Passion Week (Tuesday): The Completion of Crucifixion

The story goes on in John 19:16-30…

So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified. They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.'” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture: “THEY DIVIDED MY OUTER GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND FOR MY CLOTHING THEY CAST LOTS.” Therefore the soldiers did these things.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

The trauma and tension of Jesus being tortured is still very present and real.  The moment of crucifixion has come.  The King who upholds the heavens and earth on His shoulders is forced to carry His own instrument of death upon His shoulders as He is paraded through cobbled Jerusalem streets.  After what must have seemed an eternity in His humanity, Jesus arrives at Golgatha, the Place of the Skull.  And another irony carven into a wooden board atop His cross reads “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.”  If only we had really known.  Moments turn into minutes… minutes in to hours, and finally the final breath is exhaled with the world-changing words “It is finished.”  We thought it his death, but in reality, those words ushered into a new beginning.  “O praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.”

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