Read Matthew 27
Pilate's question — What will you do with Jesus (Matt. 27:22)? The horrifying crucifixion of our Lord, His death (27:32-65), and His resurrection (28:1-15). Go . . . teach . . . them to observe all things (28:18-20).
There beneath the shadow of the cross, with the blood flowing down from the side, arms, and feet of the crucified Savior, the Roman soldiers gambled for the garment of the One who was dying to save them: They crucified Him, and parted His garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted My garments among them, and upon My vesture did they cast lots (Matt. 27:35). These soldiers gazed at him for hours and saw nothing but a dying Jew: And sitting down they watched Him there (27: 36). In the presence of the most awesome event in the world's history, they were all unmoved. How can people possibly read of Christ's suffering, yet feel nothing and do nothing!
Bearing His cross did not begin when a wooden cross was laid upon Jesus' shoulders. He carried the real cross of mankind's redemption all through His life; what became visible on Golgotha was a manifestation of His true cross which motivated His life. From the temptations of Satan to the agony in Gethsemane and the offering of Himself on the cross, Jesus chose to live daily against self-will and the temptations of the flesh, especially that of gaining His kingdom by worldly means. Every day He chose to take up His cross; that is, He chose to lose His own life and will by doing only what He had seen or heard from the Father (John 5:19). We too should choose to take up our cross daily.
The Christian's "cross" is not some burden we cannot avoid, some handicap we must overcome, or some sorrow we must face. It is a daily rejecting of the self-life for Christ's life — not our will but His will of victory over the power of sin (Matt. 26:39). Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (Rom. 6:6).
In our conformity to Christ's death there is an end of self; we give up ourselves to live and die for others. Out of this death to self we rise with the power to love and to bless. He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).
Paul said: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2:20).
Thought for Today:
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (I John 3:16).
For Matt. 27:5-10: See Zech. 11:12-13. Matt. 27:34: See Ps. 69:21. Matt. 27:35: See Ps. 22:18. Matt. 27:39: See Job 16:4; Ps. 109:25; Lam. 2:15. Matt. 27:43: See Ps. 22:8. Matt. 27:46: See Ps. 22:1.
27:15 wont accustomed; 27:16 notable notorious; 27:24 tumult uproar, riot; 27:48 straightway immediately, without delay.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Assistant to the Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Terry Hall • Government Officials: Rep. Steve Austria (OH) and Rep. Edward Royce (CA) • Country: Bosnia and Hercegovina (4 million) on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe • Major language: Serbo-Croatian • Little evangelism being done • 40% Muslim; 28% Serbian Orthodox; 14% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Know that God answers prayer (Ps. 118:5).
Memory Verse for the Week: