SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- This chapter opens with the religious leaders deciding to put Jesus to death.
- Jesus was beaten, flogged, ridiculed, spit upon, stripped naked, had a crown of thorns crushed upon his head, forced to carry his own cross, and crucified between two thieves. Jesus endured the worst form of death ever created by mankind.
- In this chapter we read about the death and burial of Jesus. We read how even Roman soldiers who witnessed all the events concluded that Jesus truly was the Son of God.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- The religious leaders handed Jesus over to a Roman government official named Pilate. Even with all the accusations the religious leaders levied against Jesus, Pilate could find no wrong in him. Pilate gave the crowd a decision to release Jesus or a convicted murder and they chose the murderer over Jesus. Finally, after many attempts to release Jesus Pilate gave into the crowd and ordered Jesus to be crucified.
- The act of crucifixion was a particularly slow, painful, gruesome, humiliating, and public death. Our word “excruciating” comes from this practice and describes it’s horror; the word literally means "out of crucifying." The cause of death from crucifixion was most often asphyxiation due to the unique way the body hung from the cross. Jesus endured all this pain and died to pay for the sins we commit so that we could have a relationship with God.
- Does reading the account of the death of Jesus give you a clearer understanding of the pain our God went through to provide a way for us to unite with him again? The amount of pain should reveal how much he loves us. It just doesn’t make sense that God would come to earth, live as one of his created beings, allow us to murder him and all of this just to provide the opportunity for us to reunite with himself. It’s beyond human comprehension and maybe one great piece of evidence that no human could come up with such a crazy story. It has been said that the absurdity of the cross gives it validity. Take a moment to sit and think through the sacrifice Jesus made for you and thank him for the love he has for you.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- So, what is the appropriate response to such love? The only right response is for us to give all of ourselves to following Jesus. What step do you need to take today to become more committed to God?