I REALLY like Rick Renner's devotional for today!
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
— Hebrews 12:2
— Hebrews 12:2
When Jesus hung on the Cross, beaten almost beyond human recognition, He was subjected to intense, ugly verbal abuse. The soldiers at His feet scoffed, religious leaders laughed, and even a criminal being crucified nearby sneered at Him. In this eternally pivotal moment, all of creation should have rejoiced, for the Creator of the universe was paying the ultimate price for the redemption for mankind. It was the single greatest act of love the world had ever witnessed. But instead of comprehending the supreme price Jesus was paying that day, the crowd arrogantly jeered, mocked, and scorned.
Have you ever pondered how all of this ridicule affected Jesus’ emotions when He was dying on the Cross? Let me ask you — what if you were hanging on the Cross and people laughed and mocked you as you died for them? How would you be tempted to feel at that moment?
Jesus’ body had already been ripped to shreds by the vicious beating He received in the residence of Pontius Pilate. Roman soldiers in Pilate’s court laughed at Him, mocked Him, and played humiliating games with Him. One by one, a whole cohort of soldiers took turns spitting on Him, slapping Him, and striking His face with a reed they took from a nearby fountain in Pilate’s palace. It was extreme verbal, mental, and physical abuse.
Then the soldiers jammed a crown of thorns so firmly on Jesus’ head that the long, sharp spikes perforated His skin and scraped across His skull, causing blood to stream down from His brow like a river until His entire face was covered with it. The thick, sticky blood matted His eyebrows and eyelashes, making it difficult for Him to see. Huge, nine-inch iron nails were driven through His hands and feet, which pierced His nerves and sent signals of pain throughout His entire body. The weight of Jesus’ body hanging from those nails dislocated His shoulders, and His joints were pulled out of place. He struggled to breathe every breath as His lungs began to fill with fluids that would eventually suffocate Him.
Making this unimaginably horrific experience even worse was the fact that Jesus had been completely stripped naked and hung on that Cross humiliated before the hostile crowd. Putting one’s naked body on public display was a great indignity in Jewish culture, thus making the ordeal especially shameful for Him.
Yet Jesus endured all of this agony, pain, and embarrassment willingly. Why? Because His death was the price demanded to purchase forgiveness and redemption for the very people who had done all of this to Him. He was dying for the very people who sneered at Him, for the criminals who laughed at Him, for the soldiers who mocked Him, for the religious leaders who demanded His crucifixion — and for you and me. (In Sparkling Gems 1, April 21-24), I wrote vivid descriptions of the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus. If you have not already read it, I encourage you to do so. It will give you a greater understanding of what Jesus endured to purchase your salvation.)
AMEN! Here is Hillsong with "Man Of Sorrows":
Shalom in Him!