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Day 32 - Three Lessons from the Crucifixion

So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’ ” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
“They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 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.
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.” (John 19:16b-37 ESV)

The crucifixion of Jesus offers a powerful tableau of unwavering commitment, profound love, and the enduring power of faith.  Let's dive deep into three lessons gleaned from our reading today.

Faithful Commitment in the Face of Death

Even in the throes of excruciating pain, Jesus doesn't abandon his mission.  With the simple statement, "I thirst" (v. 28), he acknowledges his physical suffering yet fulfills the prophecy.  Following this, his final utterance, "It is finished" (v. 30), carries immense weight.  It signifies the completion of his earthly ministry, the fulfillment of scripture, and the ultimate victory over sin and death.  Jesus' unwavering dedication in the face of death serves as a powerful reminder for us.  We are all called to remain true to the faith we profess, even when faced with challenges, setbacks, or moments of doubt. Jesus’ unwavering commitment inspires us to find the strength to persevere through difficult times and stay dedicated to the gospel we believe in.

Unwavering Love Transcending Suffering

Amid his agonizing ordeal, Jesus expresses a profound act of love.  Observing his mother, Mary, and the beloved disciple John standing nearby (v. 25-26), Jesus entrusts Mary's care to John. This simple act speaks volumes about the importance of love and compassion, even during moments of immense personal struggle, Jesus prioritizes the well-being of his mother, ensuring she is not left alone in her grief. This act serves as a powerful reminder for us to prioritize the love and care of the people in our lives, especially when we’re facing challenging times.

Enduring Witness

John doesn't simply state what happened; he emphasizes that the witness "has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth" (v. 35). This underscores the importance of sharing our faith stories and experiences. Just as the eyewitness account served to solidify the truth of Jesus' sacrifice, our own faith stories, shared with authenticity and conviction, can have a profound impact on those people God places around us.

By reflecting on these lessons from Jesus’ crucifixion, we can find renewed strength to stay committed to the gospel, prioritize our love for others, and to share our faith openly.

Pray that you would have amply opportunities today to do just those things and bring glory to our crucified savior.

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