Gambling at the Cross

“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive these people, because they don’t know what they are doing.’ And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.’ (Luke 23:34) As Jesus was hanging on the cross, those who put him there were gambling for his clothes. If this wasn’t in the bible, I’d have a hard time believing it. I recall the scene in “The Passion of the Christ,” when brutalized, disfigured, bleeding, naked Jesus hung on the cross. I had to look away from that scene; but these soldiers were AT the scene, able to gamble in front of it. What kind of savages?!? Who could be distracted from the Son of God dying as a guiltless sacrifice for the human-family so they could have abundant (John 10:10) and eternal (John 3:16) life? Actually? Our propensity for distraction happens all the time. Maybe I’m not rolling dice like Roman soldiers, but I’m missing Jesus around me because I’m too distracted by something in front me. He was in the sunrise this morning. I missed Him because I was too distracted by passing every slow car in front of me. Jesus was at church last weekend, in the presence of his people making music, greeting guests, restocking paper towels, preaching a message, and rocking babies. I missed Him because I was too distracted by the proverbial “very-busy-week” I could see ahead of me. Jesus was in my bible app on my phone last night, but I was too distracted by my Facebook app to meet Him there. These days, we aren’t distracted like gambling soldiers at a cross, but we’re still distracted. And it is still a gamble. Not for the clothes of Jesus but for the love, hope, peace of Jesus.  There is and always will be a rush of His love coming in from all angles around you. The question I’m wrestling with lately is, “what is distracting me from Jesus, the One who has never been too distracted for me?”

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