FRIDAY April 14, 2017
A Day of Agony
And He, [Jesus] bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Jesus has been betrayed, arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, and His disciples had fled––they scattered (Matthew 26:56), even though they said they would never leave Him (Matthew 26:35). Pilate, under pressure of the Jewish leaders, and the crowds, released to them a robber–– Barabbas (John 18:40). They rejected Jesus and shouted for His crucifixion: …they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
Then Pilate took a basin of water and washed his hands in front of all the people and said: “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person…” (Matthew 27:24). But Pilate was guilty––the whole world is guilty! So many times we blame the Jews for Jesus’ crucifixion, but if we had been in the crowds, without knowing Him, we too would have cried out, “Crucify Him!”
This was to be a day of agony, for Christ. He was taken by a bunch of bitter, angry human beings and humiliated. They mocked and scourged Him. Then soldiers placed a crown of thorns on His head and a purple robe. Thorns, about three inches sharp were rammed into His skull, as they struck Him and mocked Him as the King of the Jews.
The Roman soldiers had already scourged Him with a leather whip that had attached animal’s teeth and pieces of metal. As they struck His back the whip wrapped around Him and ripped off His skin. He received thirty nine stripes––the number of mercy, forty is the number of judgment. By the time He carried His cross and got to Calvary He did not even look like a human being. He is my Master, my Lord, my Savior, and my King! He did this for us, for the sins of the world––Jesus fulfilled His Father’s will.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16~