Friday, March 11, 2016

The Final Hours of Our Lord

           The Final Hours of Our Lord

                                  Matthew 27:1-37

The scene, gruesome and hard to visualize. Envision the tragedy of Jesus’ face being slapped repeatedly, bruised and beaten until He was swollen beyond recognition. Many people have been accused, arrested, and convicted of crimes they were not guilty of. But, only Jesus has been falsely accused of crimes He never committed, arrested wrongfully, abused beyond recognition, and found innocent, repeatedly.

The trial of Jesus was a mockery and the Sanhedrin wanted to intimidate Pilate and make him listen to their plea. They hoped Pilate would do whatever they told him to do, but Pilate was unwilling to co-operate so readily. It was clear the charges against Jesus were false and had no foundation. Pilate took Jesus to Herod’s palace–––a short walk through the narrow streets of the city. Herod and Pilate both agreed that Jesus was no threat to Rome and all the Sanhedrin’s charges were false and their intent was only evil.

The crowd, now becoming hostile, pushes Pilate into making the decision to scourge Jesus. He knows He’s innocent and hopes for a compromise. The custom of the day was to release one prisoner from prison and Pilate proposed Jesus. The only candidate given for release that day was Barabbas, a man so vile and contemptible that Pilate thought for sure the people would never choose him. The hostile crowd persisted upon Jesus’ crucifixion. There was no stopping the scheme of the Sanhedrin. Pilate, the highest ruler in the region was unable to stop this unbelievable plea for Jesus’ crucifixion. The flogging of Jesus was only the beginning of the physical and emotional tortures He would have to endure before His death.

Though the abuse and torture of Christ is hard for us to comprehend, there is nothing that compares to the wrath of God placed upon His Son when He bore our sins on the cross. Christ‘s crucifixion, death and glorious resurrection remains to be the very essence of the gospel.

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your overwhelming sacrificial gift of eternal life.

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