Reading

  • Matt. 27:2; Luke 23:1-2; John 18:28-32
  • Matt. 27:11-14; John 18:33-38
  • Luke 23:5-12
  • Matt. 27:19
  • Luke 23:13-16
  • Mark 15:6-10
  • Matt. 27:20-21; Mark 15:11; Luke 23:18-19; John 18:40
  • Matt. 27:22-23; Luke 23:20-23
  • Matt. 27:27-30; John 19:1-15
  • Matt. 27:24-25
  • Luke 23:24-25
  • Mark 15:20; John 19:17
  • Mark 15:21-22
  • Luke 23:27-31

Devotional

Yesterday we read how the Jewish high court had condemned Jesus to die for proclaiming Himself to be the Son of GOD, which they refused to believe. The Romans had a rule that the Jews were not allowed to punish a citizen using the death penalty, so the Jews turned Jesus over to the Roman Governor at the time, Pilate. Pilate questioned Jesus and, upon hearing that Jesus was from the region of Galilee, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod Antipas (who had beheaded John the Baptist), because Herod was over the region of Galilee.

Herod was excited to see Jesus because he wanted to see a miracle, but Jesus refused to answer any of Herod's questions. Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus, making fun of Him, and they dressed Jesus in a purple robe (the color worn by kings) and sent Him back to Pilate.

Pilate's wife sent word to him advising him not to have anything to do with Jesus because she had suffered greatly that day in a dream because of Him. She was convinced Jesus was innocent. Pilate wanted to release Jesus, but the Jews refused to hear any reason on the matter. Pilate had a custom each Passover where he would release a specific prisoner to the Jews of their request. Pilate offered to release Jesus but the Jews insisted that he instead release a violent criminal named Barabbas and crucify Jesus.

Pilate then decided to have Jesus flogged (beaten with whips) in an attempt to appease the Jews, but even afterward, they insisted that Jesus be crucified, shouting loudly at Pilate to kill Him. Finally, Pilate gave up because he realized he was getting nowhere and that a riot was building, so he washed his hands in front of the crowd, proclaiming his innocence regarding Jesus' blood. The people replied that Jesus' blood be upon them and their children. (Little did they know that's exactly what would happen, and that, for those who accepted Him as Lord, that blood which they had shed would provide the forgiveness they desperately needed and craved.)

So Pilate released Barabbas and sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion. Jesus went out from there carrying His own cross. Along the way, Jesus became too weak to carry the cross, so a man named Simon who was from a different country and was standing nearby was forced to carry it after Jesus. A large crowd followed Jesus, many weeping loudly at what was happening. Jesus turned to those women and told them not to cry for Him but for themselves, because really bad days were coming upon them in the future. He pointed out that the Jews were doing these evil deeds when times were good, so they would behave much worse when times were difficult.

They led Jesus to a place called Golgotha, which means The Place of the Skull.

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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