Matthew 27:29 - And kneeling before Him, they mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
It must have been terrifying. There were hundreds of men in a Roman battalion, and they gathered in the governor's headquarters for a sadistic game of "king" with Jesus. They stripped Him and put a reddish-purple robe on Him. They crowned Him with thorns and gave Him a reed to be His scepter.
And then they began to brutalize Him. They hit Him and spit on Him. They knelt before Him and cried, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They took the reed scepter away and beat Him on the head with it. They abused their prisoner gleefully, never suspecting for a minute that this bruised, bleeding man was God who had come to save them.
This was God in disguise—the true King mocked as a false king, the One who came to help us all treated as helpless and without power. They didn't recognize Him. But He recognized them. Nothing they did that day was unexpected. He knows what lives in human hearts. He was not surprised.
He knows what lives in our hearts, too. That is enough to make us hide our faces in shame, except that we know what those soldiers did not—that "God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
Our sin is not enough to make Jesus turn His face from us. He knows us through and through—and He loves us anyway. He died for us. He rose from the dead for us. And He continues to recognize us as God's own children and care for us today. As Paul says, "Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the One who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us" (Romans 8:34).
Jesus recognizes us as His own. Thanks be to God.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for seeking us out and calling us Your own. Amen.
When have you failed to recognize someone—and what happened next?
Do you think you would recognize Jesus if you met Him on the street? Why or why not?
When you finally meet Jesus face to face, visibly, what do you think He will say?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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