Monday, June 2, 2014

And They Crucified Him

  • When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. - Matthew 27:35
  • And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. - Mark 15:24
  • 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. - Luke 23:33
  • There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.- John 19:18
Without a doubt, at least for the Christian, the crucifixion of Jesus is only rivaled in importance by his resurrection a couple of days later.  Through faith in what he did, I can experience forgiveness of sin and experience a relationship with my creator.  The gospels look forward to this event, and the epistles look back at it.  Removing the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus from the scriptures would gut them, making them no more than one of a myriad of other ethical & moral guides.

And so it strikes me as strange how simply the crucifixion of Jesus is described; "they crucified him".  No details or elaboration.  Not sure there's even enough information in the Bible to really know what crucifixion is without external sources.  Did the gospel writers leave out the details because of how horrific it was, or because they assumed their hearers would know what crucifixion was?

I don't know why we only get 4-5 words in each of the gospel accounts.  It's so easy to miss it when you read through a gospel, or even the events of that day.  But it is well worth our time to stop at this expression when we come across it and meditate on what it is saying.  That the creator of our universe, who had taken on human form, has allowed himself to be executed by those he had created.  When I stop to consider just what those few words say, I am amazed and humbled.

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