August 5

He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. Isaiah 53:7

Jesus Christ was shorn of His glory by an act of self-emptying when He became a man. He laid aside his omniscience, and lived trusting His Father and not knowing the future. When He was arrested and tried He was deprived of justice, as the Sanhedrin conducted an illegal trial. It was against their Talmudic traditions: (1) to hold a trial by night; (2) to fulfil a death sentence within 30 days and thus not allow for other witnesses to come forward; and (3) to make the accused witness against Himself. Pilate further deprived Him of justice by condemning Him against the evidence. Jesus was then shorn of human dignity by His terrible treatment at the hands of the soldiers, who mocked Him, plucked out His beard, and mercilessly beat Him. Finally, His humiliation was complete when He was nailed to the cross, which combined inhuman torture with execution. Jesus was shorn of all outward dignity, and then cut to the deepest level of His Being by the cross. The marvel of this whole process is that, the more He was cut down, the more brightly the glory of His love shone. Nothing that He suffered reduced the inner glory of His love; it only made His love shine ever more brightly. Never has God been so clearly revealed for all to see than when Jesus died in meek, forgiving love on Calvary. When we take up our cross to follow our Lord, it is to embrace the same life – to be made love as He is love, and to be one with Christ so that His glory is revealed.