Crucified. The tenth of fifteen words on Jesus' way to the Cross.
The tenth of our Lent reflections, on Luke 23:33-34, considers the crucifixion of Jesus.
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. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Words are rarely disconnected from places.
Jesus, a young man in an unfamiliar place, has finally arrived at the place he is going to die. This is a place that will live on in history, whether it looked like a skull (As some suggest) or was so saturated with death that it gave the sense of a skull.
Here, outside the city walls, separated from his friends, Jesus is crucified. He’s not married, hasn’t had the chance of a family, and he prays.
Even as he is crucified, Jesus points to his purpose, speaking with his Father, pleading for forgiveness for those who are nailing him to the Cross.
Even as he is crucified, killed as a common criminal in the most humiliating way imaginable, he is humiliated further as his clothes are divided up by his persecutors.
Even as he is crucified, the mockery continues. His clothes are divided by chance – yet this event does not look like a random act of something.
Jesus is crucified, and it looks like hope has died.
Pray – This week LCM is praying for ministry and mission amongst London’s youth. Pray particularly for those who are involved in confronting Serious Youth Violence (knife crime) – particularly the ministry of Operation Forgiveness.
Respond – find out more about Operation Forgiveness by reading this blog post. If appropriate, why not invite the team to run a session at your church or youth group?