17Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).
18Here they crucified him, and with him two others–one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
19Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
20Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
Note: Remember their statement – “We have no king but Caesar”)
22Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
23When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24“Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did.
Note: Go back and read Psalm 22 – King David foretold these events in stunning detail clearly demonstrating this crucifixion as a part of God’s plan all along – as Jesus foretold 3 times.
25Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” 27and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
Personal Reflection and Discussion
What is your relationship like with your Mom and with your Dad? How has that shaped you over the years?
- Put yourself in Mary’s shoes at this moment. She had “pondered these things and kept them in her heart” over the years. I wonder what was going through her mind that day as she watched her son fulfilling what he came to do. Do you think she understood why this was happening to her son?
- Have you ever had a time when you were blamed or even punished for something you didn’t do? How did you react to the “injustice of it all?”
- Why do you think Pilate was adamant in keeping the words “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” on the cross?
- According to John, there were four women near the cross, watching everything. When ugly or difficult things are happening, what is your typical reaction: (a) I would be curiously and intently watching every moment, (b) I would only watch from a distance and look away when it got too scary or too violent, (c) I would stay away all together – I can’t watch that stuff, (d) other? Explain.
- How can some people just go on like nothing is happening when a guy is being excruciatingly tortured and put to death right next to them?
- How does the fact that David wrote about these events with such detail in Psalm 22 impact your understanding of God’s Upper Story, God’s plan?
Jesus, In the midst of intense physical pain, and literally going through hell on earth as your father turned his back on you (because He is holy and You were bearing the sins of the world) your focus was not upon yourself, but upon others as You demonstrated Your concern for Your mother. Love = self-forgetfulness, thoughtfulness for others. Fill me with Your love, that I, too, am consumed by love for others, even in the midst of personal pain. (2 Cor 5:14; Ro 15:1-2; Gal 5:6; Phil 2:3-8)
Greek Word of the Day
Crucifixion combined four qualities the Romans prized most in an execution: unrelenting agony, protracted death, public spectacle and utter humiliation. Depending upon the level of the scourging, historians recorded that some people suffered for up to nine days. The torture of the cross is preserved for us in the word excruciating. The Place of the Skull: in Hebrew the word for skull is “gulgolet,” Golgatha. In Latin the word for Skull is “calvaria”, Calvary. In Greek, kranio (cranium).
Family Engagement Activity
Today, take care of the needs of another, even if it hurts. Do something for someone else when you would typically do something for yourself, and take joy that you are practicing something Jesus did to show His love.
Play a game of capture the flag but in reverse. Either in the house or in the backyard, split the area in matching the numbers of players (if you have 4 people in your family, split the playing field into 4 equal areas like a pie). Have a flag or a number of balls in a main base, as far away from the center as possible. Instead of getting other people’s flags, try to give away your items one at a time. If you get tagged in another player’s zone, you must go back to your base and put your item back. Player with the least amount of items at the end, wins!! Talk about how life is about giving to others, not worrying if you have enough.
Going Activities To Consider
Today, give until it hurts. At the end, remember, Jesus gave until it hurt. He gave it all and even in the midst of the pain, he kept focus on others. Give, not requiring anything in return, not even a thank you!
Consider fasting from something for the next 3 days.