Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [[Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”]] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
Oh, how this passage makes me reflect on our society and the very real-world, everyday realities of society. “The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegarand said, “’If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.’”
The sadness, anger, and outright meanness that we humans can devolve into breaks my heart – yet I understand it well. It comes from a place of fear, hurt, grief, and probably so much more. And today, it’s all compounded by COVID-19 and the isolation, pain, and loss felt by so many.
All I can think to do is turn to the future – in this case, to the moment when He Rises. It brings hope and light. With my young children, I often sing “Do not be afraid, I am with you” as an evening lullaby. I hope it lures them to sleep safely and soundly, but it also serves the purpose of comforting me. Today, as they get older, we talk about how Jesus’ death and resurrection means that we do not need to be afraid. Together, we learn and feel the strength that Easter brings.
This passage can make me so sad – but the hope and light around the corner is very real and uplifting.
Dear Lord, you give us comfort, strength, and healing. You are the light when there is darkness. In your name, I pray.