17 November 2018

GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Jim Stephens

Scripture: John 19:16-22 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)

16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. 17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Skull Hill (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18 There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. 21 Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’ ” 22 Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.” (John 19:16-22 NLT)

Jesus was led away from Pilate’s palace in the Fortress of Antonia. He began carrying his own cross as they moved through the narrow streets toward the crucifixion site outside the city. Jesus, weakened by the beating he had received wasn’t able to carry the weight of the cross, and the soldiers forced an African man, Simon of Cyrene to carry Jesus’ cross. When they reached Skull Hill the soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross-bar with spikes, then dropped the vertical beam of the cross into a socket cut out of the stone and spiked it in place with wooden wedges.

Two criminals were crucified with Jesus that morning. Pilate made a sarcastic jab at the Jews who manipulated him into killing Jesus by posting a sign above Jesus’ head on the cross, written in three languages, that read “King of The Jews.” Passers-by did a double-take as they read the sign and laughed at the “King” hanging there naked and bleeding. The priests and teachers of religious law mocked the Messiah they had been waiting for centuries to see, calling out “Let this Messiah, this King of Israel come down from the cross so we can believe in him!” The soldiers also mocked him.

This began six hours of indescribable physical torture and agony, and the completion of a spiritual transaction that had never happened before nor would ever happen again in heaven or earth! As Jesus gasped for breath and groaned in agony, drop by drop, the innocent blood of the Lamb of God took away the sin of the world. Atonement was made, the price of redemption was paid. And the only one who seemed to “get it” was the dying criminal who turned and said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”


Father, Thank you that the price of redemption is paid, and atonement has been made.

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