Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face. Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”“Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.” The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer.
Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.
Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Devotional – The Cost to Be Free
Pain. Simply seeing that word may make you want to skip this post. Pain, by its definition, makes us uncomfortable and we don’t walk toward it willingly.
But Jesus did.
The cross reminds us of the brutal physical suffering Jesus endured: the lashing, the thorns, the nails and the straining for breath until the final shout, “It is finished!” But his heart-cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) reveals a deeper pain. God who is love, Father, Son and Spirit, inexplicably tore himself apart when Jesus became sin for us. Knowing how pain in my own heart often brings more suffering than any physical injury, I imagine the torment of our Saviour’s soul more excruciating than the tearing of his flesh. (See Psalm 22)
Perhaps we would live differently if we remembered more frequently (and more accurately) what the cross cost.
The divine exchange for us was when Jesus traded the power of sin for the Spirit of power. (See Isaiah 53:4-5)
Question to Consider
Do you have ‘pet’ sins that are stealing pieces of your life, or ‘master’ sins that are demanding life from you? (Romans 6:1-2) Consider the cost Jesus paid for you. If you feel trapped, seek help. God has a way to escape all ready for you, and he paid the price to set you free.
Thank you, Jesus, for paying the price to free me from the punishment, the power, and one day the presence of sin. Help me to live each day in honour of the sacrifice you made. I surrender to you all of my ‘comfortable’ sins and acknowledge your power over any that seem to have a hold on me. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23-24).
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)
The 40 days of decrease blogs have been inspired by the book “40 Days of Decrease” by Alicia Britt Chole.