Garments and Dice
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."
The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."
There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Humility and grace are the trademarks of Jesus, and they are so evident in this section of his story. If there was ever a time to return an insult, this was it. Totally unwarranted insults, thick as sludge, were poured on him.
What Jesus did was priceless. But the guards, rebels, those passing by and the leaders of Israel failed to appreciate the greatness right in front of them.
The one who had the most serious message for the world was treated as a triviality, as a toy. He was stripped and ridiculed as the people he was dying for heaped abuse on him.
Roll the dice. Think about areas in your own life where you may not react with the same grace that Jesus reacted. Think about how you take for granted the priceless gift Christ has given you.
Jesus, the message and hope that you bring is for my entire life. But often I treat what you have done as somewhat of a triviality, I don’t take you serious enough. I am like the soldiers sometimes. Jesus, help me take you seriously in my whole life.
Jesus, when you were abused, you did not return insult for insult. That’s not easy for me to do. Help me to react with the same grace that you do. Plant your grace in me, and may it grow out in how I react to the people you have put around me.