SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Jesus, after being tried unjustly under the cover of darkness, is handed over to the ruling Roman official Pilate. The religious leaders did not have authority to carry out certain penalties, such as the death penalty, so they needed Rome’s agreement to follow through on the punishment. Neither Pilate nor Herod could find just cause to kill him. However, the crowd was insistent, so he sentenced Jesus to torture and death through crucifixion.
- Throughout the unjust trial, torture, mockery, and crucifixion, Jesus never defends himself. A person unjustly tried and tortured will maintain their innocence, but not Jesus. He’s not trying to stay alive. And as Jesus is dying on the cross his prayers are for God to forgive his executioners. Even to the bitter end, Jesus showed his love for God and for people.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Like the criminals beside Jesus, we are the ones who deserve to be on that cross. But Jesus chose to take our place and suffer the wrath that we deserve. The penalty for our sins was paid by Jesus so that we can live life with a holy God, not just after our death but right now as we follow Jesus.
- The only reason you can have life with God now and for all eternity is because Jesus died a sacrificial death for us on the cross. It's the most important thing in our lives. Take some time to thank Jesus for going to the cross for you.