Daily Devotional for 04.04.2020

Daily Devotional for 04.04.2020 RESURGAM 2020 - Journeying through the 14 Stations of the Cross Station # 7 : Jesus Bears the Cross

When the chief priests and the guards saw [Jesus] they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him." ... They cried out, "Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your king?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So, they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. (John 19: 6, 15-17) Jesus, his body torn apart, barely able to stand, now crowned with thorns and a robe covering his body to mock His “majesty”, is paraded in front of the crowd. Stirred up by their corrupt and hateful leaders, they cry, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Has there ever been such a scene in all of human history when such venom has been spat at one so innocent and beautiful? Imagine the Father’s anguish as He looks upon His beloved Son, sent to His people, those who are the “apple of His eye”, Zech 2:8 His most beloved possession. John’s statement “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. John 1:8 hardly seems to describe this terrible scene. The spiteful hatred, the anger, the baying for blood seems like a response from hell itself. Nowhere is Paul’s statement in Romans 5:8 more relevant than here “But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The Father’s heart was broken, never before has the Throne of God been soaked with tears. Never has Heaven been in such distress as at this moment. Mighty Angels wondered, how could the Father restrain Himself from exercising judgment? Angels still wonder. 1 Per 1:12 To love costs everything. It is one thing to declare love, it is wholly another to demonstrate it. And here the Father demonstrates love in all its fullness. John in his first letter truthfully declares “God is Love” 1 John 4:16. Here is the proof. God, Father, Son, and Spirit united in dreadful agony, bending low to take the weight of man’s sin and rebellion. Do not be naïve in your understanding, our Salvation cost God everything!

Pilate, wishing to quell this riotous scene and eager to free of this man of “truth”, declares, “I find no fault in this man, he is not worthy of execution”. The crowd exploded, “crucify him, crucify him”. “You want me to crucify your King?” he replies. And here the Chief Priests deliver their final insult to Heaven, with shaking fists they scream, “We have no king but Caesar!” In that declaration the whole of Israel’s history with God is thrown to the ground and trampled underfoot in a moment of madness. "I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name forever and ever. Psalm 145:1 … wrote the Psalmist. Yet on this day, the guardians of Israel’s collective heart, commit the most obscene crime, not just dismissing God’s Kingship over the nation, but embracing the godless emperor of Rome. Now, mortgaged to Rome by the words of their mouth, Israel invites the destruction that will end their inhabitation of the Promised Land for centuries to come. Pilate waves his hand and Jesus is lead away to be crucified. A heavy beam of raw, unfinished wood is thrown beside Him and Jesus is forced to carry the means of His execution to a barren hill outside of the city walls. Hardly able to stand, the cross beam extracts the last of His physical strength and forces Him to the ground. Undying love forces Him to His feet … and He continues His tortured walk along the Via Dolorosa … Listen to "Via Dolorosa": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlKXH_G0-nE