Daily Devotion Thursday, July 4

Thursday, July 4, 2013 – Happy and blessed 4th of July

Psalm 147:12-20; 1 Samuel 13:5-18; Acts 8:26-40 and Luke 23:13-25

Luke 23:13-25 – 13Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16I will therefore have him flogged and release him.”

18Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!” 19(This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) 20Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; 21but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.” 23But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. 25He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

Pilate wanted to release him, but the crowd gathered kept shouting; “crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!” Only days earlier a crowd of people shouted, “Hosanna to the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” My how quickly the tables can be turned.

This week we have seen mob rule over throw the government in Egypt. We’ve seen mob rule in many other instances. On this day that Jesus was on trial, the mob ruled.

One of the questions I ask myself is if I’d been there would I have shouted with the crowd crucify him or shouted no, no, no or been silent. I fear that I would have been silent and not said a thing.

In one sense in this reading we are all Barabbas, standing under the sentence of our sinfulness. Like Barabbas we’ll be released from the sentence of death because Jesus is crucified.

Psalm 147:12-20 – 12  Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!

On this day that we celebrate our nation’s birth may we do as the Psalmist says; may we praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O people of the USA! Praise your God, O people from sea to shining sea. Praise the Lord!

Saw a Bald Eagle and her infant (no longer calling it a baby as even at 5 months old its going about freely with its mom or dad). Nice way to greet this day set aside for remembering our nation’s birth.

O Lord, you truly blessed us by going the way of the cross. May we individually and as a nation strive to be a blessing unto you and unto the world. Amen.

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