Friday, September 2, 2011

Undeserving . . .


Mark 15:29-30
Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shading their heads and saying, "So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!"

The verses from Mark's scripture today are horrendously heart-rending. As Jesus hangs on the cross, enduring unimaginable suffering, those gathered at the morbid scene offer no utterance of sympathy or sorrow. Instead, they mock Him, taunt Him, and seem to derive sadistic satisfaction from kicking at one already down. I find it unbearably sorrowful knowing that the last words our Lord heard from those on earth He unresistingly died to save were replete with hate, scornful and malicious. I wonder if, for one fleeting moment, Jesus regretted in His agony His obedience to the Father's will; who, after all, were these wretched, ungrateful creatures and why would God demand His Son's sacrifice to return them into right relationship with Him?

The jeering, malevolent crowd was undeserving; the Pharisees and Saducees, demanding a sign even at this late juncture, were undeserving; the criminals hanging on either side of the Lord were undeserving, and we, too, are undeserving. Yet, as Paul tells us, "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) We could never raise ourselves from the quagmire of sin and death on our own; God had to do it for us. As hard and overwhelming as it is for us to believe, He loves us that much.

Take some time today to reflect upon the greatest story ever told and the greatest gift freely given for our salvation in the selfless sacrifice of Christ Jesus. With a humble and contrite spirit, thank Him for this wondrous gift, knowing that neither you nor I , nor any in this world, deserve it.

Readings
Psalms 31 or 35
1 Kings 11:26-43
James 4:13-5:6
Mark 15:22-32

5 comments:

  1. Perhaps the question is rhetorical, but no, I do not believe Jesus ever regretting fulfilling the Father's will, even for a fleeting moment. I expect that for any of us to regret obedience to God, that would constitute a sin, just as if we had not obeyed. It would indicate that given the chance over, we would not follow God's will. Jesus was not sinful to pray for another outcome, as he did. But in the end, he obeyed and left no indication of regret. Quite the contrary, he prayed that God forgive all those who scorned and ridiculed him, all the more reason that we should thank him and bow at his feet. We are the ones who put him there in the first place. Jesus' prayer for forgiveness for those who scorned him was a prayer for you and me.

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  2. wow -- what an amazing role model Jesus was and continues to be ...

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  3. Great comment, Hank. Yes, I know that statement sounded a bit odd because we understand His obedience to the end. It was more to underscore the sinful nature in us all, to make us deeply aware of how much we needed Him to do what He did for us. Writing this post and then typing it onto the blog made me cry both times . . .

    Hi, Linda! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I pray that I can be more like Jesus in all I think say and do.

    God bless you both!

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  4. Hey Martha!!

    Greetings and blessings to you this wonderful day! I pray you have a great weekend! I don't think I am a part of of your Blogplicity anymore. I could not find it this morning and all mention is unavailable to me.

    Not a problem. I hope we're still friends and I will drop by your devotions here regularly! Thank you and God bless you!
    ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND, ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND.....................

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  5. Hi, Bernie!

    Yes, I don't understand what happened on Blogplicity; didn't Jessica invite you? Anyway, yes, we are very much still friends and together on Facebook, so we can continue to encourage each other in our walk of faith with the Lord.

    I do so appreciate your support for my devotions and your kind, insightful comments. Please keep them coming as I will for you. I will have to do so on FB as somehow I can't comment on your blog itself. And, yes, anything grounded outside of our precious Lord is a house built on the sand!

    A blessed Sunday to you, my friend!

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