Lord of this hour

Jesus is Lord of my life.

There are times, though, that I subtly take back the power and authority I have given Him. I step out in faith of me, rather than trust in God. It’s easy to compartmentalize my heart and then conveniently overlook what is tucked in the shadows. I take back what I owe Him, trying to better organize or clean up the mess myself, as if I could do a better job.

Surrender is a daily decision. Though my salvation is complete and eternal, the fullness of God’s peace and depths of His grace can only be experienced when I am entirely living under Christ’s lordship.

I want to wake up saying, Jesus, be my Lord today. Be Lord over my words, my attitudes, my reactions. Be the Lord of my long to-do list, and my responsibility to nurture and invest in the children You’ve entrusted to me. Be the Lord of my marriage and my workplace. Be the Lord over my thought-life and my temptations. Be the Lord of this home and the ministries you’ve given for me to serve.

Be Lord over every detail and every dream.

Jesus is the Lord of my life, but I can’t only depend on Him to be in charge of my future. I need Jesus to be Lord of this very hour, this exact moment.

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
Oh, make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.

I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

Eyes on the Cross: The Centurion

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah!” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, fixed it on a reed, and offered Him a drink. But the rest said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to save Him!”

Jesus shouted again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom; the earth quaked and the rocks were split. The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And they came out of the tombs after His resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.

When the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “This man really was God’s Son!”

– Matthew 27:45-54

The Roman centurion in charge of Jesus’s execution saw everything that day. He was there to do a job, and he was good at it.

He was likely there overseeing the flogging of Jesus and his soldiers cruelly piercing the crown of thorns into His skull. He led Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem like a lamb headed to slaughter, and gave the nod to force someone in the crowd to carry this man’s cross because Jesus could barely walk. He saw Jesus being stretched out across the wooden cross-beam, and the nails piercing His wrists and ankles as they prepared to lift Him up to hang. He heard those grieving and those jeering. He smirked at his underlings gambling for Jesus’s clothes.

Much of this was commonplace. The centurion had overseen many political dissidents and disturbers of the peace, criminals even. But, as Jesus hung dying, he also saw what he couldn’t understand. Never did a man call out on the cross for God to forgive those crucifying him. When did the sky go dark for three hours everywhere while he was on duty? When this man cried out “It is finished,” at that moment the earth trembled and an earthquake shook them all to their core. There were screams coming from the direction of the Temple, people raised from the dead. It terrified him, and all those under his orders.

All he could do was cry out, “This man really was the Son of God!”

Though we do not know if this Roman Centurion surrendered his life to God, he did recognize and confess Jesus for who He really was: The Son of God.

As we stand with the centurion and witness Jesus’s death on the cross, will we call Him the Son of God? Will we take the next step and call Him Lord and accept His death as our atonement? Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

This particular day is one the Roman centurion would likely never forget. And I pray, as we look to the cross on Good Friday, we will never take it for granted.