved… right?
Look, you may have been treated horrifically. I’m not diminishing from the many wrongs and unfairness that people experience all over the world every day. But I’m pointing you to the power of the risen Saviour. If he wasn’t a victim, you don’t need to be stuck being a victim for the rest of your life either. Being a victim is not the way forward in your life… it will ruin your life. If you read above, Jesus is talking about power in death and power in taking life from death. When are you going to stop letting death rob you from the life which God has given you through Christ Jesus?
We make Christ’s death a historical anecdote and yet there is unspeakable power in the gospel of Christ… power to rise from the mire of victimhood… because being a victim is how so many people never get saved and never serve God. Look at Joseph in the Bible… imagine if he had been a victim. He could’ve justified being a victim. It’s my brothers fault. It’s God’s fault. It’s Potiphar’s wife’s fault. It’s the butler’s fault. And yet you see that he had power in his life for his whole life, despite his circumstances… which weren’t good most of the time. When will we realize circumstances and what people have done to us is not God… God is God?
Jesus had power in his death… and so no matter what you face in life, you can still have the power. But more than that… he had power over death. Do you want that power? Or do you prefer the death of being a victim? What about that man in John 5 who had been laid up by the pool of Bethesda for thirty eight years? Jesus asks him “Wilt thou be made whole?” and boom, he goes into victim mode ” Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me”. But Jesus said RISE… and you can rise with Christ. Jesus’ resurrection isn’t just a curious fact… it’s the key to us rising from our deathbed of sin every day.
So you can choose to wallow in being a victim for the rest of your life and blame everything and everyone forever… or you can take power in your life, power through Christ’s risen life to move forward and not have your life and eternity ruined because you were on the butt end of living in this wicked world. Our society in our time is all about who can be the bigger victim… but that doesn’t have to be you. Through the gospel of Christ… you can rise from a dead life of sin. Take power, because power is given you through Christ.
There are many victims today who really aren’t. They’re just sinners who play victim to cover their lack of repentance. But yes, there are also many people who have and do suffer horrible things. Will that ruin your life? Will it destroy you? Will it define you? Will you master what’s happened to you or will it master you? It can and will if you stay a victim. Or you can rise above it… you can rise with Christ, who is risen far above us into the heavens where he is seated at the right hand of the Father, where he has gone to make a place for us… where our seat and conversation and citizenship already is even while here.
Satan does not want you to live with the power of God to rise from death and live far above it. He wants to hide the gospel from you. He wants to twist who Jesus Christ was. Because the reality is, Jesus wasn’t some hapless, helpless, well meaning, misunderstood loser. He had power, he took power, and even when he was standing before Pilate, he still had the power. You also can have that power even when things are beyond you as you live a life in this horrible world… but don’t get knocked out the race by being a victim. Jesus was not a victim, and neither do you need to be.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)