Scripture: Isaiah 50:4-9 (NIV)
The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.
When you watch The Clone Wars, there seems to be a recurring theme season after season–Obi-Wan Kenobi takes a lot of punishment. Whether it is letting a bad guy beat on him to stall for time, facing off with General Grievous or Count Dooku, or going undercover as a bounty hunter and sent to prison, no one seems to be physically wounded more than the erstwhile Jedi Master.
In the process of these battles, it must have been somewhat tempting to draw on additional powers. He could have probably conjured up some Sith Lightning or augmented his Force pushes if he just tapped into the Dark Side. It would have been for the greater good, right? Better for him to live and continuing the good fight than to die and let evil win. It wouldn’t be an evil action or an change in lifestyle, just using everything he could to survive.
Did Christ consider that? After all, He could have done anything to avoid the cross. He could have removed the nails. He could have avoided capture entirely. He could have turned all of His tormentors into bunny rabbits. He had the power of God at His command. Surely it would be for the best if He didn’t die! He could do so much still on earth.
I don’t figure He did, really. Christ knew that His sacrifice was going to have much more of an impact than anything else He could do. While taking the quick and easy path made some sense in the moment, it wasn’t going to be for the best in the long run. How different would our lives be now if He had taken a shortcut, used His power? Christianity as we know it wouldn’t be around, even if He had later died for us anyway.
The ends don’t justify the means. We should live the Christian life every day and let the chips fall where they may. They may fall in difficult situations but that’s OK. With Christ, all things are possible. We will get through it with Him better than we will without Him!