MARK 15:16-20 – And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
THEME OF THE DAY. STAY CLOSE TO THE SOURCE. It doesn’t take much to get a lukewarm heart. Actually, it doesn’t take anything. Just slack off a day of fighting against our flesh, warring against all temptations, and neglecting unhurried time with the Lord in Word and prayer, and it will happen. We will grow spiritually cold having a knowledge of the truth in our heads, but not truth enflaming our hearts and affections. But it need not be. We can successfully maintain a fervent love for the Lord Jesus. It is possible to daily abide in Christ’s love and though not loving Him perfectly, we may do so consistently and sincerely. And today, let’s consider one area that will always melt the icy heart; that will always re-kindle first love for the Lord Jesus. However, there is something we must be committed to if we really want this type of love and it isn’t easy in our fast-paced and busy lives. That something is a decision and discipline to meditate on the subject I am about to reveal that will ignite our hearts with love for Christ. This means we must turn off the gadgets – phone, television, computers – get in a quiet place with no distractions, and tell all the people in our lives, “no interruptions unless for emergencies”. If we don’t do this, welcome a cold heart. Now, where do we go to ensure that doesn’t happen? Go back and read today’s scripture. It isn’t hard to find. The whole text is about one thing. All five verses point to one thing either implied or explicitly stated. It is the sufferings of our Lord Jesus. A person cannot meditate on the pain Jesus Christ endured for them and not walk away with an overwhelming sense of being loved that produces the greatest motivator under the sun to love back the Son.
As we think on this, all I want to do is “list” what the Lord Jesus did and let the Spirit of God do what only He can do . . . humble us, put us in a state of awe, and set our hearts on fire with love for such incredible displays of love. And we will look at four acts of suffering by Jesus in what each was – an exercise of deepest humiliation.
First, Jesus was humiliated by spitting on Him – And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on Him.
Next, Jesus was humiliated by mocking Him – And when they had mocked Him.
Thirdly, Jesus was humiliated by stripping Him – And they stripped Him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on Him
Finally, Jesus was humiliated by crucifying Him – And they led him out to crucify Him.
Why? Why would God, the Holy Father, and God, the Holy Son, allow such humiliation? Love. Pure love. Pure undeserved love for sinners like you and me. Meditate long and often over the sufferings of Jesus. It is the way to keep a heart aglow with love to Him who first loved us.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I grow cold toward You, Your Son, and Your Spirit out of spiritual neglect.”
QUOTE: “To keep a heart aglow with holy love for God we must meditate often on the sufferings of Christ”