They crown Thy head with thorns, they smite, they scourge Thee;
With cruel mockings to the cross they urge Thee;
They give Thee gall to drink, they still decry Thee;
They crucify Thee.
LSB 439 st. 2
“[Jesus said] ‘And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.’”
If you knew it was coming, wouldn’t you stop it? Three times, Jesus told His disciples exactly what was going to happen. Three times.
What indignity and shame He knew He would face! How did He endure it? With just the smallest word from His mouth, He could have stopped it. He could have made Himself not feel the sting of the whip. He could have ended the torture and torment. He could have made the spit miss. He could have refuted their mocking. He could have come down from the cross.
But no, Jesus not only allowed the pain and the shame to go on, He knew it was coming. The Living One knew He would taste death. He knew He would drink the cup of wrath that our sins deserved. He knew how ugly it was. And still, He accepted it.
That, brothers and sisters in Christ, is true love. Our best attempts at loving each other are pale and self-serving compared to the passion of Christ. Thank God it is. Because death could not keep him. And now it cannot keep you.
Let us pray: Lord God, heavenly Father, You willingly sent Your Son to suffer and die for our sake; grant that we would look to His cross and passion this Lenten season and take comfort in the knowledge that because of His death we will have eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Jerry Smith, Sem IV)