March 30, 2012

Scorning Scorn

Luke 23:35-39

I endure scorn for your sake …
—Psalm 69:7


Several psalms describe the scorn Jesus endured at his death. Psalm 22:6: “I am… scorned by everyone, despised by the people.” Psalm 69:20: “Scorn has broken my heart.” Psalm 89:41: “He has become the scorn of his neighbors.” Psalm 109:25: “I am an object of scorn to my accusers.”

The gospels bear out those predictions. “The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking … him” (Luke 22:63). “Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him” (23:11). “The rulers even sneered at him… . One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him” (Luke 23:35, 39).

Scorn wounds, scars, and even kills. But in this case it also saved. David, prophesying about Jesus, wrote, “I endure scorn for your sake.” Jesus endured scorn for the sake of God’s plan of salvation. “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners” (Hebrews 12:2-3). Jesus died as our substitute, the atonement for all the times we scorned him by ignoring, opposing, and rejecting him.

Lent is a good time to confess our scorn and thank Jesus for scorning the scorn heaped on him.

Jesus, as we approach the week of your passion, we fix our eyes on you, and our hearts stir with gratitude that you endured such scorn on our behalf. In your name we hope. Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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