Reading: Luke 23.26-44
Scriptures: When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, 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." - Luke 23:33-34
Observations: The horrendous event was recorded in the simplest of terms, "there they crucified him." He was placed between two others who were crucified with him that day, Matthew and Mark say they were thieves. Apparently this form of execution was so common that Luke and the other gospel writers didn't need to describe the brutality. Everyone in the empire had witnessed crucifixions. It was the empire's way to keep the peace. How ironic. Imagine a culture where the regional "king" (Herod) can chop off the head of a preacher who rebuked him (John the Baptist) without fear of reprisal, but petty thieves are "justly" crucified for their acts.
Jesus, naked and nailed to the wood, prayed for their forgiveness as his clothes were divided among them, the rulers sneered, the soldiers mocked and one of the soldiers insulted him.
Apply: Such love, such mercy, such grace the world has never known. Who can ever claim that God does not understand injustice, or that God has not done enough for them? On this Monday of holy week, my heart is heavy as I ponder the cross. Our world needs this message as much now as ever. I need this messages as much now as ever.
Prayer: Jesus, forgive us. Jesus, forgive me. Jesus, let your people, your earthy body, display such love, mercy and grace in our world today.