From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

February 13


Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 25:1-7 | Exodus 35:1 – 36:38 | Matthew 27:32-66 | Proverbs 9:7-8

Today’s Scripture Focus: Matthew 27:32-66

“And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him” (Matthew 27:31 NIV).

“And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matthew 27:44 NIV).

Crucifixion is designed to bring excruciating physical pain. The physical torture of crucifixion is almost unimaginable. It was a cruel and painful way to die. It was also a method designed to bring shame and humiliation to the victim. The wounds of crucifixion were both emotional and physical.

The days preceding the cross were also filled with wounds. Jesus experienced emotional wounds of denial, betrayal, mocking and injustice. Most of these wounds were at the hands of those closest to him, magnifying the pain. Perhaps the worst of all the emotional wounds was the abandonment he experienced on the cross that brought voice to the words, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”

On the cross, Jesus became the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, he took upon himself our sin: “He was wounded for our transgressions.” He was condemned and forsaken. He was betrayed and denied. He endured shame for us. He felt the sting of abandonment from His Father. He did it all for you and me.

Those wounds that were the source of his pain are now the source of our healing: the forgiveness of sin, the freedom from bondages and shame, the healing of broken bodies and wounded hearts. When you experience the wounds brought on by denial, betrayal, mocking, injustice or abandonment, remember that Jesus understands. He has experienced those things too. Bring your wounds to Jesus and allow him to bring the healing you need.

Lord Jesus, thank you for the cross. Thank you for being wounded for my transgressions. Thank you for the forgiveness and healing that flow from your wounds. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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