The Road to the Cross 16

Jesus told His disciples something we need to keep in mind as we approach the seventh word from the cross. He told them, “No man takes my life from Me but I lay it down of my own accord.” (John 10:18)

The cross was not an accident of misfortune, a lack of careful calculation on … Continue Reading

The Road to the Cross 15

Hours had passed when we hear the cry from Jesus… a “loud” cry according to the witnesses of the Gospel. Maybe even a shout, as unlikely as that would be from one gasping for His final breaths on the cross.

He had been given something to moisten His parched tongue and dried throat. With a … Continue Reading

The Road to the Cross 14

“I thirst.” Of all the utterances of Jesus from the cross on Good Friday, this one was the most human. It reminded again that, “He had to be made like His brothers in every way,” for atonement to be accomplished.

In short… He had to be really human. That means the Roman whips tore into … Continue Reading

The Road to the Cross 13

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)

While our church in particular does not celebrate the season of Lent formally, it has a rich history in our Christian traditions. Among other things, Lent is a season of change; of seeing things a new way… of shedding old habits and establishing new … Continue Reading

The Road to the Cross 12

“Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.”

In a six-hour period, Jesus uttered seven statements. Most were spoken in less words than we have recorded in our English translations. That was by necessity, since the process of crucifixion was actually an act of slow suffocation. Words came at a premium. Only what was most … Continue Reading

The Road to the Cross 11

“Remember me….” These words were uttered by a man staring down the dark tunnel of a hopeless eternity. “Remember me.” He didn’t even know the right words, the right formula to use to ask for salvation or rescue. He just knew he was alone… hopeless… forgotten.

Ironically, only “non-persons” were made victims of crucifixion in … Continue Reading

The Road to the Cross 10

Visit any of the holy sites believed to be the place of Jesus’ crucifixion today, and you will normally find people looking in hushed reverence. On the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, the noise of a shouting throng and the cursing of tortured thieves and Roman soldiers polluted the air of Golgotha.

Noise was routine during … Continue Reading

The Road to the Cross 09

“Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews.” (Matthew 27:37)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “A king who would allow himself to be crucified must be the king of a strange kingdom, indeed.” We are followers of a strange kind of king, at least from the point … Continue Reading

The Road to the Cross 08

This weekend will mark a milestone in American and, indeed, world history. The passing last week of the most listened-to evangelist in history will be commemorated this coming weekend at the Billy Graham Library in Asheville, North Carolina. The world will watch. Dignitaries will fly in from all over the planet.

And let’s remember as … Continue Reading

The Road to the Cross 07

By the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, the Romans had perfected this type of execution to a kind of bizarre and sadistic, art form. A model of efficiency. Nails were places between the wrist bones of the victim which added the bonus of pressing against the median nerve, adding another layer of pain. The feet were … Continue Reading