Lent Devotion for April 5
"He Trusted in God."
Reader: "This is God’s inspired, infallible word."
Response: "Thanks be to God.”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 22:7-8
7 Everyone who sees me mocks me.
They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
8 “Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
let the Lord rescue him!”
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 27:41-44
41 The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. 42 “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! 43 He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.
Reader: “The word of the Lord."
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
During Jesus’ ministry undoubtedly many people came to see and hear Him, at least initially, to see Him perform some miracle; do something supernatural. During Jesus’ interrogation by Herod Antipas, he hoped to see Jesus do something supernatural (Lk.23:8). My guess is that we’d be somewhat in the same boat. There is something curious about things that happen out of the ordinary. The taunt from the psalm passage is eerily similar to the devil’s challenge to Jesus to throw himself from the top of the Temple and trust the angels to catch Him. Jesus’ response was clear; we are not to test God. The Son of God always did His Father’s will. It certainly wasn’t going to change now. There was such meanness in the mockery. There was the ridicule of the healing that He had done for others. There was the total rejection of him as King. The truth is, had He come down from the cross they still would not have believed in Him. They were blind guides. Recall Jesus’ telling the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom. The rich man, who was in torment in hell, told Abraham to go back and tell the rich man’s family so they would believe. The response was if they don’t believe Moses and the prophets, even if a person comes back from the dead, they won’t believe. Seeing is not necessarily believing. Clearly, Jesus would not come down from the cross and truncate His divine mission of redemption. Once again the devil came back with another temptation and our Lord remained steadfast to His mission. The devil lost at every point: 1) he attempted to kill Jesus at His birth via Herod, 2) he used Peter in suggesting that Jesus not fulfill His mission, 3) Judas’ betrayal, 4) the struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane –“not my will but thine be done, 5) doubt God’s love –“if God loves him so much, let him rescue him, 6) come down from the cross if you are the Son of God. Then there were at times various mobs who tried to kill Him during His ministry. He trusted His Father without wavering beginning, middle, and end. Christus Victor!
MUSIC: “He Trusted in God” from Handel's Messiah by Royal Choral Society, London
O Lord, I have heard a good word inviting me to look away to Thee and be satisfied. My heart longs to respond but sin has clouded my vision till I see Thee but dimly. Be pleased to cleanse me in Thine own precious blood, and make me inwardly pure, so that I may with unveiled eyes gaze upon Thee all the days of my earthly pilgrimage. Then shall I be prepared to behold Thee in full splendor in the day when Thou shalt appear to be glorified in Thy saints and admired in all them that believe? Amen.