There was no video, but it was a certain case of police brutality. It also involved a focused attack on faith. The young, charismatic preacher was arrested right after he had finished praying. Then, before he was even arraigned, the arresting officers stripped him, beat him, and taunted him. The commanding officer thought, ‘This prisoner claims to be a prophet. Fine. We’ll see how good he is at prophesying.’ “Blindfold him and let’s test his gift of prophecy.” Surrounded and blindfolded, the punches came with a taunt. “So you’re a prophet, tell us who struck you?”
This attack didn’t happen in Chicago, Columbus, Ferguson, or Baton Rouge. The city was Jerusalem. The time was the Passover celebration of AD33. Lets’ read again what happened to Jesus after He was seized by the Temple Police while having a prayer meeting in Gethsemane.
“The men, those holding Jesus in custody, mocked and repeatedly beat Him. Blindfolding Him, they struck Him and then demanded, ‘Prophesy! Who hit you?’ And using many different means, they spoke blasphemy against Him.” Luke 22:63-65
Before taunting this Prophet, the Temple Police should have listened more carefully to the prophecy made about their place of employment earlier in the week. Jesus predicted that the Temple would be deconstructed and in AD70 the Romans fulfilled Jesus’s prediction. Not one stone was left upon another.
The darkness that took over that night when Jesus was arrested and intensified in His beating is not going to be overcome by social, economic, or relational solutions. Faced with both attacks against police and abuse of those arrested, there needs to be a lot of discussion about connecting and understanding one another. We do need to close the gaps in personal relationships between police and those they serve, but on a far deeper level, we all need to face the crazy hatred that lurks deep in all of our hearts—an animosity that can cause us to join these Temple Police and revel in abusing an innocent victim.
LORD, it’s easy for me to point the finger when someone else abuses another. It’s harder to admit that this darkness lurks in my own heart. Help me to always be grateful that You are willing to forgive, even those who mock and abuse You, if they admit their sin and receive Your gift of life.
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