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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Betrayed and Taken


John 19:13-18

“13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.”

The Disciples deserted Him.  Peter denied Him.  Now the people cried out for His death.  It was not just any death that they cried out for. It was a death reserved for criminals; a gruesome death used by the Romans to torture and humiliate the victim and to deter those who witnessed it from committing similar crimes against the state of Rome. 

Deserted by all who had walked and lived with Him, He had carried His cross to the place of His execution.  Two criminals on crosses were on each side of Him.  They were His companions in suffering and death.

The horrific nature of His death was reflective of the horrific nature of the sins of humanity that He was taking upon himself during the crucifixion.  The horrific nature of His death contrasted with the acts of love he had performed for others in His ministry.

But His death on the cross was more than an act of love.  It defined for us the kind of love that we are to have for one another- a selfless, self-sacrificing love.

And all who follow Him are called to this love.


May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)


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