Stations of the Cross: 2

STATION 2: JESUS ACCEPTED HIS CROSS

MATTHEW 27:27-31 & JOHN 19:17 (ESV)

Jesus Is Mocked

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion

17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.

I have several rose bushes in my yard beginning their journey back to bloom this Spring. Every pruning season, and despite my layers of gloves, I walk away with pricks and scrapes from their thorns. To think of Jesus, a crown of thorns on His head, I cringe at the pain. I cringe at the wounds.

But I am wounded far more deeply at the humiliation and degradation you suffered.

You came as a King that shepherds, one who takes responsibility for the care of your sheep. Your principles are faithfulness, justice, and righteousness (Isa. 11:3-4). that the very thing you came to offer us as a gift becomes a source of ridicule.  The crowds thought of a King in terms of military and earthly power.  But you came as a King who shepherds his people, who heals and teaches and loves through service, whose principles are faithfulness, justice, and righteousness (Isa 11:3-4). And yet, the people were not ready for that kind of King.

How did they miss who You are? I would like to think that I would not have missed seeing You are the King of King and Lord of Lords, one who has come to bring salvation, not military conquest. I would like to think I would not have missed following your call to live in a Kingdom of peace and love for one another.

But would I? Would I have been willing to yield my ideas of what the Kingdom should look like for the role of a servant? Would I so willingly have given up my human preoccupation with power and control?

Would I have accepted a different kind of crown than I was expecting?

You accepted the Cross in the midst of such mockery. You could have refused. What more could they have done to you? Yet you began this journey knowing full well where it will lead. I hear no words of complaint, no protestations of innocence, no cursing the injustice. And yet I am so prone to complain and whine about the most trivial things. Sometimes the things I face are more than trivial. Sometimes the troubles of life bear down on me. But I so easily fall into self-pity. I too often assume that I am the only one who bears a cross, or that my cross is larger and heavier than any others.

People all around me bear far more than I must bear. You accepted your cross without self-pity.

Will I follow your example?

Prayer: O Lord, forgive me for forgetting that in my weakness I am driven to trust in you and that in such trust my weakness becomes your strength. Forgive my attitudes of self-pity that make me more repulsive than loving. I do not ask for crosses to bear. But when they come, give me the strength to bear them as one who follows your example. You are my priceless treasure.

Song of Worship: Jesus, Priceless Treasure

 

Jesus, priceless Treasure,
Source of purest pleasure,
Truest friend to me.
Long my heart hath panted,
Till it almost fainted,
Thirsting after Thee.
Thine I am, O spotless Lamb,
I will suffer naught to hide Thee,
Ask for naught beside Thee.

Satan, I defy thee;
Death, I now decry thee;
Fear, I bid thee cease.
World, thou shalt not harm me
Nor thy threats alarm me
While I sing of peace.
God’s great pow’r guards every hour;
Earth and all its depths adore Him,
Silent bow before Him.

Hence, all earthly treasure!
Jesus is my pleasure;
Jesus is my choice.
Hence, all empty glory!
What to me thy story
Told with tempting voice?
Pain or loss or shame or cross
Sinful life, thy bonds I sever,
Leave thee now forever.

Hence, all thought of sadness!
For the Lord of gladness,
Jesus, enters in.
Those who love the Father,
Though the storms may gather,
Still have peace within;
Yea, whate’er we here must bear,
Still in Thee lies purest pleasure,
Jesus, priceless Treasure!

 

*Portions of the text have been adapted from public domain guides from across multiple denominations.

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