Matthew 27:28 “They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. ‘Hail king of the Jews!’ they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.” One night in my rebellious youth, I handed my cell phone to my friend Jesse so he could talk to another friend of mine named Joon. Something Joon said upset Jesse. I found out later it was meant as a joke, but Jesse probably had a bit too much to drink and didn’t find it all that funny. He threw the phone against the wall and proceeded to punch me in the face. As I fell to the ground and curled up in a ball, I felt Jesse attack what seemed like every square inch of my body at the same time. But the blows couldn’t compare to the weapon of his words. “You stupid chink motherf___er! I’m gonna f__in’ kill you!” It didn’t matter that we had been downing beers together just minutes before. It didn’t matter that we had playdates together for over a decade. I was the Asian kid. I was the scrawny kid. Whenever anyone had a problem, I bore the brunt of it. These sorts of episodes defined my childhood and my worldview heading into adulthood. I had heard about how Jesus died for me pretty much since the day I was born. When I was young I didn’t feel like he could really understand my pain, but today I feel God reminding me that everything I ever suffered, he also suffered… and so much more. If Jesus were only fully God, that’d be pretty amazing. But it’s because he was also fully man that he was truly able to understand the depths of my pain, my guilt, and my shame. It sure didn’t feel fair to get beat up that day, but if I got what was fair I’d have a lot worse coming to me. Instead, Jesus, who didn’t deserve any of it, took it all for me. And by his stripes I am healed. Lord thank you for lifting all the burden I have to bear. What a lucky man I am to know you and be known by you. I rededicate my life to you today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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