The Crucified King: Dec. 22
As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying,“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.”And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:32-54
The coming of Jesus as a man gave him the ability to suffer and die as a man, for mankind. God in his divine nature cannot bleed, cannot be pierced, cannot gasp, or choke, or suffocate. So God the Son gave Himself a nature that could experience a long and tortuous death. He gave Himself eyes that could see the mocking crowds and ears that could hear their scorn. He gave Himself skin that could be lacerated and nerves that could feel the agony. And most importantly, he gave Himself a human nature that could be rejected by God the Father. A human nature that could be cursed. He took on the ability to stand in Adam’s place, to stand in David’s place, to stand in your place and my place. He was born to live and then to die. He came to be sacrificed. He became vulnerable to suffering, so He could take our punishment. He became a man, so that He could face man’s unutterable condemnation.
There He is—the glory of Heaven, the healer of the sick, the teacher of multitudes, the King on the cross, and the Lamb on the altar.
There He is—born to obey, born to die, born to save. Let us repeat, in love and truth, the words that were first spoken as mockery from his enemies.
He is the King of the Jews, the King of all Kings! He is our King! He is our Lord! Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth, goodwill toward men. Raised now to life, yet scarred still from death. Come, let us adore Him!