“They shall look on him whom they have pierced”


Friday (June 15):  Scripture:    [alternate reading: Matthew 5:27-32]

31 Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high  day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that  they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; 33 but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness — his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth — that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of him shall be broken.” 37 And again another scripture says, “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.”

Meditation: Do you know the heart of Jesus – a heart that was pierced for your sake and mine? Of all the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death, John mentions that the soldiers pierced his heart with a lance. This was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 12:10: “when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him”. The heart of Jesus was pierced for our sake. He willingly went to the cross and laid down his life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. If we want to understand the depth and breadth of God’s love for each of us, then look upon the heart that was pierced for you and for me. That is the reason Jesus went to the cross, to redeem us from slavery to sin and death.

True love does not count the cost, but gives everything for the beloved. Jesus withheld nothing, but gave everything he had for our sake. Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) says that “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love.” In the cross of Christ we see the love of God broken and pierced for our sake. Jesus reigns triumphant at the right hand of the Father. He has risen in glory for our sake and he intercedes for us in heaven. He stands before the throne of heaven with his marks of victory – his pierced side, hands, and feet. Who can fathom the love of God? For all eternity we will gaze upon him who was crucified and who rose for our sake. The Lord Jesus calls us to lay down our lives in sacrificial love for one another. Only a broken and contrite heart can fathom the mercy of God revealed in Jesus Christ. Do you love as Jesus loves, with a broken heart that yearns for all to know the love and mercy of God?

“Lord Jesus, your love knows no bounds. Break my heart with the things that break your heart that I may love generously as you love.”

Psalm 34:19-22

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked; and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

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