DayBreaks for 7/21/14 – The Purpose of Spit
He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to crucify him. Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire battalion. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on his head, and they placed a stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery, yelling, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and beat him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. (Matt.27:26-31 NLT)
Few things seem more degrading or humiliating than someone spitting in your face. In He Chose the Nails, Max Lucado makes this observation about the spit of the soldiers: “The soldiers assignment was simple: Take the Nazarene to the hill and kill him. But they had another idea. They wanted to have some fun first. Strong, rested, armed soldiers encircled an exhausted, nearly dead, Galilean carpenter and beat up on him. The scourging was commanded. The crucifixion was ordered. But who would draw pleasure out of spitting on a half-dead man?
“Spitting isn’t intended to hurt the body– it can’t. Spitting is intended to degrade the soul, and it does…They felt big by making Christ look small. Allow the spit of the soldiers to symbolize the filth of our hearts. And then observe what Jesus does with our filth. He carries it to the cross. Through the prophet he said, ‘I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting’ (Isa.50:6 NIV). Mingled with his blood and sweat was the essence of our sin…For some reason, the One who chose the nails also chose the saliva. Along with the spear and the sponge of man, he bore the spit of man. The sinless One took on the face of a sinner so that we sinners could take on the face of a saint.”
It wasn’t just the soldier who spit in Jesus’ face. One way or another, we all have. And he carried our spit to the cross, too, and forgave it.
PRAYER: Your love and forgiveness are incomprehensible, Lord Jesus. We are ashamed for the many times we have spit in your face through our actions and words! Thank you for bearing our shame to the cross. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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