The soldiers had Jesus at last. They took him out and laid a cross on his shoulders, dragging him along the streets to a place outside the city called in Hebrew “Golgotha” (meaning “skull”). And there they crucified him, along with two criminals, one on either side and Jesus in between them. Crowd looking Jesus on the cross.
As they were crucifying him, Jesus prayed, “Father in heaven, forgive them, because they don’t realize what they are doing.”
As the crowd stood watching, the soldiers threw dice for his clothes, to determine who would get each piece. And the leaders of the Jewish nation also stood by laughing and jeering at Jesus. “That fellow was so good at saving others. Now let’s see him save himself if he is the Savior that God has chosen.
“Come on there you Savior, show us. You’re supposed to be the Christ, aren’t you, the Savior of us all? All right then, here’s your chance. Just come down off that cross, and we’ll all believe in you.”
People passing by on the road into Jerusalem also laughed and mocked him. “Take a look at that Savior, Jesus, on the cross there,” they yelled. “Look, you Son of God, if you’re so wonderful, come on down off that cross and save your self!” Even one of the criminals crucified beside Jesus joined in the mockery. “What’s this?
So you’re the promised Savior? Come on, Jesus, save yourself and then come and save me too, while you’re at it.”
But the other criminal protested, “Aren’t you afraid of God even when you’re dying? We are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong at all.” Then he turned and looked at Jesus and said. “Jesus, please remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
And Jesus replied, “I promise you today you will be with me in the Kingdom of Heaven!”
By now, it was noon, noon. Suddenly the whole earth was covered with darkness, and this lasted for about three hours.
At three o’, clock Jesus suddenly called out in a loud voice, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders frightened seeing Jesus on the cross and His shout and began talking excitedly to each other, and then Jesus shouted again, “I have finished it!” dismissed his spirit, and died. And the earth shook, and the rocks cracked. The soldiers standing by were terrified by the earthquake and all that happened. ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Oh, how deeply God loved us! He gave us His only Son! Even though Christ made this world, when he came to this world, only a very few gladly welcomed him.
They flogged and beaten Jesus until he covered with blood, but how few believed him! When men saw him, they found nothing appealing to attract them. Yes, we despised and rebuffed him. We turned our backs to him. When crowd insulted him, we took it lightly.
But look! It was in our stead that Christ died! And it was his flogging that brought forgiveness for our sins. All humankind has wandered away from God, has cut themselves off from Him. We think only about ourselves. Even so, the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, has cleansed us from all sin. Anyone who receives Jesus as the Christ (Savior) that is, anyone who believes in him receives the power to become a Son of God!
When evening came, an upright man went to Pilate and asked for Jesus” body. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross and, after wrapping it in some linen cloth, laid it in a nearby cave and carved into the rock as a grave, and rolled a large stone in front of the entrance to close it.
The next day, the chief priest and scholars went to Pilate and said to him, “Just now we remembered that when this liar, Jesus, was still alive he promised that he would rise from the dead on the third day. Now if by any chance this man’s disciples should come and steal his body and say that Jesus had come back to life again, we might find ourselves with a greater problem on our hands than before. To prevent this, we request that you give an order that his grave securely guarded until the third day.”
“You have your guards,” Pilate answered. “Take them and make the grave as secure as you like.” So they went and sealed the grave, stamping it with an official seal, and posted guards to protect it from intrusion.
Jesus on the cross died for you and me and cleansed away our sin.
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