17 and carrying his own cross he went out to the place called “The Place ofthe Skull” (called in Aramaic Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him along with two others, one on each side, with Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate also had a notice written and fastened to the cross, which read: “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews.” 20 Thus many of the Jewish residents of Jerusalem read this notice, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the notice was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. 21 Then 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 Now when the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and made four shares, one for each soldier, and the tunic remained. (Now the tunic was seamless, woven from top to bottom as a single piece.) 24 So the soldiers said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but throw dice to see who will get it.” This took place to fulfill the scripture that says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they threw dice.” So the soldiers did these things.
Responsibility. The aim of teens who long to be “free”, and also avoided by most. Sure, we want responsibility that we perceive as helping us gain preferences in life, but taking on responsibility for others is not seen as something to be desired.
Seldom would we find someone willing to bear the responsibility for everyone else when he was innocent Himself. Even children sense the injustice and want people to know when they are blameless. For Christ to willingly permit sinful man to torture Him when He was guiltless and had all the power in the world at His disposal is beyond words or understanding. This is wrong that an innocent man should die – how could it be called “good”?
The God of the universe allowed man to kill God. And not just a quick death, either. Painful and humiliating. Why did it have to be that way? When I contemplate Christ’s suffering on my behalf, I wish it did not have to be so graphic, so hard. But God knew fully what was to happen long before it ever was. He could have changed the circumstances and He did not.
The timing and the manner of His death were in His will. Our sins were destroying us – vile and condemning our souls to Hell – He took that suffering for us; the perfect, spotless Lamb bore all of our sins. The weight of the world was upon Him and He bore it with humility and love.
How can this day be called “Good”? Logically we know that the redemption of man is the best news ever, but the term “good” makes me think of how Holy He is. Holy and yet nailed to a tree. It is a day of solemn reflection that One so Righteous was cruelly crucified.
When a soldier sacrifices his own life and lays it down for another, there is gratitude for the precious gift given, but no rejoicing in the lost life. Our celebration of His resurrection is coming, but for now, I want to bow before my King of Kings with overflowing thankfulness that He would die for me. What a Good, Holy, Perfect God, who would suffer for our sins willingly and do this with joy in His heart.
Lord, thank you for coming to save us from our sins so we could know You! Help us to never take such a sacrifice for granted and to walk in obedience with You all our days.