YOU WHO ARE IN HEAVEN
So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. Genesis 37:23
Joseph was stripped of his royal kind of robe. Jesus was stripped of his robe, too. The momentary humiliation didn’t change the destiny or the spiritual identity of either. Jesus stayed in touch with that but I suspect that Joseph did not. History would prove that the brother’s destruction of the robe of many colors and treating their brother like a criminal would do nothing to stop Joseph’s ascension to a royal position in Egypt. Their sin against him only propelled it.
Jesus was God’s Son whether anyone acknowledged it or not. If the accusation flew that he was only the illegitimate son of Mary, Jesus was still God. When the crowd publicly humiliated him by accusing him of demonic possession, Jesus was still God. When His family eventually turned on Him and believed Him to be mentally unstable, Jesus was still God. When He hung on a Roman cross and died the most degrading death in existence, His spiritual status did not change. Jesus was still God.
If ever there were a world in which I needed to settle my spiritual identity, it’s this one. It is growing more and more unfriendly to the name of Jesus Christ and anyone who is associated with Him will experience discrimination. If a barb from a parent can lay me low for four decades, how will I survive if a community ostracizes me? If unfair criticism from a local spiritual leader sends me into hiding, how will I sustain the intentional diatribe of non-Christians who are looking for things to mis-represent?
No ill-treatment in this world can change my status in heaven. Heaven is what counts; it is eternal. Earth should be discounted; it will pass away. Though I am hated here, not one ill feeling comes from the Father who calls me His. While earth bestows the basest kind of shame, God bestows the heavenliest kind of honor.
The only way to stay in touch with these beautiful realities is to read a Word that is eternal, not temporary. Whatever it says, I can stake on it being true forever and ever. Today, I may be Joseph in a pit. Tomorrow, I will be reigning with Christ.
Every time Jesus was crushed, He looked up until He felt Your favor. I lock my eyes on You. Amen