Thursday, July 6, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 119

                             Image result for Book of Matthew
Day 119:Jesus Endured it All
Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 27:32-44

The Crucifixion of Jesus

32 "As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross." (Matthew 27:32)
The commentary in my Study Bible says that it was customary for the prisoner to carry his own cross. They did not however carry the whole cross. They carried the top, cross beam weighing thirty to forty pounds. Jesus, having been flogged, was too weak to carry His own crossbeam, and so Simon was taken from the crowd to carry it for Him.
 33 "They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it." (Matthew 27:33-34) 
In the Book of Mark, chapter fifteen, verse 23 it reads: 23 "Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it." In what I have read and understand, 'wine mixed with gall' is wine and vinegar, but wine mixed with myrrh is wine mixed with the incense to deadened the pain. Jesus did not take the wine because He wanted to bear the pain, all of it, for us. 

35" When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots." (Matthew 27:35) "It was the accepted right of the executioner's squad to claim the minor possessions of the victim. Jesus' clothing probably consisted of an under and an outer garment, a belt, sandals and possibly a head covering." (Bible study commentary). I have longed understood that all of Jesus' clothes were taken from Him, leaving Him bear. Jesus endured the shame and humiliation of nakedness in front of a huge crowd. I cannot imagine, but He did it because someone in this world has been stripped, against their will, and mocked. He endured the humiliation for us. He knows what it is to go through such a trial. 

 36" And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews." (Matthew 27:36-37) "It was customary to write the charge on a wooden board that was carried before the victim as he walked to the place of execution, and then the board was affices to the cross above his head." (Study Bible Commentary). 
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him." (Matthew 27:38-44) 

Yesterday's reading, "The Soldiers Mock Jesus," (Matthew 27:27-31) stayed with me all day. Thinking about the soldiers mocking Jesus is more than my mind could comprehend. Here is this man, (in the eyes of the Roman soldiers) just flogged, barely able to stand, and what do they do? They mock Him, robe Him, crown Him, spit at Him. WHAT??? How evil do you have to be to do that to any human being?! But to my Jesus-my heart is breaking. 
But as I thought of the six-hundred soldiers standing around mocking Him I realized that those Roman soldiers were like a gang, bullies, strong guys that everyone is afraid of. I realized that Jesus endured it all for some kids in the Bronx, or Chicago, or wherever gangs exist. Jesus endured the abuse and the mocking for anyone who would be put through the same trial. Jesus understands what it is like to be mocked and abused. 

Today, as I read the Scriptures I was shocked to hear that at the cross they continued to mock Jesus. But it wasn't the Roman soldiers this time, it is His very own- teachers of the law and the elders! Those who had heard Him preach and teach, the Jewish people, stood at the cross watching Him suffer and bleed from every part of His body, stood there and mocked Him. Jesus endured this, I believe, for all of those who have been a part of a church, or religious order and have been ridiculed for their faith. I know I personally have been mocked by my own 'religious, faith-filled' family. They claim to love God and yet tormented me with their words. Jesus endured all things for us. So that we might know that He understands the pain. 
Pray with me:
Jesus, thank you for enduring all things for me. My heart is broken over what you went through at the hands of men, but part of me is just so grateful. Thank you that you are my God and you understand every hurt and all the pain that I have and will ever go through.  Thank you for your compassion and love- it overwhelms me.  Pour over me your great love that I may know you more. In Jesus' Name, Ame

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