Friday, April 10, 2009

At the Cross

From Mark 15 (New International Version)

The...Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate. "Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate. "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of." But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed..."What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them.

"Crucify him!" they shouted.

"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"

Pilate...had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace...the whole company of soldiers...put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out..."Hail, king of the Jews!" Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him...

They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull)...and crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. It was the third hour when they crucified him.

The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS...Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!" The...the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe."

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" When some of those standing near heard this, they said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah." One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down," he said.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!"

When I viewed "The Passion" movie, I expected to be distressed by the scourging and crucifixion scenes, and I was. But the scene which, somewhat inexplicably, moved me the most and caused me to feel not only deeply sad but deeply angry, was of the soldiers mocking Jesus--the crown, robe, bowing down, taunts...these caused a depth of anger in me that was surprising. I felt murderous, even though I knew, of course, that this was a film and these were actors I was watching. I knew quite clearly in that moment that I would likely have been like Peter in the garden, wildly swinging a sword and wanting to kill someone. I understood somehow, in that moment in a darkened theatre, a little more of what it must have meant for Jesus Christ to endure in silence and to say, "Father, forgive them. They know not what they do."

Today's video is of the well-known hymn by Isaac Watts, sung here by the Sharon Singers of Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute. The lovely tune was new to me.


chartreuseova said...

Often I think I'd be more like Peter in his denial of Christ.

That version of the hymn...very touching as I watched it just a few minutes after 3 p.m. I'll be going to a Good Friday Service this evening and this changed my frame of mind.

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

I think I might be more like Peter too. I hope not.

I am glad you were blessed. I just got home from a beautiful Good Friday service myself.

Happy Easter to you and the family.

Anonymous said...

i give myself away, 'tis all that i can do