Man of Sorrows
Lord Jesus, I stand amazed at Your consistency, Your absence of hate, Your love for people. I honor and worship You.
Read LUKE 23:13-25
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Man of sorrows! What a name / for the Son of God who came / ruined sinners to reclaim!” (P.P. Bliss, 1838-76).That’s our Lord!
On Jesus’ return from Herod, Pilate recalls members of the Sanhedrin. He also summons the populace. If he hoped that popular sympathy for Jesus might influence the hierarchy, how wrong he was! Pilate confirms his earlier judgment that Jesus is innocent (15). Nevertheless, he gratuitously decides to have Jesus scourged before release! This is a tactical error, and Jesus’ enemies seize on it. A governor who can inflict on an innocent man the terrible flagellation, can surely be induced to impose crucifixion. As Pilate loses the initiative, the mob ratchets up the pressure until eventually Pilate caves in.
The trial of Jesus reeks of injustice. The charges are false. The judge is corrupt. The baying of the crowd is more like lynching than due legal process. Yet in a mysterious way the justice of God is at work. Yes, Jesus is unjustly treated. However, Jesus’ Gethsemane prayer affirms that he is no helpless victim, but a willing volunteer. He was suffering for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring fallen human beings to God (1 Pet. 3:18).
Jesus was charged with blasphemy, subversion and threatening the Pax Romana. Although innocent, he bore the ultimate penalty decreed by Jewish and Roman law for such crimes. He did so willingly because these charges reflect the indictment the Bible brings against us all. We all have our “idols” and are therefore guilty of blasphemy. We all attempt to subvert God’s rule in our lives and are guilty of sedition. We all contribute to the discord that tragically divides the human race. As we follow the trial of Jesus, let us all approach God with humble thanks, remembering that Jesus was there in our place.
“… sealed my pardon with his blood; hallelujah! What a Savior!” Thank Jesus for what he did for you on the cross.
Lord Jesus, Your courage, Your endurance, and Your loyalty to the Father’s call challenge me. May Your strength be made perfect in my weakness.