LHM Lenten Devotion – March 12, 2014 “Outer Darkness”

 

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Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“Outer Darkness”

March 12, 2014


Lenten devo cover 2014Read Matthew 8: 5-13TEXT: It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed (see Luke 23:44-45).

Three long, dreadful hours have passed since Jesus was crucified. Around noon a dramatic change takes place. Suddenly, Jesus, the criminals, the Roman guards, the Jewish leaders, and the crowds are cast into an eerie, unnatural darkness because the sun fails to shine. Jesus had spoken of such darkness before.

In the reading above, Jesus was asked to heal the servant of a Roman centurion. Contrasting the faith of this non-Jew with the doubt and disbelief many of His fellow Jews felt toward Him, Jesus warned the crowds, “Many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Now this outer darkness envelopes Jesus. Though He has been absolutely flawless and perfect throughout his entire life and has committed no crime great or small, He is cut off from the glory of heaven. The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity, the sin, the guilt of us all.

We are the ones who deserve this darkness because of our disobedience to God’s perfect will. We should be shackled in the everlasting night of hell to suffer excruciating, endless agony. But our King suffers through the darkness of the cross that we might be forgiven and inherit His glorious home in heaven.

Cut off from any comfort of created light, our Savior Jesus Christ bears the brunt of His Father’s furious judgment at the sins of the world.

THE PRAYER:  Lord Jesus, who can fathom the depths of Your love in taking our place under Your Father’s wrath, being forsaken and punished in our stead? Thank You for Your gracious salvation and accept our loving praise, worship and service. Amen.

 

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