Read Mark 15:21-32
So the story continues – the man who had taught thousands, healed many, restored so many to wholeness and showed so much love to all who he encountered, begins his journey to the place where he would die. Burdened upon his back is the timber that he would hang from in his final hours. This man who had relieved so many of their burdens, whether it be rejection, illness or sin – is burdened with the very implement that will hold his body to death.
Yet in pure exhaustion, the weight of the wood was too much for this battered man to bear and so a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, was compelled to carry the cross for him as he staggered to the place where he would die, the place of the skull, Golgotha, they called it.
To the soldiers tasked to perform this morbid execution, this was just another crucifixion. They divided his clothes amongst them, gambling for Jesus’ last earthly possessions, and the Son of God was nailed naked to a rugged Roman cross to suffer the final humiliation of a criminal.
Jesus’ cross stood between two others and as Jesus suffered, the taunts and ridicules of passers-by were joined by the insults of those who were being crucified to his right and to his left.
Their jibes must have stung, for to this man that had given everything for the humanity he both loved and created, they cried “He saved others; he cannot save himself”. They were half-right – Jesus had saved others. In fact he had saved many, but could he really not save himself? In a purely physical sense – I fully believe that Jesus, Son of God could have called on legions of angels and demolished Golgotha in an instant. There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus was capable of coming down from the cross, but in the exact same instance I believe that Jesus was held to the cross by who he was. As a member of the Trinity, Jesus shares the full character of God, so as 1 John 4:8 declares that God is love, so we also know that Jesus is love. Whilst Jesus was capable of coming down from the cross, he was bound to the cross by love. So great was his love for us that he was willing to do whatever it took to reconcile us to God. Jesus knew that the only way to reconcile humanity to God was through paying the price of sin on humanity’s behalf through being crucified on a crude Roman cross.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- What stood out for you in today’s story? Do you have any questions?
- How do you respond to the truth that Jesus’ love for you was great enough for him to die?
- We are called to respond to God’s love by loving God and loving others. What are ways that you love God? How do love others?
- Is there anyone that you struggle to love? Bring that person to Jesus in prayer.
- How has your life looked more like what everyone else’s does and less like what King Jesus says it should look like? Is there anything you can do to change this
Pray For Each Other
If you get a chance during the week sometime read the rest of Mark 15:33-47.