I’ve been slowly reading from the book of Wisdom whenever I can throughout the day.
I love the very first line.
Wisdom 1:1 Love justice*, you who judge the earth; think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in integrity of heart;
*The side note in my bible: Justice: not merely a cardinal virtue of that name but the universal moral quality which is the application of Wisdom to moral conduct.
My prayer: Lord Jesus, help me apply your Wisdom to my moral conduct; in how I treat others and myself, in my thoughts, actions, and words.
Then later, Wisdom Chapter 2 is amazing. At first I applied it my own life and the world that we live in today. Then I looked deeper. It is not about me. It is about Jesus. It is about what would happen to him about 100 years after Wisdom was written and what still happens to those who are persecuted in His name today.
1 they who said among themselves, thinking not aright: “Brief and troublous is our lifetime; neither is there any remedy for man’s dying, nor is anyone known to have come back from the nether world. 2 For haphazard were we born, and hereafter we shall be as though we had not been; Because the breath in our nostrils is a smoke and reason is a spark at the beating of our hearts, 3 And when this is quenched, our body will be ashes and our spirit will be poured abroad like unresisting air. 4 Even our name will be forgotten in time, and no one will recall our deeds. So our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud, and will be dispersed like a mist pursued by the sun’s rays and overpowered by its heat. 5 For our lifetime is the passing of a shadow; and our dying cannot be deferred because it is fixed with a seal; and no one returns. 6 Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are real, and use the freshness of creation avidly. 7 Let us have our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no springtime blossom pass us by; 8 let us crown ourselves with rosebuds ere they wither. 9 1 Let no meadow be free from our wantonness; everywhere let us leave tokens of our rejoicing, for this our portion is, and this our lot. 10 Let us oppress the needy just man; let us neither spare the widow nor revere the old man for his hair grown white with time. 11 But let our strength be our norm of justice; for weakness proves itself useless. 12 2 3 Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training. 13 He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD. 14 To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, 15 Because his life is not like other men’s, and different are his ways. 16 He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father. 17 Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. 18 For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. 19 With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. 20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.” 21 These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them, 22 And they knew not the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense of holiness nor discern the innocent souls’ reward. 23 For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. 24 But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it.
Jesus knew that his life on earth would not be all smiles and laughs. His Father told him what he was getting into: “This will be hard. You will experience much joy and happiness and find comfort and support with your family and friends. But then, in the blink of an eye you will see their sin, their betrayal, and it will cut into your heart. They will slander you; scourge your body and your name; your integrity and your dignity they will not spare. They will mock you and your authority. They will think they are king and you will have to let them think so for a time. They will cloak you and crown you in pretentious honor and glory. They will then give you their heavy debts, their burdens, their problems, their responsibilities, their mistakes, their sins. They will give it all to you and watch you and laugh at you while you drag it up a hill. You will see those who once looked at you with love now look at you with hate; a hate instilled by their own sin. They hate their own sin and let it cloud them. They’ll take their sin and nail it onto you. They will watch you suffer and bleed and cry out in pain. And then they’ll let you die, in their place. And after all that, many of them will still hate you.”
Jesus knew all this and yet he said YES.