The Crucifixion of Jesus
25It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.
27They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. 2828 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Luke 22:37. 29Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Death of Jesus
33At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).34 Psalm 22:1
35When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
36Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
37With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died,39 Some manuscripts saw that he died with such a cry he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
The Purpose of the crucifixion:
- At the time of Jesus:
- Animal sacrifices were used to receive forgiveness of sins….over and over again.
- Forgiveness of sin.
- A ransom: Jesus said that he gave his life a ransom, lutron (λύτρον), used to describe liberating captives or slaves.
- Forgiveness of sin.
- A ransom: freedom from bondage.
Jesus as liberator? ‘Rebel?’
- Those on the cross on either side of Jesus: Lestes (λῃστάς), rebels, robbers
- Liberator from what?
If Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins and to liberate us, what is holding us hostage:
- What sin is gripping us, paralyzing our abilities to be the people God has created us to be?
- What social sin?
- What personal sin?
- What is preventing you from letting Jesus release you from that sin?
Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC