A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Upcoming Sunday Scripture Commentary - March 8

Sermon (March 1) - "Different Robes of Jesus: Seamless Robe"

Psalm 22:1-18

v. 1a This is the Psalm that Jesus quoted when he was on the cross.

vv. 12-13 - The Psalmist's detractors are acting like savage animals.

v. 18 - While the Psalmist is dying, his neighbors are already dividing his property. The soldiers divided Jesus' robe which ties in with this Psalm.

The theology of Jesus' quote of this Psalm on the cross - Even though Jesus is asking why God has forsaken him, it's important to remember how Psalm 22 concludes. It ends on a positive note in offering praise to God.

John 19:16b-25a

Of the four gospels, this gospel best describes the tearing of Jesus' robe in the story of his crucifixion. This scripture reminds us of the tearing of clothes found in Psalm 22.

The Romans were experts at using crucifixion to deter people from challenging the authority of the the King. Pilate places the title, "king of the Jews" overtop as a way of mocking what people had been saying about Jesus.

Caiaphas in John 11:49-50 had made a comment about one man dying for the people. John obviously wants us to see that callous statement in the theological context of Jesus offering his life for the whole world by dying on a cross. John 12:32 also hints at the cross as well as Peter when he said he would be willing to lay down his life for Jesus - John 13:37-38.

The sign above Jesus was written in three different languages - Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. John is helping us to see that Jesus is the true King of the world. Even though the political and religious powers of that time didn't recognize Jesus' kingship, it was who he truly was.

John describes the gambling of Jesus' robe at the foot of the cross. He does this to point us to Psalm 22.  Jesus, like the Psalmist is the righteous sufferer on behalf of others.

[Note: The resources used for these scripture reading commentaries are based on the Everyone series by NT Wright, Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, The Wesley Study Bible, and the “Montreal-Anglican”lectionary commentaries.]

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