Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Matthew describes this horrible scene so matter-of-factly. His account is devoid of emotion or nuance. The brutality and cruelty are just simply recited. However, each fact shakes us like a lightning strike a little too close for comfort:
They took his clothes and put on a robe.
They put a crown of thorns on his head.
They put a mock scepter in his hand.
They mocked him as King.
They spat upon him.
They beat him with a stick on his head.
They led him away to be crucified.
For those of us who believe, our hearts break with each thunderclap of hell's fury. This emotionless account stirs deep emotions within us. This is our beloved Jesus. This is our Savior. This is our Lord. He did suffered this abuse for us ... for me! How could the soldiers do such things?
More than simple historical facts, these events and the upcoming crucifixion are the basis of our salvation and the cost paid to redeem us from our sin. They remind us of God's love. Simple and emotionless words stir something deep within us and make us cry, both with delight in our salvation and with horror at its cost. This is our King. We bow to him. He rules forever. Yet he withheld his power and suffered this horrible set of events for one reason: He loves us and wants us in his family.
Gracious heavenly Father, as a mere mortal, there is no way that I can understand or feel what must have penetrated your heart when these events occurred. But I thank you. I thank you for sending Jesus to be my salvation. I thank you for withholding your power so that power could be directed to remove my sin. I thank you for loving me when I have not always been lovable. I thank you that this abuse is not the end of Jesus' story, but the beginning of the very events that made your limitless grace accessible to me. In Jesus' precious name, I pray. Amen.
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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