Volunteer or Victim? {Changing Our Perspective}

It’s a quiet morning as I read, sip coffee, and jot notes in my journal. when my eyes move over these eight words:

Jesus is not a victim, but a volunteer.  (Ellie Holcomb, She Reads Truth, Lent)

volunteer not victim

It’s a sentence tucked in among a few others, and the author is speaking of that moment in Mark when Judas kisses Jesus’ cheek, betraying him. When a crowd “armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders” (Mark 14: 43) come for him. Our Savior.

And Jesus’ response?  “But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Then everyone deserted him and fled. (Mark 14: 49-50)


We knew all about Judas long before that crowd with clubs arrived.   Jesus know too.  He knew he’d be betrayed; he knew it would be Judas.

But I didn’t know who my betrayer would be.  I bet you didn’t either.  Sadly, betrayal happens all the time.  And just as I am headed down this “I was betrayed” path, that small voice in my heart whispered…

Jesus is not a victim, but a volunteer.  

He knew the Scriptures and said they “must be fulfilled” and went willingly.

And I am struggling with this. He was a victim of that club-carrying crowd. I am reading these words and saying…what are you doing? Do you not know who HE IS?  

It’s hard isn’t it?  (Please tell me that you see hard here…knowing he must fulfill Scripture for you and me to be forgiven of our sins…but not wanting the innocent to perish.)

He volunteered.  For you.  For me.  He willingly went to the cross.

And, dang it, I know the truth God is revealing to me as I read these verses in Mark over and over and as I stare at Ellie’s words in the devotional…

Jesus is not a victim, but a volunteer.

And, Sarah, yes, you’ve been betrayed (haven’t we all?), but do not live like a victim.  Live as a volunteer, freely offering your life to Him.  And, no, I am in no way comparing myself or my pitily pain to Jesus. Shew. NO.  I am saying that I get one shot at this life that he DIED FOR. ONE SHOT.  And I can not and will not live as a victim.

A victim of betrayal.  A victim of divorce.  A victim of my socio economic class (which is hardly an issue compared to the rest of the world).  A victim of lies and gossip.  A victim of rejection.  A victim of death (because I get mad when I want my dad to be there and he is not).  A victim of….you fill in the blank, friend.  We could go and on about all that has befallen us.

And most of it does not seem fair.  It’s hard stuff. Death, lying, gossip, illness, and on.

We can choose to live as victims.  Or we can choose to be volunteers.

Volunteers to live out his plan for us, for He wastes nothing. Living with a willing heart, giving ourselves for His Kingdom. He gave His LIFE in a horrific way on a cross – seems the very least I could do is give my life in any way I can for His glory while living on His land.

I want my heart’s posture to be…

Here I am, Lord, send me.

I volunteer.

I volunteer to live as you desire, not as I desire.  For your Kingdom. As a response to your sacrifice for me.

Lord, show each of us what it looks like to move from victim to volunteer.  Not to belittle or underestimate any story being lived out, Lord, as life is hard and can be so cruel.  But, help us to see you in the battle.  Help us to see the story you’re writing.  Help us to follow your example of complete surrender, volunteering all we have and all we do to serve and follow you.


  1. Sue Adams says:

    Wow, I needed this today. It reminded me why I moved to Texas (struggling with this lately). I volunteered to be the daily caretaker of my beautiful grandson, I volunteer to be involved in the outreach ministry of the church we have joined, I volunteer to do what God has planned for me. Thanks for the ‘shot in the arm’. Bless you, my dear friend.

    • Thanks, Sue. Your words always encourage my heart:) It’s hard to volunteer sometimes, huh? But, I keep remembering how Jesus volunteered and think…nothing is as hard as THAT. Praying for you as you struggle. Blessings!


  1. […] It’s a quiet morning as I read, sip coffee, and jot notes in my journal. when my eyes move over …read more       […]

  2. […] Then, March 21. The big day. I read this from Ellie Holcomb:  Jesus is not a victim, but a volunteer. […]

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