The death of Jesus at the hands of the Romans was no ordinary execution.
Crucifixion in this region during Jesus’s time was a public act—one designed to humiliate convicts through such actions as stripping their clothes. The torture was agonizingly painful and lasted hours on end. Those suffering were offered only vinegar to quench their thirst.
Jesus allowed Himself to be placed in those circumstances so that our shame, our public places of humiliation, and the most intense pain imaginable, would be experienced by Him. And even in the midst of His humiliation, He forgave the very people who participated in His suffering. He forgave those who schemed and those who carried it out. God embodied terrific love, and unending grace and character.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16-17, NIV).
Reflect + Pray
1. Ask God to make evident how you are still holding onto shame. Accept His grace to cover those sensitive strongholds to move toward greater freedom.
2. With open palms, read John 3:16-17. With the awe of a new believer and a childlike innocence, consider the goodness of a God who loves us in this way.
3. Make a list of those who have hurt you. Then, pray for them.
4. Pray for all who will come into Foursquare churches this week for Easter services, that their hearts would be touched, and they would be drawn in by the love of Christ and His community.
Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.