Journey to the Cross–March 30

They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. (Mk. 15:17, NIV)

Jesus suffered intensely for us. In every way thinkable, and even in some unthinkable ways. Many of us prefer to look at the empty cross. We don’t want to think about the suffering much. But it is good for us to go there once in a while, so we can recognize afresh how much He loved us, how much we are worth to Him.

Find a thorn of some kind. A branch from a rose bush or other prickly plant will do. A pine needle could do the trick. Or, lacking that, a needle, pin, or thumbtack can fill in. Gently jab your finger or thumb with the thorn or thorn substitute. Don’t try to draw blood, don’t attempt to bring serious pain or damage. But do prick yourself enough to get the idea of what a crown made entirely of thorns and pressed into Jesus’ head might have felt like for Him.

Sit there with the pain for a few minutes. Imagine the blood dripping down His forehead and into His eyes. Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of other details of Jesus’ suffering. He may bring to mind emotional, relational, psychological, spiritual, or physical pain Jesus experienced, for His suffering included all of these, to the extreme. This meditation is difficult, but do not rush it. Allow yourself time to take in some of what it felt like for Jesus to suffer for you.

Now, staying with that picture, talk to Him. Ask: Jesus, what motivated You to endure all that pain?

Hear Jesus respond to you in love (if you need hints about what He might say, look at John 10:10, 15:13, and 1 John 3:16). Respond to what He says, then finish your time with worship and thanksgiving.

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