(Translated version, original article written in Chinese by Pastor Mickey Hsiao)
By singing praises and hymns, awake your soul, open your heart to the Lord, and prepare yourself to welcome the presence of God and receive the Word of God that will be given to you.
Petition with thanksgiving to God for a wonderful day and pray sincerely for a focused Scripture reading time! (Do not rush into reading the Bible without starting with prayers!) (e.g., you may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what will you be speaking to me today?)
Get the following items ready in advance: your devotional notebook, paper, pen, and/or electronic devotional articles so that you can easily write down the Bible verses, questions, and thoughts you have noticed! You are encouraged to open your Bible and vocally read out the scriptures (Try to practice this reading method daily or once a week)!
Scripture Reading: Mark Ch. 15 (ESV)
Take a moment to quietly reflect on today’s Scriptures. Through such exercises, let God’s Word be gradually written into our hearts and be inscribed to our mind.
Read the devotional articles prepared by CBCLWA (*Read the Bible first before reading any devotional materials.)
(vv. 1-47) Through these verses, let us walk with Jesus on the path to the cross. After Jesus was tried and convicted before Pilate, he not only had to carry a heavy cross, but also had to endure mocking from the Roman soldiers. “And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him.”
Jesus suffered great affliction not only in his heart but also on his body. The soldiers compelled Simon the Cyrene to carry Jesus’ cross so that he would be able to make it to Golgotha. There, we see Jesus crucified along with criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Even at this stage, the mocking still continued. “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!”… “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.”
Suddenly, there was darkness over the whole land for three hours. Then Jesus breathed his last breath and the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. “Truly this man was the Son of God!” exclaimed the centurion who had stood facing him. Many women who had followed Jesus looked on from a distance. At the end of these verses, we see that Jesus was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.
Crucifixion was an extremely cruel form of punishment in human history. Only those who were found guilty and deserving of death were nailed to the cross. But here was an innocent Jesus who was also nailed to the cross. What does this mean to you?
- Jesus on the cross fulfilled many prophecies in scripture (Psalm 39:8-9; Psalm 69:21; Psalm 22; Isaiah 53:7-12)
- Jesus on the cross showed the horror of sinful nature. From the governor who held the power to judge, to the council with the religious influence, and to the Roman soldiers, they all acted in their own interests and ignored the suffering of an innocent Jesus.
- Jesus on the cross displayed his incomparable obedience. (John 10:18) “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
- Jesus on the cross highlighted God’s great love for us. (Romans 5:8) “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Dear brothers and sisters, do you see Jesus on the cross? Take some time today to meditate on Jesus and his crucifixion so that you can gain a deeper understanding of his death! Thank you Jesus for sacrificing your life to save me!
Give thanks to God for His enabling us to read the Scriptures and for our response for living out the Word of God today! (e.g., You may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what/where are you going to lead me to today?”)