Today’s Reading: John 19:2-3 (NIV)
2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to Him again and again, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him in the face.
Have you ever struck Jesus in the face?
It is hard to accept the brutality that our Savior endured to save us. Yet, we can be pretty cruel ourselves. I imagine every time we take the Lord’s name in vain, it hurts Him just as much as the beating He endured. We make fun of who He is and why He came. When we refuse to give Jesus the first fruits of our days, our income, our hearts, our lives, it’s as if we are the ones placing that crown of thorns on His forehead and pushing it down into His flesh. Have you ever had a migraine headache – a sharp, searing pain that can bring you to your knees and cause you to vomit violently? I imagine the crown of thorns that Jesus wore hurt far worse than any migraine I’ve ever experienced. The next time you have headache, think about what Jesus might have felt that day in the town square.
The soldiers who tortured Jesus were covered in His blood. They were lashing out irrationally, and God’s blood was splattering all over them. They had no idea how this one act would change their lives forever. When they realized that they had executed the Savior of the world, how do you think they could live with themselves? I don’t know. I confess I have lashed out irrationally at God a few times myself. I’ve hurt Jesus more times than I care to remember, especially when I refuse to trust Him completely, love Him wholeheartedly, and willfully disobey His commands. I have more in common with the Roman guards than I care to admit.
The soldiers exercised total control over Jesus’ body, or at least that’s what they thought. They had Him right where they wanted Him. It’s a funny thing, Jesus was in complete control then, just as He is now. He willingly allows our rebellion, believing that one day we will see Him for who He truly is, repent, receive and believe. How many more beatings will the Son of God have to endure at the hands of humanity before every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord?
This is a brand new year. And with every brand new year, we get to begin again. This is our fresh start to a better life. We hope for a stronger economy, a stable market, a world that is filled with peace instead of ongoing violence and war. We look to renew friendships and freedoms that we have neglected or lost in the past. We long for healthy bodies and sound minds. It is time to set aside the sins of our past and look to Jesus Christ for a fresh new start. He is our only rationale for abundant life.
Come with me today. Let us worship our Lord together.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2009, Deb Spaulding
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