Exploring Easter 4/5/23

Pilate caved in to their demand. He turned him over to be crucified. They took Jesus away. Carrying his cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill (the name in Hebrew is Golgotha), where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a sign and had it placed on the cross. It read: Jesus the Nazarene the king of the Jews. Many of the Jews read the sign because the place where Jesus was crucified was right next to the city. It was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The Jewish high priests objected. “Don’t write,” they said to Pilate, “‘The King of the Jews.’ Make it, ‘This man said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’” Pilate said, “What I’ve written, I’ve written.” When they crucified him, the Roman soldiers took his clothes and divided them up four ways, to each soldier a fourth. But his robe was seamless, a single piece of weaving, so they said to each other, “Let’s not tear it up. Let’s throw dice to see who gets it.” This confirmed the Scripture that said, “They divided up my clothes among them and threw dice for my coat.” (The soldiers validated the Scriptures!) While the soldiers were looking after themselves, Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her. He said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother.
John 18:1-10 MSG

Day 3
Man of Sorrows
            How heart-breaking it is to read that our Savior had to face the most grueling hour of His life alone. Carrying the cross by Himself. I can only imagine the loneliness that Jesus must have felt that day.
            The Bible tells us that Jesus was a man of sorrows, acquainted with the deepest grief (see Isaiah 53:3). He knew what it was to be in pain. He knew what it was to suffer. The beautiful thing about Jesus is that, though He suffered more than any of us can think or imagine, He does not belittle our pain or our suffering.

The Reality of Calvary

In the film Passion of the Christ we see a very honest depiction of what it meant for Jesus to carry His own cross. We see the weight of the cross bearing down upon His body as he dragged it up the hill towards Calvary and the pain of each time he stumbled and fell on his way to his destination. Can you imagine it?

            Another painful part of Jesus’ crucifixion is the sign that was posted above His head – ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews’.
            This sign, this label, intended to torment Him, carried an extra sting because Jesus knew that it was true. He IS the King. And yet His accusers used this title to torture Him further. What label do you carry? What has been written over your life that torments and tortures you?
Whatever it is, know that Jesus, our Savior, nailed it to the cross once and for all. He endured the cruelest of crosses so that we don’t have to.
            It is tempting to want to avoid dwelling on the brutality of the crucifixion. But I believe that in fully allowing ourselves to contemplate the loneliness, mocking, pain and suffering of it all, we can enter a place of even greater gratitude and adoration for our Savior.

Q1. What does today’s scripture reveal to you?
Q2. What cross do you carry daily?
Q3. How can you remind yourself that Jesus overcame all things – including your cross?
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