Fourth Sunday in Lent – Thursday

Behold the Man! John 19:5.

When the people had cried – “Away with this Man, and release unto us Barabbas!” – Pilate, willing to release Jesus, asked them: “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” They cried out again: “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” And he said unto them the third time: “Why, what evil hath He done? I have found no cause of death in Him; I will therefore chastise Him, and let Him go.” But they cried out the more: “Crucify Him!” And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that He might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.

Then Pilate had Jesus scourged. And when Jesus was scourged, the soldiers of the governor took Him into the common hall and gathered unto Him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped Him, and put on Him a scarlet robe. And they plaited a crown of thorns and put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, and began to salute Him, saying: “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him in the face, and spit upon Him, and took the reed, and smote Him on the head, and, bowing their knees, worshiped Him. − And Pilate went out again, and said to the Jews: “Behold, I bring Him forth unto you that ye may know that I find no fault in Him.” Then Jesus came forth wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them: “Behold the Man!”

Do you, too, behold Jesus in His misery and in His shame! Do not, however, merely behold Him with feelings of human sympathy in your heart, but let deep and serious thoughts occupy your mind.

Consider that your Savior, the eternal Son of God, had to suffer these things (and more) to redeem you.

Consider, furthermore, how holy, severe, firm, and unchanging is the righteousness of God, His wrath against the sins of the world, which could not be satisfied in any other way.

Consider what would be done to you, a sinner, if you would not have Jesus. And when thus beholding Jesus, let also this saving truth take hold of your heart that you are redeemed, and that God will show you nothing but kindness and goodness in time and eternity, because Jesus has borne your punishment for you.

PRAYER. – O Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I thank Thee that Thou didst offer up Thyself in order to satisfy the righteous wrath of God in my place. In my stead Thou didst suffer what I had deserved to suffer on account of my sins. Thou hast fully satisfied the righteousness of God. Thou hast merited for me the good will of my heavenly Father. Grant me grace, dear Savior, to take refuge in Thy bloody merit, to be clothed in it, and never to be found without it. Ah, let me always look upon Thee in faith, that Thy salvation may be my own. Amen.

The blows and stripes that fell on Thee

Heal up the wounds of sin in me;

Thy crown of thorns, Thy foes’ mad spite

Let be my glory and delight!

Hymn 195, 5. [ELHB]

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