Tag: crucified Him

Today, in Paradise!

Scripture reading for April 27th: Luke 23:11-43

“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with Him to be executed.  When they came to the place called ‘the Skull’, there they crucified Him, along with the criminals–one on His right, the other on His left.  Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  And they divided up His clothes by casting lots.” (Luke 23:32-34)  The scene of the crucifixion was on a hill overlooking the city that had a strange shape on it’s vertical face that made it appear to be a human skull.  These Roman soldiers had probably executed criminals there many times.  Jesus was fulfilling prophetic words written by Isaiah that stated He would be numbered with the transgressors.  (Isaiah 53:12)

It is interesting to note Jesus’ prayer from the cross recorded by Luke.  Jesus asked for mercy on those who accused Him falsely and those who nailed Him there following orders.  His thoughts were not on His own needs, but on the needs of those He came to save.  Even as the soldiers gambled for His clothes, His last earthly possession, He was calling on His Father to have mercy on His enemies, just as He had taught!  What an example of grace!  How prayer strengthened Him to avoid temptation!

These two criminals who hung on each side of Jesus heard His prayer.  One of them mocked Jesus and insulted Him, calling on Jesus to save Himself and them.  The other, humbled by Jesus’ prayer and confessing his own sinfulness, rebuked the first criminal for his insults.  “Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”  Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)

How simple was the response of the second criminal!  A simple plea for remembrance and a confession of belief that Jesus had a kingdom and was a king brought a positive answer from Jesus’ lips.  The truth, according to Jesus, was that even that day, they would both be together in paradise!  Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ?  No matter what you have done or how many things you are guilty of, Jesus stands ready to hear your humble plea and confession of faith!  He came to seek and save that which was lost!  (Luke 19:10)

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The King with a crown of thorns!

Scripture reading for March 11th: Mark 15:1-47, Psalms 54:1-7, Proverbs 11:5-6

“They bound Jesus, led Him away and handed Him over to Pilate.  “Are you king of the Jews?’ Asked Pilate.  “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. (Mark 15:1b-2)  Jesus openly admitted that He was indeed king of the Jews.  In fact, had He been asked, He would have told Pilate that He was the King of Kings.  (Revelation 19:16)  Pilate did not know enough to ask about that!  Pilate was confused by all the charges leveled against Jesus.  He asked Jesus to respond to these charges, but Jesus answered not a word!  (Mark 15:3-5)

Pilate tried to get the crowd to release Jesus, but the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask for Barabbas instead.  Pilate then asked the crowd what should be done with their king.  “”Crucify Him!” they shouted!”  (Mark 15:13-15)  Because Pilate desired to please the crowd, he turned Jesus, king of the Jews, over to be crucified.

The soldiers took Jesus and dressed Him in a purple robe and twisted a crown of thorns and set it on His head.  “And they began to call out to Him, “Hail, king of the Jews!”  Again and again they struck Him on the head with a staff and spit on Him.  Falling on their knees, they paid homage to Him.  And when they had mocked Him, they took off the purple robe and put His own clothes on Him.  Then they led Him out to crucify Him.” (Mark 15:18-20)   The crown of thorns was mean to mock Jesus and cause Him greater suffering.  They beat it into His brow, causing blood to flow as they taunted Him and bowed down in mock homage.

This crown really represented the curse of sin that Jesus willingly bore for us for our healing and deliverance.  Jesus was made a curse for us and took the curse of God’s wrath on broken law.   All who will bow before Him, repent of their sins, and ask for mercy will be forgiven and given eternal life!  This King is really the King of Kings and has the power to give pardon because of the price He paid!  Jesus bought justice by taking our place!   Should you not bow before Him now in humble adoration, giving yourself to Him as a living sacrifice?   It’s the only reasonable response!

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