Making Much of the Crucifixion


As a reminder, this series is intended to look at five events: the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and Pentecost in order that we might make the most of them. In some cases, we’ve thought about them, celebrated them, and talked about them so much that they’ve become just another time of year. In other cases, we’ve never really stopped to think about them at all. This post will focus on making much of the Crucifixion.

Luke 23:35-37
And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him. . . saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

There are a few times in life that we willingly endure physical pain. Mothers endure childbirth, we get shots, we have surgeries, some people get tattoos or piercings, others go see chiropractors or use “guns” to massage deep tissue and sore muscles. In all of these cases, even the more extreme ones, we know that the pain will end. It is understood that even in the extreme pain of childbirth, the physical pain will cease at some point.

As we think about the Crucifixion and we try and make much of it in our lives this season, don’t forget this key reality – not only did Jesus suffer pain, not only did he did so willingly, but he could have come down from the cross.

The Pharisees posed a good question. They said, if Jesus is the Christ, the chosen one, the king of the Jews, why wouldn’t he just save himself? This is a valid question, especially because we know that he is all of those things and yet he never saved himself!

So on a much smaller scale, this is like if you stepped into your shower and the water for some reason had been turned all the way to cold. That’s a kind of pain that all of us can understand and we also understand that all we need to do is either step out of the shower or adjust the water temperature. We are all able to “save ourselves” from the pain of the ice cold shower. But what Jesus did at the Crucifixion is he stood in the water. Of course, he did it on a much larger and a much more painful scale.

This is how we need to think about the Crucifixion. As we make much of the Crucifixion this year, we need to feel the relief of what Jesus has done for us on the Cross. He has endured pain more intense than any of us will feel and way more intense than just a cold shower. He did it so that we don’t have to. The punishment that has come down from the God of the universe against those who have sinned has been endured by someone else. What a relief!

However the aim of these posts is to try and think about these events individually, which means that the relief we feel should be filled with uneasiness. The Crucifixion is a moment that leaves all creation on the edge of a cliff. Will this death mean anything? Will it work? The Cross and its effectiveness was far from a settled matter for the unnerved disciples. And it would be so for three days.

Uneasiness, sadness, relief, and a myriad of other emotions should flood our hearts and minds as we think about the Crucifixion! My friends this week as we reflect on the Crucifixion, see the heart of the Savior for you and wait with hope!
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