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 There they crucified him, and with him two others – one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth,the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, ‘Do not write “The King of the Jews”, but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.’

22 Pilate answered, ‘What I have written, I have written.’

23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

24 ‘Let’s not tear it,’ they said to one another. ‘Let’s decide by lot who will get it.’

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,

‘They divided my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.’

So this is what the soldiers did.

25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing near by, he said to her, ‘Woman,[b] here is your son,’ 27 and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said,

‘It is finished.’

With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Today is Good Friday, the day we remember the cross and the sacrifice Jesus made. As the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13) and the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53) , Jesus identified with humanity and died on our behalf.

The point of Jesus’ death was to bring redemption for the rebellion in the Garden. It was the ultimate victory of God coming back into full ownership of His creation, now, but not yet.Dr Winn Griffin

John reports that the last words of Jesus on the cross were “It is finished.” What was finished? The mission was accomplished, completed. What Jesus had come to do was done. He had gone through the final part of what he had come to do, in order, not to simply rescue people from this world so they could be in heaven with him one day, but to establish God’s Kingdom on earth. To bring rescue and redemption to the whole of creation. In Jesus words there are echoes of the final day of Creation, when the work was completed.

Jesus’ death was seen by Jesus himself, and then by those who told and ultimately wrote his story, as the ultimate means by which God’s Kingdom was established. The crucifixion was the shocking answer to the prayer that God’s kingdom would come on earth as in heaven. It was the ultimate Exodus event through which the tyrant was defeated, God’s people were set free and given their fresh vocation, and God’s presence was established in their midst in a completely new way for which the temple itself was just an advance pointer. – Tom Wright, Simply Jesus p181-2

As you pray and reflect on the cross, today, ask that you would see God’s Kingdom come in your life and the lives of others?

At the cross, Jesus took the judgement and death that was meant for you, onto himself. You have been set free, redeemed. How will this fact affect the way you live your life? Not just today, but the next and so on…?


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