Spend a moment thinking about the things you have said, thought or done that have separated you from God today. Confess them to Jesus, and remember that when he died, he died so that you might be free from them – and know that you are completely forgiven.
This is a horrible account of the last moments of Jesus’ life. Firstly he is the victim of a miscarriage of justice and despite knowing that he was innocent, he was flogged within inches of his life, a common Roman punishment to deter criminals. He was dressed up as a king, ironic because that is what he really is. The chief priests are so keen to have him crucified that they say “we have no king but Caesar” when they should really remember that God was their king.
There are a few details in this passage that are significant – one is that the judgement is handed down on the day of preparation of the Passover festival at about noon. This was the day that the lambs were sacrificed, remembering the time that the Jewish people lived as slaves in Egypt and were saved by blood from a lamb being painted on their door frames. We say that Jesus is the lamb of God, because he died just like those lambs did, for the sake of the people, to allow them to go free instead.
There are a few more details that relate to something happening in order to fulfil scripture. This means that a prophet thousands of years beforehand had written about something which was now coming true.
When Jesus died he said “It is finished.” His death (and resurrection) are enough to pay for everything that has separated you from God. These words show that he was still in total control, even at the end. It is a triumphant statement, that even in this darkest moment, love and goodness will win the day.
Thank you, Jesus for all that you did so that we might be free. Help us live in the light of that freedom today. Amen.
Joseph of Arimathea took a risk by asking for Jesus’ body. What risks will you take today to demonstrate your worship of Jesus?