Mark 15:15 “And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.”
Devotions, Bible reading, or daily walk with God. These are but a few phrases known in Christian circles for a time spent in our Bible. Whether a duty or a chore, we feel somehow pressed to perform this activity because it is expected of us. It is what good Christians do.
We all must come to the place where this activity, duty, or chore becomes a personal meeting to receive wisdom, gain strength, acquire knowledge, or feel a closeness with the One who saved our soul.
I have found myself completing my scheduled reading unaffected. I may have just read of the Jews being delivered from captivity by the mighty hand of God. I may learn of such wisdom contained in Proverbs that would aid in my relationships at home, work, and in my church. Yet, my heart remains cold, untouched by emotion or the Spirit of God.
As I read today of the crucifixion, my heart began to stir, thinking about what it must have been like to witness these events. To hear the crowds crying, “Crucify Him!” Seeing the hatred on the faces of the Pharisees. To know the cruelty meted out by the Roman soldiers. To gaze upon the bloody beaten body and look into the face of my Savior, which scripture says his face, beaten beyond recognition.
Isaiah 52:14-15 “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.”
Could it be that we are fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah?
Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
Knowing all that we do in this day and age, are we still unaffected, unmoved by the actual events over two centuries ago?
Can we, the saved children of God, be so complacent, so apathetic toward the One given to redeem our soul?
I think of the two on the road to Emmaus, who met the resurrected Christ. They did not recognize Him as they walked and talked. Something happened. So that when Jesus disappeared from their presence, their eyes were opened and realize with whom they were speaking.
Luke 24:32 “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
Do we have hearts that burn when reading the scriptures?
Do we read till there is a stirring within us?
Do we read to check the box that our duty complete or the chore completed?
Are we too busy to allow God’s Word to reach deep into our lives and touch our hearts?
When that happens to me, I have to stop, confess, and repent of my heart’s coldness and reread the words that I so callously read previously. But, not without praying for God and His Word to profoundly affect me.
This morning, take the time needed to have God move you, touch you, and reach within to meet your needs. I envision my time in the morning as an appointment of the utmost importance.
Jesus awaits every day to impart wisdom, give instruction, heal, comfort, and love on me. It is a conversation I cannot do without, nor should ever neglect or take for granted. We can say we know what is right, but it is in the doing of that which is right that God begins to work.
Wherever you are today, cold, hot, or lukewarm, may today be the day we allow God and His Word to affect us profoundly.