Fifth Sunday in Lent – Tuesday
If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. – Luke 19:40.
Pilate wrote a title, a superscription briefly telling what Jesus was accused of, and placed it on the cross above His head. It read thus: “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS” (John 19:19). This title was read by many of the Jews, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near to the city, and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate: “Write not, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that He said, I am the King of the Jews” (vv. 20-21). Pilate answered: “What I have written, I have written” (v. 22). Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part, and also His coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves: “Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be” (vv. 23-24a), that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith: “They parted My raiment among them, and for My vesture they did cast lots” (v. 24b; see also Psalm 22:18 and Matthew 27:35). And sitting down, they watched Him there. These things the soldiers did, and the people stood beholding (Matthew 27:36; John 19:24; Luke 23:35).
Did not one among the people lift his voice to defend Jesus and testify to His innocence? None. Did not any of His disciples at this time confess their faith in Him as the Messiah? None; most of them had fled. Then the stones must cry out. Through the superscription of godless Pilate, it was proclaimed in three languages for all to read that Jesus was the Messiah-Redeemer foretold in the Old Testament. For “King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:18; Luke 23:3; John 19:3) was a familiar term applied to the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior. And the blind soldiers, who divided His garments and cast lots for His coat, visibly fulfilled a portion of the prophecy concerning the crucifixion of the Messiah found in Psalm 22.
Christian, continue to open your heart and your lips to confess Christ, the Crucified, as your one and only Savior!
PRAYER. – Savior, O Savior, help me lest I shun the shame of Thy cross! Help me loudly, freely, and publicly to confess Thee to be my dear Savior, and the only Savior for the world. Most certainly, Thou didst not let shame nor death stop Thee from saving me; Thou wilt confess me, a miserable sinner, to be Thine own in the presence of Thy Father and all the holy angels. Create, then, in me, O my Lord and Savior, that fruit of the lips, which more and more consists in giving thanks to Thy name. Amen.
Ashamed of Jesus, that dear Friend On whom my hopes of heaven depend?
No; when I blush, be this my shame, That I no more revere His name.
Ashamed of Jesus? Yes, I may When I’ve no guilt to wash away,
No tear to wipe, no good to crave, No fear to quell, no soul to save.
Till then – nor is my boasting vain – Till then I boast a Savior slain;
And oh, may this my glory be, That Christ is not ashamed of me!
Hymn 346, 4-6. [TLH]