Lenten Prayer Devotional #5

Matthew 27:32-56 – The Crucifixion

Look at what Jesus does throughout the Crucifixion. He stands calmly before Pilate as Pilate is deciding his fate (John 18:28-38). He speaks words of wisdom to the ladies following Him to His crucifixion (Luke 23:28-31). He tells John to look after his mother (John 19:25-27). He speaks of heaven to the criminals hanging next to him (Luke 23:43). All of these interactions happen after enduring a near death flogging from Roman soldiers.

Is this how calm you would be? I don’t know about you but when I stub my little toe, I have trouble staying calm. After a flogging and during a crucifixion I would not have the presence of mind to speak with compassion to the people around me. But none of this physical pain seems to phase Jesus. During this painful time, He remains focused on the people around Him, not His own pain.

There is one time during the crucifixion that He does appear to lose his composure. It is when He cries out in a loud voice, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” This seems to be the moment in time where the sins of humanity are placed on Jesus and for the first time, He experiences a disconnection with the Father. (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:24) Did you hear that, the most painful time of the Crucifixion is not the flogging, being nailed to the cross, or suffocating as He hung there. The most painful moment of the Crucifixion is His separation from the Father due to our sins. This shows us His priorities, physical pain and mental anguish do not top his list, but separation from the Father due to our sins caused Him to scream in pain.  

Reflect: Shouldn’t this mindset be the same in His followers? Is the most painful moment in your life when you experience separation from our Heavenly Father? Do the aches and pains of this world distract you from the real problem of sin in our lives? Are you connected to the Father today, or have you let sin creep in and break your connection to your Creator? What sins do you need to take to the cross and seek forgiveness for?

Pray: As we think about the Crucifixion, ask God to help you keep your connection to Him as your top priority, far above all the others. Seek His help in rooting out the sin in your live that leads to disconnection from Him. 

Commit: This week, every time you feel your emotions start to flare up, check your priorities with His. Use the example Jesus set as a guide for what should truly upset you. If you find that you are getting upset over things He wouldn’t, then turn your focus to maintaining your connection to the Father.