New Hope Church

Day 39 – Lenten Devotional


Jesus Crucified

John 19:16-18, 30   16 Finally Pilate handed Him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying His own cross, He went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).  18 Here they crucified Him, and with Him two others–one on each side and Jesus in the middle. … 30Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

From His disciple’s perspective Jesus three-plus year ministry with them came crashing down to an abrupt end in a quick succession of events that left them stupefied, confused, and afraid. During their Passover meal together just hours before Jesus declared Himself the true Passover lamb whose body would be sacrificed and His blood poured out for the forgiveness of sins. He led them to the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed in anguish for the cup of death to pass from Him, yet not His will but the Father’s will be done. He would indeed be obedient to His Father’s will. He was then betrayed by Judas, handed over to the Jewish authorities, accused, beaten, mocked, denied three times by His disciple Peter, sent to Pontius Pilate who asks, “What is truth?”, sent to Herod, back again to Pilate, stripped, brutally scourged, crowned with thorns, spit on, and brought before the crowd with Pilate saying, “Behold the man.” Barabbas, not Jesus was released, and the mob shouted, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” And so, Jesus was taken away, carrying His cross, and crucified.

The disciples had to be asking…”How could it come to this?” “Why did this have to happen?” “What does this mean?” However, Jesus prophesied several times what would occur and hours before declared Himself to be the fulfillment of Passover; THE Passover lamb whose body would be sacrificed and HIS blood shed for our sins. Jesus death on the cross was the New Covenant for humankind. The hole in the human heart, a heart separated from God by a fallen human nature bent on disobedience to the Creator, has an opportunity to be reconciled with God; Father Son and Holy Spirit. From the beginning of time a promise was made after Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, in Genesis 3:15 God tells the evil serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.”  Jesus would indeed be crucified, but the story would continue. The death brought about by the original sin of Adam and Eve would be destroyed and the grace of God offered to all would be made effective by faith in God’s one and only Son.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

The despair and fear of Jesus disciples would turn to joy on the third day and they would finally realize …”How could it come to this?” “Why did this have to happen?” “What does this mean?”  The Apostle Paul would clarify the finished work of Jesus Christ writing in:
1 Corinthians 1:18,  “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Col 2:13-14  13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

REFLECT: Jesus suffered for you. He died for you. He willingly sacrificed Himself as your substitute, atoning for your sins. What a humbling, terrifying prospect, Jesus Christ died for you so you can be reconciled back to God.

REPENT:  Change your ways. Confess your sins, acknowledge your disobedience to God, cry out to Him for forgiveness and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the truth will set you free!

RESTORE:  Acknowledging your sins. Accept Jesus taking your sins on the cross. Acquiesce to His Lordship of your life. You are saved by grace through faith in the Son of God!

1 Peter 2:21-25  21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

Pastor Tom Bellhy