Journey to Jerusalem Day 46
Holy Saturday, April 11 Matthew 27:32-54
32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
What always amazes me is the obedience and endurance of Jesus. I know I would never survive to the end. I would use my Godly authority and make it all go away. Then there would be no redemption on the cross.
So, aren’t you glad I am not Jesus?
Getting back to this whole obedience and endurance thing, this is definitely the thing I need most in my life. I usually feel shame because Jesus can make it to the cross, yet half of the time I do not make it to the end of my Lenten practice, or read every day of Journey to Jerusalem.
But here is the kicker, this story right here, it is more than obedience and endurance! It is grace as well. It is grace for our shortcomings as someone trying to pursue that image of the cross. It is grace for what we have not learned or disciplined ourselves for. It is grace for pride and shame that thinks we should already be there at this point.
Grace—it is a beautiful gift; we should never stop pursuing it.
Sanctification, the process of becoming like Christ, is a lifelong process. As you reflect at the end of Lent and are hard on yourself for all the goals you didn’t achieve, remember to give yourself grace like Christ. Growing, pursuing, and reflecting are not relegated only to Lent. Use Lent as a launch pad for your next season of spiritual growth.
Obedience is always on the top of my list. So, what is next for you?
And always remember Sanctification is a lifelong process.
God as we end the season of Lent, help us to reflect on what is next in our own spiritual growth. Guide our feet in our pursuit. Amen.