Your Daily Lenten Devotional
March 22, 2012
Into the Wilderness
Where have your love, your mercy, your
compassion shone out more luminously
than in your wounds, sweet gentle Lord of
mercy? More mercy than this no one has
than that he lay down his life for those
who are doomed to death.
-Bernard of Clairvaux
Has the cross become a place of familiar consolation to you yet? Are you beginning to feel a drawing in your soul to reflect often on the mysteries at Calvary? Take a few minutes as you quiet your heart to consider what Jesus’ sufferings mean to you after reflecting on them through the past days or weeks.
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love. -1 John 4:16 NASB
Are you beginning to know God’s love in a deeper way through this journey? Are you coming to a place of truly believing it?
Ponder these things and ask God to do an even deeper work as we draw nearer to Christ’s death.
But they shouted all the more, “Crucify Him!” –Mark 15:14 NASB
The mangled-looking Man barely stands, a sobering symbol of Rome’s power to destroy. Pilate, wanting to leave it all behind and confident the brutal beating will satisfy the crowd’s call for justice, asks once again: “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?”
Before the words are out of his mouth, a loud cry ensues: “Crucify Him! You crucify Him!”
“Me? But I believe He’s innocent. Tell me- what evil has He done? Take Him yourselves and crucify Him- I find no guilt in Him.”
Pilate knows his offer is an empty one, for the power to execute lies with him alone. Try as he might, he cannot extricate himself from this Man’s future.
Jesus struggles to keep His balance. He has lost so much blood, His head at times seems to float about Him. Standing here, He is the only One who really knows the details of how this drama will end. Does He wish He could just speak and be on His way to Golgotha? If this entire mob suddenly stopped to listen to Him, what would He say?
A High priest makes his voice heard above the crowd: “He says He is the Son of God, and by our laws, for this He must die.”
Superstitious fear grips Pilate upon hearing these words. Son of God? He hasn’t heard this charge before. Is this why his wife warned him to steer clear of this Man? Does He have mystical powers? Looking at the broken body beside him, it seems nothing could be farther from the truth.
Turning quickly, Pilate motions for them to bring Jesus back into the palace. He must get to the bottom of this.
“Where do You come from?” Knowing the answer already, Pilate gives Jesus a chance to deny the charges of a claim to Deity.
Jesus looks at him but says nothing…
Consider the weariness Jesus must have felt as He was constantly passed from one person to another. He allowed Himself to be completely at their mercy. Physically He must have been in torment. Take a few minutes to contemplate the physical and emotional state of Jesus at this time.
On many previous occasions, Jesus could have been arrested or killed, But He escaped (see John 8:59; 10:39). Reflect on the reality that every part of this story is preordained by the Father and chosen by the Son.
Earlier Jesus had prayed: “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life” (John 17:1-2 NASB).
To glorify means to confer honor, to praise, to magnify. Jesus seems to be saying that the Cross is an honor to Him and that through His death, the Father will glorify Him. Ponder this in light of His suffering. Consider this in light of His desire in verse 2–to give you eternal life. Write a prayer in which you glorify Christ–give Him the honor, praise, and worship due Him as He faces the Cross.
Do You call this glory, my Lord? I will never comprehend this thing—that You considered the Cross an honor when You could have commanded all heaven and earth to bow down before You. But though You despised the shame, this death You would embrace exalted You to heights I may never completely fathom. Let me see this, my Lord, that I might love Your glory as never before… the gripping glory of redeeming love.
Contemplating the Cross
Tricia McCary Rhodes
Retail Price: $14.99
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Contemplating the Cross is a 40-day personal pilgrimage that will take you down the dusty roads of Jerusalem to walk in the steps of Jesus’ passion. In these pages, you’ll find scriptures, meditations, and reflective questions along with an introduction to lectio divina, the centuries-old art of slowly, contemplatively praying God’s Word. Contemplating the Cross will transform the way you view the cross as you experience the sights, sounds, smells and emotions of Jesus’ final hours.
Used with the kind permission of our friends at W Publishing Group.