Daily Devotional–Wednesday May19,2021
“The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. 42 ‘He saved others,’ they scoffed, ‘but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! 43 He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, “I am the Son of God”.’” (Matthew 27:41-43, NLT)
I was struck today by the complete contempt of the religious priests and teachers of the law toward Jesus as he hung on the cross. These men who prided themselves in understanding God so well, couldn’t recognize God as he hung on the cross. Jesus had performed miracles; he had taught with real authority; he had exercised control over nature and even death; he had been the physical embodiment of God himself. So why was it that these men, self-professed experts on ‘all things related to God,’ entirely missed him? Because they didn’t know God. They had devoted their lives to religious observance—doing the right things, saying the right things—and in their arrogance, they believed they possessed complete knowledge of God. They had the Law of Moses, the Psalms of David and the words of the prophets. But while they had the writings to guide them, they did not fully understand all that God had revealed through these same writings. They relied solely on their interpretation of the written word and did not allow God’s voice to direct their understanding.
It is a stark warning for us. We can spend literally hours praying and studying, yet miss God entirely. What would happen if God showed up in a way that we have decided he won’t and even cannot? Is it possible that we might find ourselves guilty of the same sin as the religious leaders of Jesus’ day—refusing to see God in our midst because he chooses a form that we have rejected? The religious leaders stood at the foot of the cross, looking up at the face of the God-man, Jesus…and mocked, scoffed, taunted. Religion without relationship can blind us to the workings of God in our very midst; relying on our own interpretations and understandings can deafen us to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. May what we ‘know’ never prevent us from recognizing God’s presence and plan!
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!