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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Insulted (11/01/04)

TITLE: Insulting the Sacrifice
By Mary Elder-Criss


“I’ll not go back there anymore!” Hannah thought angrily to herself as she stalked across the parking lot towards her car. “It’s pretty insulting when the Pastor can’t even shake your hand!”

“King of the Jews! Indeed! He doesn’t look too Kingly right now, though, does he boys?” The Roman soldier threw his head back and laughed mockingly.

“Hey, Jesus! How about this for a crown?” the laughter swelled, as another soldier cut branches from a nearby bush, and formed them into a crude circle, which he then forcefully jammed into the man’s brow.

“Can you believe the way that new Sunday school teacher was dressed for church this morning?” Marge asked her friend Hazel. “I declare, it was an insult to the body! All those rings and bracelets, and her skirt didn’t even cover her knees! Well, I’ll be having a talk with the Pastor about the whole thing, you can just bet your bottom dollar on it.”

“Let’s see how the King appears in his royal purple robes!” With strips of flesh hanging from his back, and blood dripping from his brow, Jesus endured their mocking in silence as they roughly clothed him in the finery.

“Ah, yes, I believe that was just what I needed to see that you are indeed of royal blood!” The soldier spit in his face. “Noble, indeed!”

“I can’t believe the Pastor preached on tithes AGAIN!” Jim told his wife Sandy on the way home from morning services. “I find it so insulting, considering we are faithful.”

“Hmmmph,” snorted Sandy. “You find that insulting? You should have heard what Sister Morgan said to me this morning.”


“Well, she actually had the nerve to ask if I could tone down my volume just a little bit during praise and worship. Evidently, I’m drowning HER out, and since she’s the worship leader, we certainly can’t have THAT!”

“It’s a disgrace, I tell you!” retorted her husband. “I’m thinking seriously about looking for another church!”

“Yeah, just one more incident like that, and I’m inclined to agree with you,” Sandy replied. “Maybe we can find a church that actually APPRECIATES our faithfulness!”

“Hey Savior!” the thief called. “If you truly are who you say you are, why don’t you come down from that cross and save yourself and us!”

“Save yourself! Save yourself! Save yourself!” the crowd began chanting. “King of the Jews, save yourself!”

“I have never been so insulted in all my life!” Sarah spoke into the receiver. “The Pastor’s wife didn’t even mention my name when she was thanking all the people who helped to make the play a success. She claimed that she forgot to write everyone’s name down, and that it was just an oversight. Well, I’ll be doggoned if I’ll ever help again! Everyone appreciates a little acknowledgement now and then, you know.”

(3)He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

“You can argue that men were created equal all you want, but I won’t have my children havin’ to associate with the likes of them! It’s an insult to my granddaddy, God rest His soul. He was one of the founding fathers of this church, and by gum, I figger I have some kind of say so about the whole thing. Never been no coloreds in this church, and I don’t see no reason for it to start now. The Pastor liked to fall all over hisself gettin’ to ‘em and makin’ em welcomed! Well, dang if I’ll welcome the likes of them!”

(7)He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
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 53:3,7

The echo of His ageless cry is disregarded.

“It is finished!”

Member Comments
Member Date
DeAnna Brooks11/08/04
If only we all would use the filter of the cross for our own words and actions! Great idea....sure puts it all in perspective.
Corinne Smelker 11/08/04
Mary, this is awesome - I love how you tie in all the elements of this story - I think you have a winner here lady!
Lynda Lee Schab 11/08/04
Mary, I had to go back and re-read. At first, I thought there should be a separation between the different scenarios but when I went back, I understood what you were doing. Wonderful message, wonderful writing. I would expect nothing less from you anyway!
Love, Lynda
darlene hight11/09/04
Very Powerful piece! In fact it insults me just a little (LOL). It really drives home the necessity of Jesus' death,our human fraility and our disregard for what he sacrificed.
John Hunt11/09/04
Very poignant article that was extrememly well-written.
The message of dealing with our offenses (as Jesus put it) really needs to be taught in our churches, otherwise we can all easily fall into that snare.
Great job!
Lucian Thompson11/09/04
Mary, this is one of the most powerful pieces I have read yet. It provokes a roller coaster of emotions. The way you transcended the 2000 years of time was brilliant. The message was clear and bone chillingly effective. God have mercy on our insulted souls. How can we be so blind…so, so…insulted?
Deborah Anderson11/09/04
Awesome job Mary. I loved the way you tied all this together. I just can't say enough. God bless you.
Kelly Klepfer11/09/04
Powerful images. Brings the spiritual truth and cost to the surface where we live. Convicting.
Mary Elder-Criss11/09/04
It's funny, being the author of this piece...when I wrote it, I didn't think I did a very good job..I was not even satisfied when I submitted it..thought it was one of my weaker pieces, and I didn't do a very good job tying it all together. It therefore never amazes to astound me how God can use things we don't feel are very worthy to truly touch others. To all of you who have responded with such encouraging words, I thank you. To God be the glory. Blessings. Mary
Phyllis Inniss11/11/04
Mary, this is just great. The way you tied in the sacrifice that Jesus suffered to the insults the people of the church perceive is truly memorable. Less than fifteen minutes ago I was reading the very quotations you cited from Isaiah 53. Blessings.
Verlie Ruhl11/11/04
The juxtaposition here is so thought-provoking. Great work!
Lois Jennison Tribble11/11/04
These are jarring associations, Mary, appropriately arranged to rattle the reader regarding a painfully convicting topic. Your title excellently ties it all together.
Linda Germain 11/11/04
Mary...all they have said and a whole bunch more. This is absolutely wonderful. Some articles just scream, "Holy Spirit Inspired."
Blessings to you. ~L~
Debbie OConnor11/13/04
Excellent job. I really can't add anything to what has already been said except, I was blessed.
Kenny Paul Clarkson11/13/04
Mary: I couldn't help but chuckle at the line, "I've never been more insulted in all my life." Seems like every insult is life's worst.

In your bio you mentioned writing for your church's Web site. Would you consider including the Web address in your bio so we can take a look?