Some people are eager to exert their power over others. Bribes, rapes, trafficking, business takeovers, and domestic abuse are just a few examples of how people force their will on others. If you have been cheated, falsely accused, or physically attacked, you know the sense of violation and the desire for justice. This abuse of power, forcing one’s will on others, is often seen in government, in business, on the playground, and in too many homes.
An example of this abusive power play is recorded in 1 Kings 21. Naboth would not sell his property to King Ahab. As a result, the king returned to his room and pouted like a spoiled child. His wife, Queen Jezebel, arranged a town meeting in Naboth’s village. She paid two men to lie about him, saying they heard him blaspheming God. Without a trial, Naboth was taken outside the village and stoned to death. Once he was dead, Jezebel gleefully told Ahab that he could now make the property his.
God saw the whole thing. Though He did not step in to save Naboth, God sent His prophet Elijah to pronounce His judgment on this ungodly couple. “‘I [God] am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free.’ And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country.’” (1 Kings 21:21, 23-24) And that is exactly what happened! (Read it in 1 Kings 22 and 2 Kings 9)
Things are not always fair in this world. The good guy doesn’t always win. Lies aren’t always defeated by truth. King David had a crisis of faith when he considered this enigma. “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” (Psalm 73:2–3, 16-17) David realized that sometimes wicked people get ahead in this world, but ultimately God will mete out justice, either in this life or the next. The New Testament has the same message, “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
The greatest abuse of power took place when the religious power-brokers flexed their muscles to defeat Jesus. They conducted a false arrest and then they rigged a trial to get Jesus out of their hair. But like glowing embers of a forest fire blown by gusty winds, their abuse only served to spread Jesus’ influence around the world.
Jesus was not a “victim” of their abuse in the normal sense of “victim”. Jesus left Heaven and lived among us SO THAT He could be our Substitute and stand in our place to face God’s judgment against our sin. That’s what Peter meant when he said, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous [Jesus] for the unrighteous [us], to bring you to God.” (1 Peter 3:18) The religious leaders were still responsible for their sin, but Jesus used it for His greater good.
I’m not trying to minimize any abuse you have suffered, and I’m NOT suggesting that you should stay in it. But, in Jesus’ case, His suffering was to our benefit. Jesus fully satisfied God’s justice against sin. Therefore, He now offers eternal life as a GIFT to anyone who receives Him into their life and becomes a Christ-follower.
If you haven’t yet received Christ, I hope you’ll do that soon.