READ : Matthew 27–28
The Jewish leaders did not have the authority to impose the death penalty, so they brought Jesus to Pilate. He tries to avoid making a decision, so he tries to get the Jewish leaders to decide, thinking they will choose to free Jesus rather than a notorious criminal. It doesn’t work, so he washes his hands of the affair, which is impossible. We are responsible for our behavior.
Mistreated by the soldiers, Jesus is brought to Calvary (Golgotha). Evidently there was a group of pious Jewish women who had made it their task of love to provide a drugged drink for those about to be crucified so that the pain will not be as great. But Jesus is there to suffer for us, so he refuses the drink.
It is about nine in the morning when they crucify Jesus. At noon the sky grows strangely dark until three in the afternoon. Then Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (27:46 ESV). Jesus suffered hell in our place. This was physical torment, but the sense of being abandoned by his loving Father was the worst part of the ordeal. Above all, hell is to have God turn his back on a person.
Having risen from the dead, Jesus appeared to women who had come to the tomb. Consider seriously what he says to all of his followers, including us: “Make disciples of all nations.”
Father, we praise you for the death and resurrection of our Savior. Help us to obey him. In his name. Amen.