Jesus is Crucified
(The Message Translation)
33 When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.
34-35 Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”
Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”
36-37 The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”
38 Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews.
39 One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”
40-41 But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”
43 He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”
Jesus' killers and taunters wanted him to prove who he was by coming down off of the cross. Instead, Jesus proved who he was by staying up.
Somehow, Jesus was able to forgive those who killed him while they were killing him. Somehow, Jesus was able to remain a forgiving victim.
If Jesus really is the God of the Cosmos in human form, I hope not to be like the crowd who missed the point of the moment. I hope to have the eyes to see this same God appearing today in the most unlikely and unexpected places, where strength and domination are replaced with forgiveness and mercy. And I hope somehow to carry the same spirit of forgiveness in myself too.
Outward Mindset Application Focus on solutions this week, rather than affixing blame.
Pathways Toward Centeredness Caregiving (loving the world through loving others): Is there anyone you know who would be blessed by an invitation to share Thanksgiving with you? If you have the capacity to be host, extend an invitation this week.
Questions for Reflection What is the most significant moment of forgiveness you have experienced from another human? What did that forgiveness provide for you? Do you think it's even possible to replicate the sort of forgiveness that Jesus seems to demonstrate on the cross?