Chapter 18 – The Passion and Death of Jesus
Story No. 17 of 23 (Matthew 27:39-43, Mark 15:29-32a, Luke 23:35-38)
(Good Friday: – Approximately 10.00 – 12.00am)
Roman crucifixions were a very public affair. They were generally commuted in busy places where passersby would notice and people could come and watch.
In Jesus’ cruel death, Golgotha was close to one of the city gates and beside a busy road. Therefore, in addition to the large crowd that followed Jesus as he carried his cross, many others would have inadvertently come across the event and been drawn to pause and comment.
Of course, the passersby reaction to the sight that greeted them would have been greatly influenced by the presence and celebration of the Jewish leaders – chief priests, experts in the law and elders – and the two criminals crucified, one on each side of Jesus. It would have been an easy conclusion for them to come to, that Jesus must have also been a criminal, deserving of crucifixion, a dangerous impersonator – “King of the Jews” as his inscription read!
The passersby shook their heads saying, “You who can destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are God’s Son, come down from the cross!”(Matthew 27:40)
In a similar way but with greater authority, the chief priests, experts in the law and elders mocked Jesus saying, “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! He is the king of Israel! If he comes down now from the cross, we will believe in him! He trusts in God – let God, if he wants to, deliver him now because he said, ‘I am God’s Son’!” (Matthew 27:42-43)
Jesus listened to all his tormentors and in his agony, spoke not a word.
Silence, speaking not a word, how often do I practice or teach others the virtue?
Lord Jesus, grant me the gift of patience; the patience to listen and act only in your name. Amen.
Prayer: Bookmark (St Teresa of Avila)
Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you.
All things are passing,
God never changes.
attains all things.
Whom God possesses,
in nothing is wanting.
Alone God suffices.
|Music Suggestion: Here I Am, Lord|
Listen and reflect… pause and talk.
Today in 1981, Capital Punishment was abolished in France.
Pray for those under the threat of execution and physical punishment today.
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.)