They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. (Matthew 27:30 NRSV)

I wonder... Was it that cruel soldier who organized the torture of Jesus, who later heard the Savior say from the Cross, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Would this be the same soldier who, after Jesus had breathed his last and escaped into the blessedness of death after such cruel torture, made his own judgment on Jesus, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent," or as another translation renders it, "Certainly this was a good man." (Luke 23:47) Luke says the commanding officer of the assassination squad "praised God" after hearing Jesus say, just before he died, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."

Can we in our cruel nature turn and praise God?

Dear God, forgive me and my cruel nature. I am also responsible for Jesus cruel death. Help me to more fully praise your name and turn away from my cruelty. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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