So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. The chief priests of the Jews then said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfil the scripture, “They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture), “I thirst.” A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:17-30)
Additional Daily Bible Readings: Isaiah 53; Psalm 22; Hebrews 4:14–16, 5:7–9; John 19:17–30
Weekly Reading: http://bit.ly/2kNMlfU
For this solemn and somber day, it seems appropriate to provide the entire Gospel reading for the day: John’s account of Jesus’ crucifixion, death and burial. It is moving, and we need to give due consideration of what it means that Jesus, the Son of God, was crucified for us. He was crucified with two others, one on his right and one on his left. Pilate’s words, “Jesus, King of the Jews,” are haunting; they troubled the Jewish leaders as this was not what they were expecting. The soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ tunic, dividing his clothes among themselves, in fulfillment of Scripture. His mother and the other women stood by, witnessing his slow, agonizing death, until finally, “It is finished.” And Jesus gave up his spirit.
Many will sing the beloved hymn, “Were you there, when they crucified my Lord?” today. We were not there, but through the testimony of John we, too, are witnesses of these things.
Prayer: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. By your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Amen.
Holy Week Response: Leave time today—even if only five minutes—for silent meditation on Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
Video Devotional: From Ashes to Easter
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.