Daily Devotion for Lent | Monday, March 26, 2018 | Holy Week
Read Mark 15:21-25.
So they took Jesus, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. (John 19:16b-17)
After Jesus had been flogged, mocked, and condemned, they took Him out on the road to Golgotha, carrying His own cross. Now the cross was probably what we would call the crosspiece only—the patibulum. The upright vertical piece was probably already in place, fixed in the execution grounds.
The crosspiece alone would have weighed over a hundred pounds—a heavy load for a man in good health. Jesus was already near death—weak, dehydrated, probably in shock from the scourging and other abuse. He could not carry it. The walk was too far.
So the soldiers grabbed a bystander, Simon of Cyrene, to do the job. This was a humiliating task—to carry a cross in a public execution parade, as if he himself were the criminal condemned to die! But Simon did it—you don’t say “no” to Roman soldiers.
And then Jesus was nailed to it, and the crosspiece hoisted into place. The Son of God, hanging suspended between heaven and earth, on display for all the world to see.
In the ancient world, this was a scene of utter shame. Romans even used “cross” and “crucify” as swear words. Even today Muslims refuse to believe that Jesus died on a cross—that death is too shameful, they say; God would not have allowed it, not for a holy man.
But God did allow it. In fact, God ordained it. In the council of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—one God—chose this death, this shameful cross. God chose our cross for Himself, our death, so He could give us in return His own life, holiness, and glory.
THE PRAYER: How can we thank You, O Lord, dear Jesus? There is no way. We love You and trust in You. Dear Father, grant that Jesus may have the full fruits of His cross—that people everywhere may believe in Him and be saved. 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.