Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
Mar. 17, 2018
Read John 19:1-5
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged Him.
~ John 19:1 (ESV)
"Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him." Such a short sentence for such a terrifying punishment. A Roman flogging was no joke. The victim was stripped and tied facing a pillar to prevent him running or collapsing to the ground. Two skilled men held whips resembling a cat-o'-nine-tails. The limit on the number of strokes? Among Romans, it was only "Don't kill the prisoner before he gets to the cross."
This is pain. This is the courage that would carry Jesus through such an experience when we can hardly bear to think of it. This is love -- that He does all of this to rescue us from the powers of darkness and to make us His own. How did He get through it?
The author of Hebrews gives us an idea. He urges us to run "with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:1b-2).
Jesus kept you in mind. You and all Christians were "the joy that was set before Him"-all the people who would come to faith in Him and be saved by His work. The night before His death He prayed to the Father, "I have manifested Your Name to the people whom You gave Me out of the world. Yours they were, and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your Word.... they are Yours. All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them" (John 17:6, 9b-10).
And Isaiah describes the result of Jesus' work: "Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied; by His knowledge shall the Righteous One, My Servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and He shall bear their iniquities" (Isaiah 53:11). You are why Jesus thinks it all worthwhile. He has no regrets.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are my joy. Keep me always with You, and bring many more to faith in You as well. Amen.
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What is a prize or award you received at some time during your life? It can be as small or big as you like.