Friday, April 22, 2011
Easter Live ~ The Crucifiction
Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews."
Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."
When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
"Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it." This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, "They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." So this is what the soldiers did.
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
The Death of Jesus Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken,"and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced."
Today is Good Friday. In many ways it's hard to understand the "good". The son of God killed as a common criminal having endured torture and humiliation and the pain of Crucifixion. For the disciples it must have been very hard indeed. Their leader and friend whipped, tried and crucified. Unlike us, they hadn't the chance to read the end of the book. How much easier for us who have read the end and know the wonderful things to come.
Many Christians world wide will be gathering today to celebrate the death of Jesus, looking forward to Sunday when we can celebrate his Resurrection.
Just imagine the hammer and the nails. The clang as metal connects with metal. That clang representing our reasons for Jesus being nailed to the cross. Because without our sinfulness, the cross would not have been there. With out our wrong doing, the need for this perfect, blameless sacrifice would never have had to be made.
The sacrifice that Jesus made on that cross bought each and everyone of us from the claims of hell.
Thank you Jesus that you died for me.
Thank you that you took my sins on your shoulders and subjected yourself to the nails and the cross.
Jesus, with out you I am nothing. With out you I am lost and wretched.
You died for me because you love me.
Thank you Jesus