Lord Jesus, you were afflicted with my afflictions. I bow before you in this holiest of days, before the mystery of your suffering love.
Read John 19:16–27
16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,
“They divided my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.”[a]
So this is what the soldiers did.
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[b] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
- John 19:24 Psalm 22:18
- John 19:26 The Greek for Woman does not denote any disrespect.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectPray that this Good Friday you will be able to appreciate the wonder of the cross in a fresh way.
When you think of kings, what comes to mind? A ruthless tyrant or a nominal head of state with no real power? Here is a different sort of king whose throne is a cross. Pilate intended his words as a mockery of Jesus and an insult to the Jews, finally confronting them (v 19). But in another irony, what he intends as a not very subtle jibe, proclaims ultimate truth. Jesus established his rule through service and sacrifice. All this is in fulfillment of scripture (v 24); John wants us to know that this was always God’s plan.
Despite having staggered to Calvary under the weight of the cross and hanging in agony, Jesus thinks of the new community that will be formed as a result of his death. It is small band of disciples, for most have fled; mainly women remained, it would seem, reminding us that this new community takes no note of gender. It is a community formed at the foot of the cross. It is a community that transcends kinship and introduces new family relationships, as Mary and John discover (vs 26,27). That is the community of which we are a part, founded at the cross and marked by sacrifice and self-denial.
This Good Friday, stand in your imagination at the foot of the cross, yielding your life afresh to the King of the Jews and the King of kings.
Lord, Your amazing love constrains to turn to a weary and despairing world, and lift that world to You.
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