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Defiled: Lenten Devotions

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Cleansing, Lenten Devotions, Salvation

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside to them and said, ‘What accusation do you bring against this Man?'”

(John 18:28-29 ESV)

They wouldn’t go inside Pilate’s headquarters—the chief priests and others of Jesus’ enemies. Why? Because it was Passover time, and they believed that if they entered a place where Gentiles lived, they would become ceremonially unclean—unfit for worship at the temple, unable to eat the holy Passover meal in their own homes.

Of course we see the irony—that while they were worrying about this, they were already stuck in immoral mud up to the eyebrows, because they were trying to kill the Son of God! How could they be so blind?

And yet, if we’re honest, we too can think of times we’ve missed the truth about God because we were hung up over something minor. Because we, too, are broken human beings—people whose own thoughts and words and actions defile them, because those things come from a sinful heart. We cannot make ourselves clean again. Only one Person can do that for us—and His Name is Jesus.

Jesus washes us clean of our defilement and sin through the blood He shed for us on the cross. Nobody else could give us new, clean hearts but the Son of God who died and rose for us. Now we can follow Him into His home with the Father forever—not as defiled outsiders, but welcome children of God forever.

We pray: Lord, make me clean and make me Yours. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
* What kinds of things make you feel unclean?
* Where does real uncleanness come from?
* Now that Jesus has washed you clean, what will you do next?

Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on March 19, 2024
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights


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