After - Day 9

The First Three Hours of Jesus the Cross (9:00 AM-Noon)

Scripture: Matthew 27:35-44; Mark 15:24-32; Luke 23:33-43; and John 19:18-27

The next three hours were pretty brutal. They put him on the cross, and then the soldiers divided his clothes and threw dice to see who would get what of his belongings. They placed a sign above his head claiming that he was the king of the Jews; the crowds and religious leaders mocked him, and even those who hung beside him made fun of him.

However, through all this abuse, we see Jesus reminding God to forgive them for “They know not what they do.” And that is perhaps the phrase we should all hold onto through much of this experience. We have, at times, mocked God, made fun of the ideas of faith, and even taken God's name in vain. But we also need that advocate who can remind God that we don’t know what we do, reminding us that his love extends through and beyond our foolishness. Without this kind of caring, we are at a loss for a savior. However, even at his most bereft, Jesus was advocating for us to the Father.

Perhaps this is a reminder that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, continuing his work of intercession on our behalf. In other words, regardless of the situation, his love never falters, wavers, and ceases. How much more, without the duress of the Cross, will the intercession on our behalf be in the ear of the Father?

I have always thought the most poignant of criticisms were levied against him by the religious leaders saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” They claimed that if he was really there to save them, he should save himself first. They never really understood why he came.
The act of saving us was and is an act of compassion and mercy. It is a gift of grace that did not come with the addition of saving himself. He went to the cross and ultimately to the grave, understanding that this was for us, as a sacrifice. He was willing to die a final death for a glorious chance at eternal life for us.

A bad metaphor for this is that if he were going down in a plane, he would ensure that our oxygen was on before he placed his on. He did this so that we could live. What a powerful act of love that benefited us.
 
  1. What do you think about the Atonement? 
  2. How does the sacrifice Jesus made save our lives? 
  3. What can you do to honor this sacrifice that Jesus made? 
  4. Have you ever “known not what you do?”
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