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Lent 2021: Home Devotion 5

LENT 2021 “Little Do We Know What We Do Sometimes.” Week 5 “They Spit on Jesus” Took his Staff and repeatedly Hit him with it. (In mockery) Matthew 27:27-31 The Soldiers Mock Jesus Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him [Did they really lead HIM?!!!] away to crucify him. I begin with an interesting story about Brian "Young Gun" Krause who set the Guinness Book of Record for cherry-pit spitting. He won with the distance of 93 feet 6 ½ inches at the International Cherry-Pit Spitting Championship in in Eau Claire, Michigan in 2004. This of course would be one of those times when spitting would be acceptable. This example shows that the subject of spitting can be in a positive context. The saliva that comes with spitting can also be seen in a positive light as research indicates some medicinal value due to the presence of antibacterial components. SPITTING ON JESUS However, in the case of the soldiers spitting on Jesus, it was not done medicinally or done in fun like at the Cherry-pit Spitting contest in Eau Claire, Michigan. It was the ultimate demeaning and insulting act done by the soldiers. One description of spitting can be found recorded in Wikipedia and reads: “Spitting is the act of forcibly ejecting saliva or other substances from the mouth. The act is often done to get rid of unwanted or foul-tasting substances in the mouth or to get rid of a large buildup of saliva. It is currently considered rude and a social taboo in many parts of the world including the West, while in some other parts of the world it is considered more socially acceptable. Spitting upon another person, especially onto the face, is a global sign of anger, hatred disrespect or contempt. It can represent a ‘symbolical regurgitation’ or an act of intentional contamination.” These soldiers were ignorant and unaware of their actions. From an employment perspective, they were only following orders and doing their job, “Having a little extra fun on the side with a condemned prisoner”. They did not realize that they were fulfilling Old Testament prophecy. Jesus was paraphrasing Isaiah 53:3 when he said to Peter, James and John at the Transfiguration, “…the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected Isaiah 53:3 says this about Jesus; “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Luke 4:24 Jesus said; “…no prophet is accepted in his hometown.” But, “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble [is Offended] on account of me.” - Matthew 11:6 I wonder what things we might have done or said that (from a human perspective) might have made Jesus feel as we were spitting in his face. Take a moment to think about that. If you can think of something. Confess it. Know that God has already forgiven you. And, being aware of it, don’t do it again! TAKING JESUS’ STAFF AWAY The soldiers previously gave Jesus a fake, kingly staff in mockery. At this point in their taunting, they take it away from him and use it against him. Where might we taken his kingly staff away from him and used it to rule ourselves? I wonder what things we might have done or said that from a human perspective, might have made Jesus feel as we were taking away his leadership promises and were determined to do things our own way? Take a moment to think about that. If you can think of an area in your life, confess it. Know that God has already forgiven you. And, being aware of it, make the necessary changes! STRIKING JESUS ON THE HEAD OVER AND OVER AGAIN Keep in mind that Jesus is wearing the crown of thorns when this happens. Thorns are already piercing his head when these soldiers pound it in deeper. They force it the spikes deeper and deeper with every strike of the staff. Think about that visual. Think about the last time that you were stabbed or poked by something. Now, picture that pain over and over with the sharp item stabbing you and embedding deeper and deeper. Do we hit Jesus with His own staff? Whenever we say to God (or think it in our mind); “I thought you were supposed to love me and take care of me.” “So why did you let this happen?” “Why do you allow me to keep taking hits over and over again?” Do we continually hit Jesus with this kind of accusation over and over? Do we question what God is doing? Job, in the Bible became aware that he was accusing God and acknowledged; “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. -Job 42:3 Take a moment to think about areas where you have committed sin over and over again. These are “Habits” at the very least and “Addictions” at the worst. What kind of physical, mental, emotional, relational or financial pain is it that you may be inflicting on yourself or others? Confess these areas of your life. Know that God has already forgiven you. And, being aware of it, ask God to help you make the necessary changes. Thank God for his promise in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Prayer: Lord, help me to be more aware of all that you may be doing in and through my life. And help me to be who you have called me to be. I want to be a good representative of you, the King of Kings. Thank you for all that you do for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen! Pastor Dave Word of Life Church 17525 W. Bell Rd. Surprise, AZ 85374

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