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Thursday, November 21, 2019

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Jesus is bringing in God's reign. But what kind of king is he? Kings are usually found on royal thrones. But this king has been nailed to a cross. Kings usually wear fine apparel. But this king has been divested of his simple garments, and his executioners gamble for them. Kings ride in processions to sounds of applause. But this king is greeted with mocking and sarcasm. We elevate our royalty with pomp and glory. But this king's only acclamation is a quickly scrawled insult on a board nailed to the cross.

What does it mean for us that our king is an innocent man, executed by an oppressive regime, and rejected by the leaders of his faith? Utterly cast off by those he came to love, heal, and save, this king sets an example of great humility. Jesus knows suffering that comes with being human, even unto death.

O God, how can we thank you for giving us your Son, knowing how we would treat him? He has become like us in all things, even unto death. Glory be to Jesus for his love. Amen.

Chris Cowan, '14
Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Ogden, Iowa

Luke 23:33-43 (NRSV)

33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.
34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing.
35 And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!"
36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine
37 and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"
38 There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."
39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!"
40 But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong."
42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
43 He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."


This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.