Chapter 18 – The Passion and Death of Jesus
Story No. 16 of 23 (Matthew 27:33-37, Mark 15:22-26, Luke 23:32-34, John 19:17b-27)
(Good Friday: – Approximately 10.00 – 12.00am)
Jesus’ crucifixion and death, was His victory over His enemies, it was our salvation.
Arriving at Golgotha, no reprieve was offered to Jesus, His pending crucifixion was assured. The Roman soldiers were fully focused on their orders, to crucify the “king of the Jews”. The sharing of His possessions, a common reward for such serving soldiers, awaited them upon the completion of their duties.
In the glare of the crowd, Jesus was unceremoniously stripped of his clothing and nailed both hands and feet to the wood he had carried. The soldiers then hoisted Him aloft as his body twisted to carry the excruciating pain of his weight. How we can but little imagine the suffering He endured in those moments.
Jesus’ physical and mental pain was further compounding knowing that His Mother, her cousin Mary, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of His Cross watching, crying and praying. They had followed Him throughout His ministry, now they were comforting Him in His final hours.
The soldiers took Jesus’ clothing and shared part of it equally, four shares, but his tunic was seamless so, they agreed to “throw dice to see who will get it”. In doing so, scripture was fulfilled, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they threw dice”. (John 19:24)
Common to all who were crucified, an inscription was attached to Jesus’ Cross for passersby and all to see. Usually, the inscription stated the condemned criminal’s guilt, as a warning to others. The notice fixed at the top of Jesus’ Cross read in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek, “The king of the Jews”. When others suggested to Pilate that the inscription should have read, “This man said, I am king of the Jews.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
As Jesus looked down upon His Mother and John,”the disciple he loved, ” he said to his mother Mary, “Woman, look, here is your son” and to his disciple, “Look, here is your mother,” and “From that very time the disciple [John] took her into his own home”. (John 19:26-27)
What words would I like to have seen written above Jesus’ Cross and head?
Lord Jesus, forgive me for having caused You such suffering, open my heart to your immeasurable love.
Mary, Mother of Jesus and my sweet Mother, pray for me, a miserable sinner.
Prayer: Perseverance (John Henry Newman)
support us all the day long of this troublous life,
until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.
Then, Lord, in thy mercy,
grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest,
and peace at the last. Amen.
|Music Suggestion: From A Distance|
Listen and reflect… pause and talk.
Today in 2005, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake left approximately 87,000 people dead, 75,000 injured, and 2.8 million homeless.
Pray for our sick and homeless.
Read More: Jesus’ Life – See All 365 Stories
(Note: The story order represents an approximate timeline of events in Jesus’ ministry; Biblical Scholars views vary.)