Day 26: Crucifixion

Mark 15:25-34,37-39
 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him.  The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS.  They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days,  come down from the cross and save yourself!”  In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!  Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. 

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.  And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).  With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.  The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

Brothers and sisters, let us remove our shoes; we stand here on holy ground. What can we say about the greatest travesty of justice in the history of the world, which is also the greatest demonstration of the love of God in human history? How can we bear to see our Savior despised and rejected by men, stricken and smitten by God, pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, and cut off from the land of the living? We marvel with Charles Wesley, “ ’Tis mystery all! The immortal dies; who can explore his strange design?” “Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”

Please do not be among the mockers, the insulters, the deniers, the unbelievers. I pray that you would say with the centurion—with full heart and in full assurance of faith—surely this man was the Son of God! Worship him. Give your life to the one who has given his life for you. Praise the Savior, now and ever!

Upon the cross of Jesus
mine eye at times can see
the very dying form of One
who suffered there for me:
and from my stricken heart with tears
two wonders I confess,
the wonders of redeeming love
and my unworthiness. (Elizabeth Clephane)

What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest Friend,
for this, thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
Oh, make me thine forever,
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love to thee. (Bernard of Clairvaux)