Loving God, bring your Word to life for me today. Plant it deep in my heart. Give me ears to hear your tender voice.next >
The soldiers took Jesus prisoner. Carrying his cross by himself, he went out to a place called Skull Place (in Aramaic, Golgotha). That’s where they crucified him—and two others with him, one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a public notice written and posted on the cross. It read “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews.”
Jesus’ mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood near the cross. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
After this, knowing that everything was already completed, in order to fulfill the scripture, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was nearby, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, placed it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed.” Bowing his head, he gave up his life.
John 19:16b-19, 25-30next >
Scholars tell us that the Romans reserved crucifixion for enemies of the emperor, which is to say, those charged with treason or sedition — those who tried to overthrow the government. In fact, crucifixions were done beside major roads so that travelers would have to see the horrific sight and thereby be warned of what happens to revolutionaries.
How strange that the greatest revolution ever to take place on earth would begin on a cross, a tool for preventing revolution.
The power of God’s redeeming love is such that even evil cannot prevent God from bringing good out of it. God’s love is so triumphant that it can turn evil against itself, like a snake eating it’s own tail.
Know today that sin and evil never have the final word. Even when we fail, our sovereign God can take our sin and redeem it. God took the evil done to Jesus and used it to save the world. Similarly, the evil in your life is not beyond the redeeming power of God’s love.
Wade Griffithnext >
Dear God, help me to see how you are redeeming the evil in our world and the evil that is in me. Give me the confidence that comes with knowing you have already triumphed over human darkness and that your victory is sure. Amen.next >
To believe in Jesus is to receive his costly love. To follow him is to share that love with others.
How will you share the love of Jesus today?
Wade Griffith is the pastor of Liberty Crossings United Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL. He is married to Julia and they have two boys, Wade (5) and Haines (3). In his meager spare time, Wade likes to backpack, hunt, read, exercise, and garden.
Wondrous Love: What Wondrous Love Is This?
Mark Hayes - markhayes.com