131. Death penalty for the Son of God
The judge was in favor of the death penalty. The executioner was prepared. And the Lord Jesus was delivered to His enemies.
They spit on Him, hit God’s Son in the face and whipped Him.
Beatings remind us of a penalty. Jesus didn’t ever deserve them. He was never guilty of sin. Nevertheless, He was executed in the most terrible way.
On his bleeding back He carried the heavy wooden cross through the streets of Jerusalem.
Outside of the city on the hill named Golgotha, He was nailed to a cross by brutal soldiers in between two criminals, one to His left and one to His right.
Dying on the cross was horrible. Jesus suffered headaches, terrible thirst and shortage of breath. He was afraid.
In addition, his enemies made fun of Him.
Mocker: "Hey, if You’re really the Son of God, then come down from the cross."
Soldier: "If You’re the King of the Jews, then save Yourself."
If Jesus wanted to save Himself, then He wouldn’t have come down from heaven to earth.
He came for that purpose, to save us because He loves us. Jesus even loves His enemies.
Jesus: "Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing."
Imagine the three crosses. Jesus in the middle, on His right and on His left hang the criminals. Doesn’t it look like Jesus is stretching out His arms to these two sinners?
Criminal (in a hateful tone): "You’re supposed to be the promised Savior? Then save Yourself and us as well."
Murderer: "Be quiet. Have you forgotten God? We’re guilty of what we’ve done, we deserve our penalty, but He has done nothing wrong. Lord Jesus, please remember me when you enter Your kingdom."
Jesus: "I say to you: today you shall be with me in paradise."
The murderer admitted his sin. And for that reason he could enter heaven.
He was right: We all are guilty. But Jesus forgives, and His hands are always stretched out towards sinners.
Imagine the three crosses once again. Jesus in the middle, on His right and on His left hang the criminals. One trusted in Jesus, the other made fun of Him. One was saved, the other was lost. On which side are you standing?
Jesus holds His hands out to you. His love is greater than your guilt.
People: Narrator, mocker, soldier, Jesus, murderer, criminal
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