Luke 23:44-49

During the season of Lent our devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church.  Today’s writer is Pastor Kerry.

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.

When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. Luke 23:44-49

And now we come to the end. Jesus is alone on his cross, doing what he alone can do.

He commends his spirit to the Father and he breathes his last. He has finished his work.

As Isaiah wrote, he was “despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.”

He gave his best and he was rejected. This divine drama is not a play we watch from the wings. It isn’t a story from long ago and far away. It is instead a story that is played out day to day in our lives.

We are the ones who have rejected him and his ways. We are the ones who have turned our backs on God, but we are also the centurion. We are the most surprising of people to look upon the crucified Jesus and recognize there, as we hear his cry, the cry of a God who will love us to the very end.

As we look upon his innocence, we see our guilt, and we watch both die together.

Christian sanctuaries are full on Christmas Eve, but largely empty on Good Friday. Why is that? What does that reveal, not about God, but about us?

Let us pray:  Dear Lord, on the cross we see most starkly our own complicity in the sin that divides your world apart, and the depth of your suffering love. You accept us even in our rejection. For when we reject you, we reject the beauty in ourselves. Draw us into your cross, into your suffering, into your self, that we might more fully be drawn into the world where you have planted us. The world which you love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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One Response to “Luke 23:44-49”

  1. Becky Vance Says:

    Thank you. Wish we could be in Houston this weekend!

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