LHM Lenten Devotion – March 20, 2014 “Scorned and Despised”

 

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Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“Scorned and Despised”

March 20, 2014


Lenten devo cover 2014Read Psalm 119: 137-144TEXT: But I am … scorned by mankind and despised by the people (see Psalm 22:6).

Jesus’ enemies surround His cross like cruel children who have stepped on a worm and now laugh as they watch it wriggling and writhing in pain.

The Roman soldiers standing watch over Him treat Him with shame and contempt. They stripped and flogged Him, crowned Him with thorns, and mocked and ridiculed His claim to be King of the Jews. They forced Him to carry His cross and nailed His hands and feet to it. On the cross they mock Him, holding their sour wine just outside His reach and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” (See Luke 23:36-37.)

It’s not surprising the Romans would scorn Him, but what about His own people? Wouldn’t they recognize Him as their God, their Messiah? No. They despised Him. Months before His neighbors in His home town of Nazareth tried to throw Him off a cliff to His death (see Luke 4:28-30). Later, Jews in Jerusalem tried to stone Him (see John 8:59). Just a few hours earlier His own High Priest Caiaphas summoned false witnesses against Him. Then when He was taken before Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas acted as prosecutor to pressure the Roman governor to condemn Him to death.

When they finally got their way and Jesus was hanging from the cross you might think they’d have the decency to leave Him be. But no, they stand before Him scoffing and saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself, if He is the Christ of God, His Chosen One!” (See Luke 23:35.)

He can’t save Himself. He’s bleeding and dying on the cross to save them — and us.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, while the Romans and Jews stood beneath You, mocking and ridiculing, You were shedding Your precious blood to pay for their sins. Forgive my sins and strengthen my faith in You. Amen.

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