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Read Psalm 109.

TEXT: They open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening
and roaring lion (Psalm 22:13).

In yesterday's devotion Jesus compared His enemies to
animals -- powerful, aggressive, ferocious bulls. Now He
compares them to another terrifying, wild beast-mighty
lions with their mouths wide open, advancing on their prey
with loud, frightening roars.
The Jewish leaders had long plotted Jesus' destruction.
They roared loudly as they threatened to remove anyone
from the synagogue who confessed Jesus as the promised
Messiah (see John 9:22). When Judas betrayed Jesus they
sprang into action. They arrested, tried, condemned and
abused Him. There was only one man left standing in their
way: the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate.

Pilate examined Jesus in their presence, and found there
was no evidence to support their charges against Him. He
was going to free the Christ until they started roaring. They
bullied and intimidated Pilate, pressuring him to give in to
their will and have Jesus executed. Pilate stood strong at first,
affirming Jesus' innocence. But like the thunderous roar of
 lions, their loud threats and chants of "Crucify Him! Crucify
Him!" overwhelmed Pilate who finally stepped aside, washed
his hands of the whole affair, and ordered the execution of
 God's Son.

Jesus has described His enemies as bulls or lions. They have
the characteristics of wild animals, but they are all too human.
Behind them stands Jesus' great arch-enemy Satan. In the
beginning the devil worked through an animal, a serpent, to
destroy mankind (see Genesis 3). Now he worked through
these ferocious people to destroy the Savior of mankind.


Lord Jesus Christ, You stood all alone before such vicious
people, yet You pleaded with Your Father to forgive them,
"for they know not what they do." Forgive me my sins and
give me strength to stand and tell others of Your great
salvation. Amen.

(Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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