Luke 22:55 - And they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together...
When the guards got back to the high priest's house, they went into the courtyard and made a fire. It was cold, and they'd be waiting a long, long time. There was no prospect of bed any time soon! The priests and leaders would be meeting for hours, they knew that. So they gathered in a group around the charcoal fire, warming themselves and watching the flames. Waiting was their duty.
The servants of the household were on duty, too. The girl in charge of the door was checking people who arrived for the meeting to make sure that no one improper got in. Other servants passed through the courtyard, making sure that the men in the meeting had whatever they needed. That was their duty—to fetch and carry whatever was needed—chairs, refreshments, messages. They, too, would have a long night.
Though they could not have known it, there was one more person on duty that night—our Lord Jesus, on trial for His life in that council room. Of everyone there He had the hardest work, for He was in the process of rescuing the entire human race. By now He was well launched into His Passion—arrested, beaten, slapped, forced to listen while people lied about Him and His ministry. It would be a very long night for Jesus, with no rest and no sleep ever again—not until His body slept in death the next evening in a borrowed tomb.
But it was more than duty that motivated Jesus. He wasn't just doing it because He "had to"—He was doing it because He loved us. Looking ahead, He knew that everything He suffered would bring us out of spiritual death into eternal life and joy forever. As Isaiah put it, "He shall see His offspring... Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied" (Isaiah 53:11). Because of what Jesus did, we are God's children, and Jesus is satisfied—joyful!—because we belong to Him.
THE PRAYER: Lord, thank You so much that we are more than just another duty for You. Thank You for taking delight in us. Amen.
What duties do you have in your life?
What kinds of things do you do for love—not simply because you have to do them?
What does it mean to you, that Jesus delights in you?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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