FOR WEDNESDAY *TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: Hebrews 12:1-3
“We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God’s throne!” (Hebrews 12:2; Contemporary English Version)
When I ponder what Jesus endured on the cross – the shame, the pain, the suffering – it is hard to image that he could ever “be glad” he did that. What in the world could ever bring joy to Jesus from this horrible experience? Here’s what would do this – Jesus seeing the redeemed, abundant life we can life as a result of what he did on that cross. When Jesus was on the cross, God was at work, already, in your life.
Eugene Peterson explains that when you do as the author of Hebrews says and keep your eyes on Jesus then “you’ll find that the place you though was death is the very place where the resurrection power of God is at work to bring you life, whether it’s your life on the cross or your livelihood, your relationship with a mate or your reputation with others” [Conversations, p. 1905].
This must be why the prophet said that the best thing to do when his work “seemed so useless” and he felt that he had spent his strength “for nothing and to no purpose”, even he would seek the Lord and “leave it all in the Lord’s hand” [Isaiah 49:4]. This verse must have inspired Charles A. Tindley, the great gospel hymn writer, to pen these words: “If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain, And your soul is almost sinking in despair, Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal; Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.”
PRAYER: Keep me focused on Your Beloved Son Jesus, Heavenly Father, that I might trust in You not matter what I’ll have to face these trying days. Amen.
*The Scripture Reading for each day is selected from the Revised Common Daily Lectionary used in A Disciple’s Journal – 2015 by Steven W. Manskar]