“I will praise You, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders” (Psa. 9:1). You are worthy!
Read LUKE 23:26-46
 As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.  A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.  Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.  For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’  Then “‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”‘  For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”  Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.  When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals-one on his right, the other on his left.  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.  The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”  The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar  and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”  There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.  One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”  But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”  It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour,  for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow do you think Jesus reacted to all this mocking?
With a journalist’s skill, Luke guides us through the remarkable moments leading up to Jesus’ last breath. We see Jesus surrounded by soldiers who mocked him, religious leaders who hated him, friends and relatives who mourned him. We see a blameless, loving man fulfill his destiny on earth. The story was far from over, however.
Crucifixion was an ancient method of painful execution. Severely beaten and flogged, subjected to seven-inch spikes driven through the wrists and feet, the victim dies slowly and agonizingly. Usually reserved for criminals, this time crucifixion was meted out on a man of love and innocence. I have never experienced anything like the torture Jesus went through. It is impossible to imagine. The slightest misfortune can cause me to protest, retreat and become self-focused. But it was not so with Jesus, who at the most terrible time of his life, exhibits overwhelming compassion and forgiveness.
Crucifixion symbolized condemnation, humiliation and death. Jesus changes all that forever—written into the wood of the cross are these words: forgiveness, love and life!
Write down what the cross is saying to you. Thanks God for those three words above and what they mean to you.
Lord Jesus, what amazing love You showed at the cross. How thankful I am for the loving sacrifice You made!
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