The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
The events surrounding the crucifixion of Christ are fascinating to me. Something we need to remember is that the Roman governmental representatives, from Pilate down to the guy who brought the supplies to the execution squad, were Romans. They were not Jews. They had spent their lives being trained to ignore the Jewish Scriptures. Judaism was considered vile and foolish to the Romans. They would have nothing to do with it. A Jewish person could only participate in Roman public life or military service under cover.
The Evangelists record these Roman soldiers as doing things which fulfilled prophecies very accurately. They were not really prominent prophecies, either. For instance, here, in John 19:23-24, the soldiers who are executing Jesus share out his clothes, except for one nice garment, for which they throw dice to decide who gets it. The prophecy doesn’t seem something which would be noteworthy. It is simply an illustration of the hardship that someone can go through under persecution. The actions of the soliders are not all that noteworthy either. The fact that the prophecy and the actions coincide without the soldiers’ awareness is amazing.
It is often the little things that happen in life, the things we might not even notice, that the Lord will later point to as indicators of his activity and involvement in this world. Here’s an example in John’s Gospel.
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