LHM Lenten Devotion – March 6, 2014 “The Great Exchange”


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Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“The Great Exchange”

March 6, 2014

Lenten devo cover 2014Read Mark 15: 20-25. TEXT: And when they had mocked Him, they … led Him away to crucify Him ( Matthew 27:31).

On this Friday morning a terrible scourge should be lashing Barabbas’ back and shoulders — it shreds Jesus’ instead. The crushing weight of the cross-piece should fall on the criminal’s shoulders — Jesus staggers and falls beneath it. The crowd’s mockery and ridicule should assault the murderer, as he stumbles along the torturous death march — but this day Jesus bears the humiliation. The nails should be driven through the notorious prisoner’s hands and feet into the cross, but not today — they pierce Jesus instead.

Jesus is led out to Golgotha where He is crucified along with one criminal on His right, the other on His left. A Roman centurion and his band of soldiers stand guard over Him, but they needn’t bother. Jesus’ friends are not mounting a rescue mission. They are cowering behind locked doors. The Jewish leaders stand mocking and ridiculing Him, the crowds pass by the busy street shaking their heads on their way into town. Even the two criminals at His side hurl their insults.

God cannot and will not leave our guilt and our sin unpunished. We see the devastating fury of that wrath in all that Jesus must suffer here on Golgotha. But at the same time we see His boundless mercy, grace and love. You and I deserve a torturous, agonizing and endless death-bound hand and foot in hell. Rather, Jesus takes our place and satisfies God’s wrath, as He is nailed hand and foot to the cross. All our sins are laid on Jesus, and His perfect righteousness is given to us.

THE PRAYER: Lord God, Heavenly Father, in Your amazing grace You convicted Jesus and set us free. Fill us with gratitude and praise that we may joyfully share the story of our Savior’s sacrifice with all people. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


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