In The Shadow Of The Cross
Daily Devotion for Lent | Thursday, April 11
They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.John 19:24
It’s a grim picture—Jesus hanging on the cross, while beneath Him, several Roman soldiers gamble for His clothing. It’s tempting to condemn the soldiers for what they were doing. It’s offensive. They shouldn’t be doing that!
But from their point of view, they were only doing their jobs. They had taken three condemned men to Calvary, offered them a basic painkiller (wine mixed with myrrh), nailed them up, and now there was nothing to do but watch them. The soldiers couldn’t leave till the men were dead, and that would take hours, if not days.
So they decided to divvy up Jesus’ clothes, which were their traditional right as His executioners. And when one piece was too nice to be divided by tearing, they decided to gamble for it. Hey, there was nothing else to do. Dice or cards have helped pass the time for many soldiers down through history. And there was nothing more interesting going on!
But that’s just where they were wrong. The central event of human history was taking place, right over their heads. Jesus Christ was dying for the whole human race. God was being executed—paying the price for all sin and wickedness. If the soldiers had only known!
If we had only known, we might say. Not about Jesus’ death—most of us have known that story since childhood. But God continues to do things right in front of our eyes—things in which we ought to be involved. We have neighbors in need—live near children in danger— have family who are hurting or lonely or struggling. If only we had known! we say, when some hidden disaster comes to light, too late for us to help.
But we can know—if we are willing to know. We can lift up our eyes and look around us for the signs of need. We can pray and ask God to direct us to the people He loves who need help. The main thing we need is a willing heart. God will provide the rest. Do you want to know?
Dear Father, show me what You want me to know so I can serve the people You love. Amen.
- What do you do when you are bored?
- When was there something happening “right under your eyes” that you didn’t notice or recognize?
- Tell the story of a time when God opened your eyes to a need and you were able to help.
Brought to you in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministries – lhm.org/lent
- Who Is Jesus?
- About Immanuel Lutheran Church
- Worship With Us on Sunday
- Holy Week Services
- Easter at Immanuel
About These Devos
PEOPLE OF THE PASSION Lenten Devotions 2019
Centuries before Christ, God was preparing the way for His Son’s arrival. From mankind’s original sin through the children of Israel’s on-again, off-again obedience, God was faithful, honoring His promise to Eve (Genesis 3:15), which first pointed to Jesus. In People of the Passion, we see God working through the lives of ordinary people to achieve His ultimate aim: our salvation. There are prophets, priests, and kings, servants, soldiers, and civilians—each with a role in the high drama of Christ’s passion. Readers may see themselves in some of these people—ordinary individuals who, like us, need a Savior.
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.