Day 78: Joshua 1–3, Psalm 65, Luke 23 – The Very Rev. Douglas Travis

Joshua 1–3, Psalm 65, Luke 23
An innocent man—a man utterly undeserving of death—dies the cruelest death of all.
Why? Indeed, Pilate (a man scarcely known for showing mercy!) himself protests that “he
has done nothing to deserve death”! And yet this man must die.
Perhaps the greatest challenge of a follower of Jesus is to hope for what Jesus hopes for.
Jesus proclaimed the kingdom—the very reign of God present now! Jesus declared that
the promises human hearts yearn to see fulfilled were fulfilled in him, but the fulfillment
was not what people expected. If you make me a promise but do not fulfill it as I expect
you to, you have betrayed me! “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Make no mistake about it. Jesus died because we—you and I—hung him on the cross.
Though this particular man died that particular death at that particular time and in that
particular place, you and I continue to hammer the nails into his hands and feet whenever
we refuse to see the reign of God present with us now because it isn’t what we wish it to
be. We continue to execute the Innocent One whenever we are disappointed that he is
not the Messiah we yearn for.
The point of these comments is not to instill guilt or sorrow. The point is to encourage us
to wake up! To watch! To see! A god that I define is no god and cannot satisfy. The God
who satisfies my heart loves me and you so much that this God will die for us, but this
God will not let us define God. Indeed, this God loves us so much that he would rather
die than let us define him. God knows that if we define God we lose God, and God’s
paramount desire is to give God’s very self to us.
The Very Rev. Douglas Travis
President and Dean of the
Seminary of the Southwest
Austin, Texas
How can we relate the invasion of
Canaan by Joshua and the Israelites to
the crucifixion of Jesus?
How does the death of Jesus serve God’s
fulfilling of the divine promise of the
God of love, in your presence and your love,
grant us the power to hope for what you
hope for! Amen.