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Our World and Sacrifice | DAY TWENTY-SEVEN

SCRIPTURE READING

“They forced a man coming in from the country, who was passing by, to carry Jesus’s cross. He was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull). They tried to give him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. Then they crucified him and divided his clothes, casting lots for them to decide what each would get. Now it was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge written against him was: THE KING OF THE JEWS. They crucified two criminals with him, one on his right and one on his left.

Those who passed by were yelling insults at him, shaking their heads, and saying, “Ha! The one who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself by coming down from the cross!” In the same way, the chief priests with the scribes were mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with him taunted him. When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lemá sabachtháni?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “See, he’s calling for Elijah.” Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, fixed it on a stick, offered him a drink, and said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.” Jesus let out a loud cry and breathed his last. Then the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion, who was standing opposite him, saw the way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” There were also women watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. In Galilee these women followed him and took care of him. Many other women had come up with him to Jerusalem.”

Mark 15:21-41 CSB

THINKING FURTHER

THOUGHTS:
The cross on which Jesus died was no accident. Taking a tree which God had created, man cut it down, carved it and shaped it into an instrument of torture and death. Jesus, also did not die on the cross by accident. He wasn’t a leader of a rebellion which failed. He died there willingly. He suffered the pain because he intended to save a people for himself from the greatest enemy of all; sin and death. On that day, as the sky turned dark, the earth quaked and the temple curtain tore in half, it seems that mankind was the last one to realize what had just happened – the Son of God had just been killed.

Prayer Focus – Let us pray to feel and understand the reality of Jesus’ death. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to quicken our hearts to see and accept that Jesus wasn’t just a good teacher, a philosopher or just a nice man. He is our Savior and he died for us on purpose, because he loves us and we were helpless in our sins. Let us pray for our Good Friday service that this truth would be known clearly by all those that hear.

GO & DO:
Good Friday Fasting: Consider fasting today (or for the rest of the day) to help focus your thoughts and prayers on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. This is a Good Friday tradition we have at City Church that we invite you into with us.