"So he delivered Him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha" (John 19:16-17). Read John 19:16-30.
Jesus shows remarkable strength in His first three hours on the cross. Even while He is suffering for our sins, His focus is not on Himself, but on the people around Him. Seeing His enemies He pleads, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34a). He promises the repentant criminal at His side, "Today You will be with Me in paradise" (Luke 23:43b). He provides a disciple to care for His mother after He is gone "Woman, behold, your son!" and to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" (John 19:26b, 27b).
Then at noon comes the darkness. Luke tells us the sun stopped shining. Jesus hangs alone in the darkness silently suffering God's wrath at the sins of the world. Finally, after three hours He cries out in agony, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46b).
By three in the afternoon, it is over. God the Father has unleashed His full wrath-not a single one of our sins has gone unpunished. John tells us, "Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said, (to fulfill the Scripture) 'I thirst'" (John 19:28). And "When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished,' and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit" (John 19:30). There is nothing left for us to pay. We are free, and the doors of heaven are open wide to us through Jesus' life, death and resurrection.
Jesus offers His last confident prayer: "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit" (Luke 23:46b).
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, on the cross You suffered the wrath of God for all of our sins, and paid the price in full. Receive our thanks and gratitude for Your amazing sacrifice and the life that is ours because of Your death. Amen.
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