Lutheran Hour Ministries

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Not a Chance"

March 21, 2018

"They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots."... (John 19:24b)
Read John 19:23-24

When a man was crucified, his clothes normally went to the executioners. That's how Jesus' execution squad wound up gambling at the foot of His cross. There was a single valuable piece of clothing left over -- a seamless tunic -- and they didn't want to ruin it. So they played for it.

The contrast is shocking to us -- men gambling and chatting below, the Son of God suffering and dying above. They should have known, shouldn't they? Some sort of spiritual insight should have whispered to them -- should have said, "Pay attention! Show some respect! This isn't an ordinary criminal, and this isn't an ordinary death."

But of course, nothing like that happened. The men went on with their day, like any other day, blaming chance and fortune for everything. And over their heads, Christ Himself knew that there was nothing of chance in this -- everything had been ordained by God for our salvation, even from the beginning of the world.

God left nothing to chance when it came to saving us. The details are all there in the Old Testament -- Jesus' birth, His healing and preaching and teaching, His suffering, death, and resurrection. The gambling soldiers are there. The nails and the cross are there. The empty tomb is there.

But best of all, God Himself is there -- there as Jesus, Immanuel, God-with-us. No one else would be our Savior -- no angel, no super-man or other great power. God Himself became our Savior, and laid down His life for us on the cross. God Himself rose from the dead that first Easter day, to give us life everlasting.

He trusted our fate to nobody and nothing but Himself.

THE PRAYER: Father, I know my life is in Your hands. Help me to trust in You even when times are dark, knowing that You love me and intend ultimate good for me. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
Do you use phrases like "lucky," "good luck," and "what a coincidence"? Why or why not?

Did you ever completely miss the significance of an important moment-a meeting with a stranger, a decision that changed your life? Tell the story.

God is in control of your fate. How does this fact comfort you?