He Refused It
04 November 2019
He Refused It
Reading: Job 26-27; Mark 15-16
22 And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means Skull Hill). 23 They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it. 24 Then they nailed him to the cross. They gambled for his clothes, throwing dice to decide who would get them. (Mark 15:22-24 NLT)
Crucifixion was a cruel and brutal method of execution. Death normally took hours, sometimes more than a day. The crucified person was suspended by his outstretched arms from the cross-bar of a usually T-shaped cross. The arms were fastened by spikes driven through the wrists and sometimes additionally supported by ropes wrapped around the forearms and the bar of the cross. As the person sagged under his own weight, the chest was constricted and he had to lift himself up with his legs, usually forced to put his weight on a spike driven through his feet, in order to take a breath. It was an agonizing battle between the will to live and the relief that death would bring. Death, when it finally came, usually came by suffocation, when the body became too weak to take one more breath.
Before they nailed his hands and feet to the cross, the soldiers offered Jesus a drug that would dull the senses, ease the pain, and probably bring death sooner. He refused. Jesus didn’t take any shortcuts. Jesus paid the full price for all the sin of all humanity and he bore the weight and experienced the agony of sin to the fullest extent. Jesus refused to take a shortcut!
How many times I’m tempted to take a shortcut! To take the quicker easier route through a difficult situation. To make excuses. To seek preferential treatment. To pull rank. To manipulate. To scheme to my benefit. To blame someone else. To let someone else carry my part of the burden.
Friends, we don’t have to yield to the temptation to take a shortcut or to take the easy way out! By God’s grace, we can stand in faith, trust that God is in charge, and walk the path set before us! Jesus did it! By his grace we can do it, too!
Father, Please forgive me for the times I’ve taken shortcuts in the journey you planned for me. Forgive me for expecting or receiving preferential treatment because I think I deserve it. Please give me the courage to walk the path you have laid out for me. I’m not trying to be a hero or a martyr here, I just want my life to please you. Amen.