Colossians 1:15-23 (NIV)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.   17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation– 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Matthew 27:46 (NIV)

Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means, “My God, my God, wy have you forsaken me?”).

DEVOTION – Gavin Campbell (Western Cape, South Africa)

We had just finished a particularly busy Holy Week and Easter weekend when our 15-month-old son was injured.  He pulled a tablecloth from a table, and the cloth brought with it a square, rough-cut glass vase that sliced his nose open as it fell.  It was a serious cut.

At the hospital, we had to wait six hours for treatment; they had to delay administering anesthesia because he had eaten just before the incident.  When his treatment time came, his mother and I accompanied him into the operating room to keep him calm; but he panicked anyway.  As the medical team struggled to hold the mask over his face long enough for the anesthesia to take effect, they bumped his nose, starting the bleeding again.  Blood was everywhere; it even ran back into his eyes.  With those blood-filled eyes he looked at us as if asking, “Why are you standing and watching them hurt me like this?  Why aren’t you doing something to help me?”  I told him that this was the only way to “make it better.”

Then it dawned on me:  God watched Jesus dying on the cross, as Jesus asked, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  But Christ’s death was God’s only way to “make it better,” to heal us and to take away the pain and the penalty of our sin.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Jesus died to heal us of our sin and the pain it causes.

PRAYER:  Lord God, thank you for your power and love made visible in Jesus.  Thank you for his sacrifice that makes right our relationship with you.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Those Facing Medical Emergencies