Friday, the 14th, is Valentine's Day. In this week's readings in the New Testament, we come to Matthew 27:1-54. It is the Crucifixion of our Savior, and on Valentine's day, it's the story of "God so loving the world (us) that he gave his one and only Son". Read the unfolding drama of our Savior's crucifixion and come back to think a bit more with me.
I read that account in Matthew and the other Gospels with a sober sadness. How can we not think of the heights of God's love, and the depths of our own sin?
The story unfolds around people:
Judas - remorse and guilt without repentance and forgiveness.
Pilate - a Roman governor. He doesn't know Jesus, but what he does know is that he is a threat. "Are you the King of the Jews". Jesus' answer leaves him mystified, but not in search of the truth.
The Crowd and Barabbas - They dragged Jesus and Barabbas out in public. Pilate's wife warns him, but the chief priests and elders are working the crowd. A few days before they welcomed him with "Hosanna". They didn't know that crying out "Crucify him" would be the means for that salvation.
The soldiers strip Jesus, then put a robe on him, whip (scourge) Jesus; then put a crown of thorns on his head, a stick in his hands and mock him...beating him with the stick...lastly, put the cross he will be crucified on his back and head to Golgotha.
Jesus - He's our Savior...his blood spilled...his body broken... the Savior who brings about a new covenant in his blood. How? "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" He's quoting Psalm 22:1 and the highest pain is his separation from His Father as he bears the wrath of God for our Sin.
God so loved the world of us that he gave his one and only Son - Happy Valentine's Day.