But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
Our next door neighbors lived in a house full of rough-and-tumble little boys who often played in the rocky dirt outside our back door. During one Bible Club, I taught them about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Six-year-old Donovan responded, “That’s sad what they did to Jesus. It makes me want to cry.”
I stopped short. How many times had I told this story without thinking (much less feeling) about our Savior’s suffering for us? Yet this child, no stranger to tough times, felt pain for our Lord on his first hearing. The power of the Gospel surpassed my feeble telling.
Last year the movie “The Passion of the Christ” was released. The film, which opened on Ash Wednesday 2004, brought to the attention of the nation—even the world—the last week of Jesus’ life. While many debated showing the gruesome details of Christ’s suffering, I thought about Donovan and his tearful reaction to my flannelgraph presentation. He needed to know a Suffering Savior, who had stretched out His arms in love and died for us.
As adults we too need to know the cost of Christ’s obedience. The movie was a constant Lenten reminder of the darkness that fell on earth when God’s only Son suffered and died. This Holy Week we too can think on what we did to Jesus, and hope and pray that it makes us want to cry—with pain for His suffering for our sin and with joy for the redemption He won for us.
Prayer: Glory be to Jesus, who in bitter pains, poured for me the lifeblood from His sacred veins. Amen.
Respond: Meditate on Jesus’ suffering, His love.
(Devotions from "Cross of Ashes" by Christine Weerts, a Lenten devotional provided by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Copyright 2005, Int'l LLL. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend.)
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