Daily Devotion for Lent | Thursday, March 22, 2018
Read Matthew 27:33, 46-50.
And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered Him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when He tasted it, He would not drink it. (Matthew 27:33-34)
The Roman executioners were not complete monsters. Before they nailed Jesus to the cross, they offered Him wine mixed with gall—a painkiller, probably a bitter-tasting plant like opium poppy. No doubt there was a practical purpose—it is easier to deal with a human body that is half-stupefied and can’t fight very well. But there was mercy there as well.
Jesus refused it. Why?
I am so afraid of pain that my house is stocked with several kinds of pain killers, and I make sure I have them stashed away at work, too. I know what pain is like. But then, so did Jesus. He had just been flogged. How could He bear to say no?
And yet He did. He would not refuse the least bit of the suffering He bore to redeem us all. “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given Me?” (John 18:11b)
It wasn’t just the physical pain. Jesus would keep a clear, unclouded mind to the end—enduring the horrific pain of being forsaken by the Father as Jesus became sin for us (Psalm 22:1; Mark 15:34). Paul describes why He did it: “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
This is how much Jesus loves us. What can we do but love Him back?
THE PRAYER: Help us when we face pain, Lord. You know what it is like—have mercy on us. Amen.
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About These Devos
SILENT WITNESSES Lenten Devotions 2018
For Christians, the season of Lent is marked by deep reflection on the appearance of the Savior and, naturally, what His life, suffering, death, and resurrection mean for our lives now. God’s human involvement in our world is a perfect example of His intimate love for us. He spared nothing to make Himself known to us—a fact that proclaims in no uncertain terms how “God so loved the world.” In Silent Witnesses, readers will note both the majestic—and mundane—aspects of the Gospel accounts: stories telling how God in His infinite power came down and “has spoken to us by His Son.”
Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church.