Wednesday, 1 March 2017

He Chose the Nails

“He Chose the Nails”

                Today is Ash Wednesday the day when traditionally
palm branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration are burned and made into a black dusty powder. This ash powder is then placed in a small bowl in preparation for a prayer service. Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are dust and to dust we shall return. The ashes are then imposed on the forehead in the form of a cross signifying our Lenten walk with Jesus through the wilderness and in preparation for Holy Week and Jesus’ passion. This prayer service begins Lent which is a time of learning, self-reflection and of hearing again the story of Jesus’ love and passion.
                In our Lenten reflections for 2017 we will focus on Jesus and the scene where He is being prepared to die on the cross.  Jesus has been handed off by Pilate to the soldiers to be whipped. The soldiers followed orders to beat Jesus and so he was whipped. Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s palace and they all gathered around hm. They took off his clothes, put a red robe on him mocking him as royalty- a king of this time. They then made a crown out of a thorny branch and stuck it on his head. They then put a stick in his hand mocking him as one who had power in this kingdom. They looked at him. And then the soldiers spat on Jesus. How humiliating. How humbling; how awful for Jesus! (Matthew 27:26-31) And why did Jesus go through this? He is there for you.
                The actions of the soldiers were to follow orders- whip and kill him by crucifixion. But they wanted to have fun first. They spat on him to make themselves feel big by making Christ look small. Jesus took this on him. This is the sin that is in our lives even at this moment. The sin that we try not to do but inevitably we do was put in His face.
                Someone could have wiped his face and taken the spit, sweat and blood away but no one did. Jesus is the One who chose the nails and the saliva and he took upon himself the sins of the world. So that we might reconcile with God and live.
                As we reflect on the solders actions by following orders and mocking Jesus for fun what are we thinking about? Are we wondering why Jesus would not ask someone even an angel to help? But he didn’t he received the humility and punishment together for he knew this was part of God’s plan so that we might learn of the depth of his love. But do we really understand- he chose this for us?

Loving God during this Lenten journey reveal yourself to us in Jesus so that might understand the depth of his love and why he died for us. Help us to realize the far reaching effects of sin and what it means to be forgiven by God. Hold us and comfort us as we learn more about Christ Jesus and his passion. We ask in His name. Amen.

Reflections based upon Max Lucado  “HE Chose the Nails” ch.1-2

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