“And with Him they crucified two robbers, one on His right and one on His left. And those who passed by derided Him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!’ So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked Him to one another, saying, ‘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.'” (Mark 15:27, 29-32a ESV)
There was a time, shortly after our son was born, when my husband and I looked at each other and realized something had changed. In any emergency, we wouldn’t try to save one another first anymore. The baby was now Number One!
The funny thing is how automatic it was. We loved our baby, he was helpless and needy, and so he became our top priority. It was rather like Jesus feels about us. “Save Yourself!” was what people kept shouting at Him on the cross. “Come down from the cross! Do a miracle and stop this whole process, here and now!”
It sounds like a temptation, and from the devil’s point of view, it surely was. But the devil doesn’t understand love. “Save Yourself, Jesus”? Not at the cost of our lives, no. Not if it meant we would all be lost forever, ruined, destroyed, condemned to hell. Jesus wasn’t having that. We were His priority. Given the choice between His own life and ours—well, we see what He chose!
This is the tender love Jesus has for you—the love of a parent, the love of a Savior who will give up anything, even His own life, to save you.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to love You as You love me. Amen.
* Who is your first priority in an emergency?
* Have you ever sacrificed yourself in some way for a person you love?
* How does it feel to know Jesus has you that high on His priority list?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Reprinted from Lutheran Hour Ministries
(To view the entire “Lenten Devotions” mini-series, please click here.)