Christ Crucified

Good Friday is the darkest day of the Passion or Holy Week.  The final hours of Christ’s life in the flesh leading up to His death were marked by  betrayal, false accusations, multiple unlawful trials, condemnation, mockery, beatings, and abandonment.  After being scourged, spit on, mocked, tormented, and pierced with a crown of thorns, Jesus carried his own cross to Calvary where he was unceremoniously nailed to it and raised into the air.  Over the next several hours, Jesus spoke seven final statements from the Cross:

#RadicalWords – Luke 23:34 (ESV)

34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

#RadicalWords – Luke 23:43 (ESV)

43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

#RadicalWords – John 19:26-27 (ESV)

26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

#RadicalWords – Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34 (ESV)

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

#RadicalWords – John 19:28 (ESV)

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”

#RadicalWords – John 19:30 (ESV)

30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

#RadicalWords – Luke 23:46 (ESV)

46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

The cross reveals man’s universal hatred of God.  Christ was feared and despised by the political and religious leaders of His time, Jews and Gentiles, high officials and crowds, soldiers and civilians.  The hostility against God was violent and murderous.  Many times I have heard the question asked, “Jews or Romans, which is more responsible for the death of Jesus?”  As my walk with the Lord has matured, I have come to realize the folly of this question.  A Jew betrayed Jesus; Jewish elders and priests unlawfully accused, tried, convicted, and condemned Jesus; A Roman Prefect unlawfully sentenced Jesus to torture and death; Roman soldiers scourged, tormented, and mocked Jesus; And Roman soldiers drove the spikes through Jesus’ hands on the cross.  But neither the Jew nor the Roman are responsible for killing Jesus – WE ARE!  It is OUR sin, the sin of ALL HUMANKIND that hung Jesus on that cross.  OUR hostility toward God, too, is violent and murderous.  When God came to walk with US in human flesh to love ALL SINNERS like US, WE betrayed, WE wrongfully convicted, WE tortured, WE mocked, and WE crucified Jesus.  WE deserve to be cast into darkness; WE deserve divine rejection; WE deserve divine wrath – But God brought Himself, in the flesh of His son, to take OUR place in darkness, rejection, and wrath on the cross.

#RadicalMen – Are these reasons enough to grieve over sin, humble ourselves, and repent?  How do Christ’s sufferings on the way to and on the cross reveal what our sin deserves?  How do these sufferings show the LOVE of God?

REJOICE!  Today is not only a day of darkness, it is a day of GLORY.  Without the cross there would be no SALVATION, no eternity with the God of the universe.  WE get to live in Christ’s VICTORY!

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