The Journey to The Cross, March 29: At the Cross
And now, the sound of the hammer striking thick flesh-piercing nails rings out across the hillside. The screams of the crucified rend the air. Jesus and two men condemned as thieves are suspended between heaven and earth, already dead but with hours to go before their hearts give out.
And for 6 hours they hang.
His Mother weeps.
The soldiers go about the business of execution. Waiting for the men to die. Watching to thwart any rescue attempt.
They pass the time by casting lots for Jesus’ clothes. He doesn’t need them on the cross. It is just one more level of humiliation.
Seven times in six hours, Jesus spoke from the cross. Seven agonizing, lung-searing, gut-clenching times, he pushed up on the nail through His feet to take in the air He needed to speak.
He forgave the people who had done this to Him.
He promised the thief who repented that he did not have to earn heaven. He had gained it simply by putting his faith in the man being crucified with him.
He commended His Mother’s care to His best friend, John.
He said, “I thirst.”
He cried out as His Father turned His back on Him because of our sin.
He declared, “It is finished.” The work of saving the world was done.
And then He said, “Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit.” In other words, “Father, I am now choosing to lay down my life, once and for all. They didn’t kill me. I willingly died in their place.”
And then it was done. The eternal work of the punishment for our sin. And the mortal work of Jesus’ heart stopping. He was gone. In six hours one Friday.
One day that changed the world. That gave us hope. That made the way for us to be in right relationship with God. One horribly glorious day.
Adoration: Praise God for His redemptive plan. And praise Jesus for His willingness to suffer in your place.
Confession: Ask God to bring to mind any area that needs to be confessed. Agree with Him about your sin and ask for His help to walk in a different direction in this area.
Thanksgiving: Thank God for the specific good things He has placed in your life, including His Word that gives us the Truth that sets us free.
Supplication: Ask God to bless all who will speak on Sunday, both to adults and children. Ask Him to speak through each person, giving them His words.