Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded"1 (Lyrics)
John 18:25-27 – Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, "You are not also one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not." One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?" Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed. (NRSV)
Winter hangs on wherever there are shady places with patches of snow. In spite of that, during Holy Week, I've been diligently tidying up the house by putting away winter decorations and pulling out spring ones in anticipation of Easter. As I place the crystal crucifix on the shelf, I'm reminded of Jesus' sacrifice. It's hard to get into a joyful frame of mind on Maundy Thursday with Good Friday looming.
Our Lord's agony in Gethsemane and His subsequent crucifixion cast a dark shadow on our hearts. Jesus' sacrifice of Himself to pay the price for my sinfulness strikes at my own selfish sensibilities, causing me to hang my head in shame, perhaps like Peter did when he denied Jesus, as his Lord was hauled away. However, when I look to the picture of Jesus that is hanging on my wall and see the love pouring from His eyes while His blood runs into them, I fall to my knees in repentance.
Despite my weak flesh, Jesus loves me so much that He forgives me. As the first childhood hymn that I learned declares, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
Little ones, and old ones like me, may go to Him whenever and however we are.
Jesus is calling us to come to Him, so let's go to Jesus now in prayer.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, how can we ever say thanks for the things that You have done for us — things so undeserved — yet You gave Your life to prove Your love for us. Forgive us yet again for our sinful choices, and enable us to forsake our fleshly desires to become living testimonies to Your mercy and grace. Amen.