Stations of the Cross: 5

Station 5: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

John 19: 23-24

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things.

Jesus, I want to follow you on this journey. But I cannot bear to watch this in my mind. I want to turn away as I think about You being humiliated.

You came into this world amid celebration and anticipation.

Angels sang in the heavens to celebrate Your birth. As a child, Magi from the East paid homage to You as to a king. The people followed You by the thousands as You taught on the hillsides of Galilee. They wanted to make You king! Just a few days before this event, the crowds followed You in the streets of Jerusalem singing praises to God: “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Yet in this moment in Scripture, You were forced to suffer the worst of human indignity. You stood alone as the soldiers stripped from You the last thing that You possessed, and played games to see who would claim it.

Just the day before, You removed Your cloak and laid it aside to wash Your disciples’ feet. You called them to follow Your example as a symbol of humility and service to others.  And then there You were, allowing others to strip You of Your clothes. You allowed them to publically disgrace and ridicule You.

You were left with nothing, not even human decency.

You were still trying to teach us something about what it means to serve others. Your surrender to such degradation a model for how we are to live in the world as Your followers. I don’t like such an idea. I would rather have walked with You into Jerusalem with the praise of the people ringing in my ears than to risk such humiliation. But this is really what it means to be a follower.

I must lay aside everything and risk this kind of degradation.

That is exactly what you did.

Prayer: O Lord, forgive me for wanting to take the path of glory and reward. Forgive me for my selfishness that wants to serve you in easy ways and seeks the reward of others’ praise.  Lord, teach me the humility of spirit that replaces self-centeredness with a sacrificial spirit. Make me vulnerable so that I may follow your example. Help me see those around me who are in need. Give me the courage to lay aside the things that I use to hide from their need, and find ways to minister to others as you have shown us.

Song of Worship: Glorious God / Good, Good Father

Today, I wanted to worship with a choir of voices. The following are clips from a PreTeen Camp this past summer at East Texas Baptist Encampment. Sing along with the children as you can. Their voices speak to the eternal nature of the gospel, raising up a new generation to sing to Him and sing about His glory. He is worthy to be praised forever.

 

You poured out the water

Raised up the mountains

Imagined the heavens

I can’t even fathom how good You are

How good You are

 

With one single motion

You wrote every birdsong

Composed my emotion

I can’t even fathom how good You are

How good You are

 

Glorious, Glorious God

Wonderful Maker

I’ll sing with the stars and praise

My Creator

O Glorious, Glorious God

O Glorious, Glorious God

 

And it was good

For God is good

And it was good

For You are good

 

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

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