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The Crucifixion October 28, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 27:32-44.

Summary: In this passage, Pilate’s soldiers and Jesus go forth out of Jerusalem with His cross. When they arrive at the skull place, they crucify Him and part His garments by gambling for them. They then sit down and stay on guard. Two robbers are crucified on either side of Him.

He is then continually reviled by:

  • careless passersby, who challenge Him to destroy (and rebuild) the temple and come down from His cross
  • the religious wicked, who assert that although He has healed others through His miracles, He cannot heal Himself in this instance
  • the two robbers on either side of Him.

Thoughts: A tenet of Christianity is that Jesus was crucified for our sins. Ryle offers some thoughts on this point:

Last, but not least, let us learn from the story of the passion always to hate sin with a great hatred. Sin was the cause of all our Saviour’s suffering. Our sins twisted the crown of thorns; our sins drove the nails into his hands and feet; on account of our sins his blood was shed. Surely the thought of Christ crucified should make us loathe all sin.

Ryle rightly highlights the connection between the passion of Christ and our sinfulness. One thought is that if we loathe our sinfulness, we should desire to be free from sin in this life. Yet we cannot be perfect; indeed, we fall short of perfection on a daily basis. How do we address this conundrum? One idea is that we must not be complacent about our sinfulness. While we remain cognizant of our inherent limitations in this life, we must continue to loathe our sins and strive against them – as God can bear fruit through our struggles.

In Luke 23:39-43, we learn that one of the robbers who was crucified beside Jesus actually repents of his sins before his death; moreover, Jesus asserts that he will join Him in paradise. This caused me to ponder the following question: how does that event relate to Jesus’ earlier discussion concerning sheep and goats? Indeed, this may lead to a broader question: how do deathbed confessions relate to that earlier discussion? If one does not perform good deeds for believers, and then makes a deathbed confession, will they truly join Him in paradise? If one lives as a “goat,” and then makes a deathbed confession, do they instantly become a “sheep?” Are deathbed confessions essentially unrelated to that earlier discussion? These are challenging questions that (I believe) do not possess simple answers. In any event, I believe that we should strive to live as “sheep,” as that will please Him.