Crucifixion

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help. Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief… I am scorned and despised by all! Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, “Is this the one who relies on the Lord? Then let the Lord save him! If the Lord loves him so much, let the Lord rescue him!”… My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet. I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing. O Lord, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!

Psalm 22

After the soldiers had finished mocking him, they led him out of the city to a place known as Golgotha – or Skull Place. A large crowd followed behind as they made their way through the streets. There were also two other men being crucified that day, both of them criminals.

Along the way, they forced a traveller named Simon to carry Jesus’ cross. Simon was from the African city of Cyrene, and was visiting Jerusalem for the Passover festival.

Once they arrived at the place, the three men were crucified, with Jesus being placed between the other two. The four soldiers who crucified Jesus took his clothes and divided them among themselves. They then cast lots to see which one of them would get his tunic, as it was woven as one piece and they did not want to tear it up.

They also attached a sign to Jesus’ cross. Pilate had the sign made in three different languages – Aramaic, Latin and Greek – and the inscription on the sign outlined the charges against him:

JESUS THE NAZARENE
THE KING OF THE JEWS

The chief priests complained to Pilate saying, “Don’t write ‘The King of the Jews’ – put that he said ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” But Pilate told them, “What I have written, I have written.”

And so it was done.

Many of those who passed by shook their heads in contempt and yelled insults at him, saying, “Ha! The One who would demolish the sanctuary and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from that cross!”

The chief priests, along with the scribes and elders, also mocked him. “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! Let the King of Israel come down now from this cross and we will believe in him. He has put his trust in God; let God rescue him now – if He wants him – after all, he claimed that he was God’s Son.”

As noon approached, a darkness descended over the entire earth, lasting three hours. At about three in the afternoon, the same hour the Passover lambs are slaughtered, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

Some who were standing there said, “Look, He’s calling for Elijah!” Someone ran and got a sponge soaked in sour wine, put it on a stick and offered Jesus a drink. “Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him!”

After receiving the drink, Jesus again called out in a loud voice, “It is finished! Father, into your hands I entrust My spirit.” Then he bowed his head and let out his final breath. At that very moment, there was an earthquake, and the curtain that separated the inner sanctuary from the rest of the temple, was ripped in two from the top to the bottom.

The centurion standing guard at the foot of the cross, when he saw all that had happened, exclaimed, “This man really was God’s Son!”

Eventually, those in the crowd who had gathered to watch the spectacle began to return to the city, but there were some women there who knew Jesus – who had followed him from Galilee – who stood at a distance and kept watch.


Take a moment to reflect on the story you have just read.
(sometimes it is helpful to read it again, slowly)

*Was there something in this story that you discovered—or thought about—for the first time?
*As you think about the story, what questions do you have? What do you wonder about?
*How might this story change your perspective / beliefs / behaviors?

I would love to hear what you are discovering as you think through these questions.
Comments are moderated to ensure they are relevant to the story and questions above.

If you would like to dig a little deeper into this story, you will find some further thoughts and questions here.

Easter Story
Return Of The King | Last Supper | Garden | Accusations | Denial | Sentenced | Crucifixion | Burial | Empty Tomb | Appearance

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