Scripture reading:
Matthew 27:33-56

“For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

After the cross was erected, and Jesus was nailed thereon, the soldiers gambled at the foot of it for Jesus’ clothes. The priests and scribes and elders continued to ridicule Him. These were the religious men!

Jesus had friends in the crowd, too. There was Mary Magdalene and Salome, and the mother of James and John, and Mary, the mother of Jesus and other women and certainly some of the disciples were in the background.

Also, Jesus gained new friends that day. There were thieves crucified on either side of the Lord. At first they hurled insults, but finally one of them decided that Jesus must be the Son of God and while he was still conscious he believed and said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom.”

Roman Centurion

A Roman soldier that was used to seeing people die said that this Galilean died differently to any that he had ever witnessed. He saw that Jesus was suffering, and yet He refused to sip the drink that was offered Him on the sponge. He also saw that Jesus was thinking about others while he was suffering. There was only one way to explain this, “He was truly the Son of God!”

Yes, Christ died for these very soldiers that crucified Him. He died for the ones that were there making fun of Him, and accusing Him. He died for the ones that were spitting on Him. He died for the gamblers, He died for the hypocritical priest and scribes and elders. He died for these, and yet He also died for the sins of his friends, for Mary Magdalene, and Mary, his earthly mother, and for His disciples. He died for these thieves that were crucified beside Him. Yes, He died for His enemies as well as those that befriended Him. He died for each of you that are reading this, today! Won’t you accept Him as Saviour, and then live for Him who died for you? “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also have received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (I Corinthians 15:3-4)

“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45-46)

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent: And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.” (Matthew 27:50-52)