LHM Lenten Devotion – March 7, 2014 “King of the Jews

 

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Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“King of the Jews”

March 7, 2014


Lenten devo cover 2014Read Matthew 27:27-31, 37TEXT: And over His head they put the charge against Him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37).

Finally, the crucifixion detail reaches Golgotha: the place of execution. Jesus is nailed to the cross. The Roman governor has ordered a placard placed above His head. It proclaims the name and hometown of the condemned, notifying all passersby of the crime for which He is being executed.

It reads, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

It recalls the savage treatment He already received at the hands of the Romans. First, He was brutally flogged-a whipping that often brought a man to the brink of death. Then the soldiers mocked the King of the Jews, crowning His brow with thorns, draping a robe over His torn and bloody shoulders, placing a reed in His hand as a scepter, kneeling before Him, spitting on Him and, finally, snatching the reed from His hand and beating Him over the head with it.

The Romans had absolutely no pity or mercy toward their prisoners, and Jesus was certainly no exception. But again that is what each of us deserves. We have all disobeyed God’s laws and brought harm on our neighbors. Each of us ought to be punished mercilessly for the things we have done and the good we have left undone. But Jesus takes our place.

It is you and I who should be bound hand and foot; instead, Jesus’ hands and feet are nailed to the cross. We should be cast into the outer darkness. But according to the Father’s will, Jesus hangs from the cross, soon to be plunged into an eerie, unnatural darkness when the sun should be at its zenith. Our King takes our place, suffering and dying that we might be set free.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I deserve nothing but the suffering and torments of hell, but You suffered them in my place that I might live in perfect peace and joy with You in heaven. Amen.

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