The Story of the Crucifixion


As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ People will beg the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and plead with the hills, ‘Bury us.’ For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry? ” Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last. When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent. ” And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow. But Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching. Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish high council, but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin. As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.
Luke 23:26‭-‬56 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/luk.23.26-56.NLT

THOUGHT FOR TODAY


Isaiah 43:16-21(NLT):

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(Illustration by Jenn Webster)

I am the LORD, who opened a way through the waters,
    making a dry path through the sea.
   I called forth the mighty army of Egypt
    with all its chariots and horses.
I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned,
    their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick.

   “But forget all that—
    it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
   For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
   The wild animals in the fields will thank Me,
    the jackals and owls, too,
    for giving them water in the desert.
Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland
    so my chosen people can be refreshed.
   I have made Israel for Myself,
    and they will someday honor Me before the whole world.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY


From Psalm 22(NLT):

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My God, my God, why have You abandoned me?
    Why are You so far away when I groan for help?
  Every day I call to you, my God, but You do not answer.
    Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

  Yet You are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.
  Our ancestors trusted in You,
    and You rescued them.
  They cried out to You and were saved.
    They trusted in You and were never disgraced.

  But I am a worm and not a man.
    I am scorned and despised by all!
  Everyone who sees me mocks me.
    They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
  “Is this the one who relies on the LORD?
    Then let the LORD save him!
If the LORD loves him so much,
    let the LORD rescue him!”

Yet You brought me safely from my mother’s womb
    and led me to trust You at my mother’s breast.
   I was thrust into Your arms at my birth.
    You have been my God from the moment I was born.
Do not stay so far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and no one else can help me.
   My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
    fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
   Like lions they open their jaws against me,
    roaring and tearing into their prey.
   My life is poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
    melting within me.
   My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
    My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
    You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
   My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
    an evil gang closes in on me.
    They have pierced my hands and feet.
   I can count all my bones.
    My enemies stare at me and gloat.
   They divide my garments among themselves
    and throw dice for my clothing.

LORD, do not stay far away!
    You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
   Save me from the sword;
    spare my precious life from these dogs.
   Snatch me from the lion’s jaws
    and from the horns of these wild oxen.

   I will proclaim Your name to my brothers and sisters.
    I will praise You among Your assembled people.
   Praise the LORD, all You who fear him!
    Honor him, all You descendants of Jacob!
    Show him reverence, all You descendants of Israel!
   For He has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
    He has not turned His back on them,
    but has listened to their cries for help.

   I will praise You in the great assembly.
    I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship You.
   The poor will eat and be satisfied.
    All who seek the LORD will praise Him.
    Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
   The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to Him.
    All the families of the nations will bow down before Him.
   For royal power belongs to the LORD.

He rules all the nations.

   Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
    Bow before Him, all who are mortal,
    all whose lives will end as dust.
   Our children will also serve Him.
    Future generations will hear about the wonders of the LORD.
   His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
    They will hear about everything He has done.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY


From Psalm 93(NLT):

(Zentangle ®-inspired illustration by Jenn Webster)

The LORD is King! He is robed in majesty. Indeed, the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.

Your throne, O LORD, has stood from time immemorial. You Yourself are from the everlasting past. The floods have risen up, O LORD. The floods have roared like thunder; the floods have lifted their pounding waves.

But mighter than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore-the LORD above is mightier than these! Your royal laws cannot be changed. Your reign, O LORD, is holy forever and ever.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY


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From Psalm 44(NLT):

O God, we have heard it with our own ears—
    our ancestors have told us
of all You did in their day,
    in days long ago:
  You drove out the pagan nations by your power
    and gave all the land to our ancestors.
You crushed their enemies
    and set our ancestors free.
  They did not conquer the land with their swords;
    it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory.
It was Your right hand and strong arm
    and the blinding light from your face that helped them,
    for You loved them.
You are my King and my God.
    You command victories for Israel.
  Only by Your power can we push back our enemies;
    only in Your name can we trample our foes.
  I do not trust in my bow;
    I do not count on my sword to save me.
  You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
    You disgrace those who hate us.
  O God, we give glory to You all day long
    and constantly praise Your name. 
But now You have tossed us aside in dishonor.
    You no longer lead our armies to battle.
   You make us retreat from our enemies and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.
   You have butchered us like sheep and scattered us among the nations.
   You sold your precious people for a pittance,
    making nothing on the sale.
   You let our neighbors mock us.
    We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
   You have made us the butt of their jokes;
    they shake their heads at us in scorn.
   We can’t escape the constant humiliation;
    shame is written across our faces.
   All we hear are the taunts of our mockers.
    All we see are our vengeful enemies.

All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
    We have not violated Your covenant.
   Our hearts have not deserted You.
    We have not strayed from Your path.
   Yet You have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home.
    You have covered us with darkness and death.
   If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods,
   God would surely have known it,
    for He knows the secrets of every heart.
   But for Your sake we are killed every day;
    we are being slaughtered like sheep.

   Wake up, O Lord! Why do You sleep?
    Get up! Do not reject us forever.
   Why do You look the other way?
    Why do You ignore our suffering and oppression?
   We collapse in the dust,
    lying face down in the dirt.
   Rise up! Help us!
    Ransom us because of Your unfailing love.