By, Toni Smothers
Scripture Reading: Psalms 139:12-17
Scripture Quote: But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. (Isaiah 53:3,5 NIV)
Jesus was despised by many of the religious Jewish scribes who desperately feared His radical teachings - They felt threatened by Christ's profession of love for one’s enemies. They were angered when Jesus spoke boldly about repentance and forgiveness of sins, which were things only animal sacrifice and the involvement of the scribes could accomplish. Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry and performed miracles that proved His divinity, but the Jewish leaders were more interested in preserving their own status.
Jesus spoke of a loving God who wanted to heal and restore humanity to fellowship with Him. Because the people flocked to Jesus, the scribes became violently adamant about plotting His demise. Jesus knew that His life’s purpose was to become a sacrificial offering for the sins of His people. His message was repentance, forgiveness of sins for all who would believe in Him and His great love for them. His resurrection was proof of His divinity and is our hope that we will one day be with Him in paradise.
Today’s meditation: We must be reborn into God’s forgiving grace.
Memory Verse: Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (John 12:24 NIV)