March 10, 2012
Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. Matthew 26:57
In the fall of 2011, Mr. Bruce Wurdeman, LHM's executive director, and I visited Israel and Palestine. Upon our return he asked me to write a series of Lenten devotions which center on the Savior and some of the places we saw. This week's devotions fulfill his request. It is my prayer that the Lord will use them to bless you as well as those who will be traveling with us to the Holy Land in the fall of 2012. In Him, Pastor Ken Klaus
There are places and things that have special meaning because they are connected with someone important. For example,
• The Sun Inn located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, boasts that George Washington slept there.
• On the southeast corner of the second floor of the White House, there is the Lincoln bed, which, although purchased by Mrs. Lincoln, may not have hosted the great president.
And in Jerusalem there are the stone steps.
The steps are worn, and they don't look like much, but they are still there. And when I go to that old city, and when I come to those steps, I kneel down and touch them.
I touch them because I am not worthy to stand on them. You see, my Savior walked up those steps.
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus had been saddled with my sins, your sins and the sins of every human who has ever lived. In the Garden of Gethsemane He had been deserted by His disciples and betrayed by another. Then, under arrest, He had been led from Gethsemane to the high priest's home.
In Jesus' day the steps were the only way to get from Gethsemane to the palace.
So I have stood where Jesus stood. But that, my friends, is a far cry from saying I've stood in Jesus' sandals. I could not do that, nor could you.
Can you imagine the weight of those sins? If I were to take all the guilt of all my transgressions upon myself at one time, my constitution would not stand it. My heart would burst at the pain and pressure of so many things done wrongly.
But Jesus carried those sins for us. Through the trials, through the beatings, past the insults, in spite of the unfairness, Jesus carried our sins. To the cross He carried those sins and there He willingly gave up His life to atone for them.
No, I could not stand where Jesus stood, nor could Isaiah. That's why he wrote,
"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows ... He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned -- every one -- to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. ... He was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of My people? And they made His grave with the wicked and with a rich man in His death, although He had done no violence, and there was no deceit in His mouth (see Isaiah 53).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, every step You took in this life led You to the cross. For walking that path which brings me salvation, I offer You my most heartfelt thanks. In Your Name, I give thanks. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries