Jesus was rejected so that we can find forgiveness and acceptance into His family.
READ IN YOUR BIBLE:
“He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.”
“I thought he was here to save us!” said the tradesman as he gathered his scattered possessions on the temple steps.
“Yeah, who does he think he is?” agreed a money changer, still angry from the way Jesus turned over his table.
“It’s the Romans who need sorting out, not us!” complained a priest. This ‘King of the Jews’ was not living up to expectations.
“Did you see the way he came in here like he owned the place?” said the tradesman, “Called it his ‘Father’s House’! He’s not even from around here. I heard they don’t even know who his father is.”
“They say he does miracles, heals people and drives out demons”, said the money changer.
“If he really is driving out demons”, said the priest, “it’s only because he is working for the prince of demons!”
Jesus was Rejected
Jesus had been traveling and teaching for several years before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Entering the city, His reputation went ahead of Him. Some still remembered the wedding at Cana, in Galilee, where He turned water into wine. Many had been present when He fed the 5,000. It’s likely He saw faces in the crowd of those He had healed or from whom He had driven demons. But as the people began to realise that He wasn’t coming with force to take power from the Romans, the crowd thinned. As John says, “He came into the very world He created, but the world didn’t recognise him. He came to His own people, and even they rejected him” (John 1:10,11 NLT).
This was no surprise to God. Over 500 years before Jesus was born, God spoke through His servant, Isaiah, about one who would be despised and rejected. Jesus Himself taught His disciples that He must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the leaders of Israel. This is exactly how it turned out. Again, John makes the connection for us, linking the events of Jesus’ life with the words of Isaiah. “Despite all the miraculous signs He had done, most of the people did not believe in Him. This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted: ‘Lord, who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal His saving power?’” (John 12:37-38 NLT).
In the end, it was the leaders of Israel who met to discuss how to capture Jesus secretly and put Him to death. But while they schemed against Him, they were busy fulfilling God’s plan. Isaiah tells us, “it was the LORD’s good plan to crush Him and cause Him grief. Yet when His life is made an offering for sin, He will have many descendants” (Isaiah 53:10 NLT).
John tells us how we can become one of those descendants. “But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He [Jesus] gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (John 1:12,13 NLT). Maybe you’ve heard the phrase ‘born again Christian’. When we receive Jesus as King, and as the One who was punished and died in our place, then we are born again into the family of God. On our own, we would never be adopted by God. But because Jesus was rejected, we can be accepted.
Father God, I thank You for Jesus, who was rejected so I can be accepted by You. Today, I acknowledge Him as my King, and the one who died in my place. Father, I ask Your forgiveness for my sins and I receive Your promise of a identity as Your child. Thank you for adopting me into your family. Thank you that I am now Your child. Amen.