*This devotion was taken from the devotions Pastor Frankie wrote on Jesus' life and mailed to the children of EVNaz. These devotional books can be found at www.evnaz.org/kidsmatterministries.
Kickball is fun! What isn’t fun is being picked last. It can be hurtful when people overlook you or say mean things to you.
Jesus knew how it felt to have people be mean to Him. The people in charge came and arrested Jesus because they were scared that He was leading an uprising so He could be the one in charge of all the people. He was, but it wasn’t an uprising against anybody. It was an uprising for everybody’s salvation. He wanted all people to experience love and grace, but the authorities didn’t believe that and they wanted to get rid of Jesus.
It’s really hard to not be liked. It can feel like you’re all alone. But you’re not alone. Jesus is with you. When you’re picked last, or when people say hurtful things, you have an opportunity to show them Jesus’ way. Like those that wanted to hurt Jesus, people expect you to say hurtful things or do something mean. But it’s better to give grace, even to those that try to hurt your feelings. When everyone was screaming for Jesus to be hurt and put to death, He didn’t turn around and hurt people. He gave His life for them.
What was a moment recently when you felt hurt?
How might you be able to show the people hurting you Jesus’ love through your actions?
Jesus was eventually put to death. But here is the good news: He was put to death so that everyone else might live. His death on the cross was a symbol for all people that pain and hurt will not win! But, healing, hope and love always takes the day. People will try to hurt or silence love, but love always wins in the end.
“Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God
rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.”
This week, instead of responding with more hurtful words or more hurtful actions, try your best to heal by your words and actions. This is what Easter is all about. It’s all about healing, and you can be a part of it. This might come in the form of an apology to someone you know you hurt.
Help me to treat others the way you would want me to treat them. Help me to sow forgiveness when someone treats me bad or hurts my feelings. Help me to use kind words and show your love to others.
In Jesus Name, Amen.