Blog #11 What Are You Capable Of?
For the past couple of years, my husband has run a 5K to support Free the Captives. (Great organization!) The first time he participated, we showed up and noticed about 45 kids gathered at the starting line. We inquired about it from a volunteer and was told a 1K was about to begin. For a split second we were bummed. That would have been fun for our kids to try, but it was too late.
Next year, we thought.
The gun fired and the race began. But much to our surprise, we continued our conversation with that volunteer. The next 10 seconds went down like this:
Volunteer: Would your kids want to run the race?
Us: Um… right now? I don’t know? Kids, would you want to run?
Kids: Um… really? Ok!
Volunteer: Then GO! Run! Follow the rest of the kids!
And off they went!
At the time, they were 8 and 10 and had never run a race in their life. I am not even sure their shoes were tied. I had no idea the route of the 1K, but just screamed, “Follow the pack in front of you!”
They were the last to leave and we looked at each other in surprise. Did our kids just take off to run a 1K? And then we looked at the volunteer and said, “Well, where is the finish line?”
Soon, we saw the kids appearing like tiny specks, but within 30 seconds they were in full view and, much to our surprise, our older son was in front. And our younger son was a few paces behind him! Within seconds the race was over, and our kids were holding first and third place ribbons.
Who knew they were capable of that?! No one was more surprised than our family!
We are all capable of so much. There is nothing like discovering that hidden strength or raw talent and feeling overly accomplished. But, unfortunately, we are capable of some less than desirable qualities, too. Things that sink deep in the heart that we do our best to hide. Jealousy. Deceit. Manipulation. I saw some of that in scripture this week.
I was reading about the moments leading up to Jesus’ death. He was betrayed, arrested by a friend, flogged, beaten and ridiculed. All of that before being nailed to a cross and crucified. Brutal. But what I noticed was found in Mark 15. Verses 17 and 20.
“And they clothed Him in a purple robe.” V. 17
The story describes Him being dressed like a king with a crown of thorns. Then being mocked, beaten and spit upon. And after insulting and further hurting Him, they:
“stripped Him of the purple robe and put His own clothes on Him.” V.20
What struck me was the level of hatred that was being displayed in that purple robe. It was that extra touch of anger. They went the extra mile to actually dress Him in different clothes in order to further humiliate and hurt Him.
I mean, c’mon.
The man had already been flogged and beaten. And in that tormented state, did they really need to change His clothes in order to further torture Him?
We all have a purple robe. Some of us keep it buried deep and have learned to not reach for it. But others, myself included, know right when to pull it out. It is that unnecessary jab, that low blow, that comment that only the person you are hurting understands. It is the rehashing of a wound you refuse to forgive. Or the subtle manipulation done to make someone feel less than or unloved.
Unfortunately, we are all capable of it.
I know we don’t like to admit we own it, but when we do, we open ourselves up to getting rid of it. Jesus died for our “purple robe moments.” And He offers us the ability to admit it, apologize for it and choose to turn away from it. Repentance. (And, as you know from Blog #7, I think repentance is one is His greatest gifts to us.)
Back to the story... the only thing those men did right was conceive of the fact that He should be dressed as a king. Jesus rightly deserves a lavish robe with an ornate crown. And thankfully, three days later, He was dressed properly.
Next week we will look at a different piece of clothing with a special Easter message. But for this week, let’s honor Him as King by recognizing the pain we have inflicted on others and seeking His forgiveness.
Celebrate Easter this year by first laying down your purple robe moments. Seek the forgiveness of others, if necessary.
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