Luke writes about the Roman soldiers that were holding Jesus,
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. – Luke 22:63
This is truly a heart-wrenching verse to anyone who understands what’s going on here. Even if you’re an unbeliever, this is horrible. This is a violation of human rights. They were not treating this prisoner fairly, beating Him and mocking Him. In today’s climate, we would call for the officer’s head.
For the Christian, they understand even more deeply, because they know who is the object of this verse. This Jesus that they had held in custody and were beating and mocking was not simply a martyr for the faith, but God Himself. And what He was enduring was for our sake. He endured it to take the punishment that sinners like you and me deserve, and whoever believes in Him will not experience the wrath of God, but instead eternal life.
If you read more, you’ll see that He was also spit on, scourged, stripped naked, a crown of thorns shoved onto His head, hands and feet nailed to a rugged, wooden, cross, and lifted up to hang until He died. All the while, people were loving every moment of it.
This was Jesus’s response:
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” – Luke 23:34
This is a heartbreaking account. But it has a happy ending. This Jesus would conquer death by rising again on the third day. If Jesus’s tomb is ever found, it will be empty, because He is not there. He is exalted at the right hand of the Father. And at His name, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord.
Sheep, may this also be a reminder for us what the Savior also said:
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. – John 15:18-19
So, when you are persecuted for the truth, remember that Jesus Himself suffered first–not only first chronologically, but first in severity. And not only did He suffer the most, but He is also the least deserving of suffering. When we are hated, it can’t come as a surprise. We are hated, because the One whom we serve is hated. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.