Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”
But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’
Then “ ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’
For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, is advocating that Jesus be released. The people of Israel are demanding that their Messiah be crucified.
It is in the face of such enmity from his own that Jesus appeals to his Father: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
This is the gospel.
Before you go to sleep each night, spend a few minutes thinking over the day that’s now coming to an end. Invite Jesus to walk with you through the day, and bring to mind those things that would be helpful to sort out with him in the safety of his love for you.
What were the thoughts and feelings within you when you woke up? How did you spend the first hour of your day?
What was the highlight of your day?
What occupied your attention the most?
Where did you most sense God’s presence during your day? What was going on?
Did you sense God’s prompting to do something? Or say something? Did you sense him move you to engage with a particular situation you noticed? How did it go?
What were your primary emotions? Was there a fear or anxiety that was constantly present? Was there a hunger or a longing that was a constant itch?
Was there peace? Joy? Gratitude?
Who were the people you interacted with today? How do you think your interactions went? Was there a conversation you wish you could redo? Is there someone you need to make peace with tomorrow?
Is there someone whose forgiveness you need? Is there someone you need to forgive?
End your day in the Lord’s prayer.