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Wednesday, March 27, 2013
"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." Philippians 3:10
On Sunday, we will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So on this Wednesday, I cannot help but trace the steps of Jesus as He is crucified. Around midnight, He was arrested and tried by the Jews for about six hours (John 18:19-24). Jesus appears before Annas that night and Caiaphas at dawn. He is denied by Peter before the cock crows thrice, as He affirms that He is, in fact, the Christ of God (Matt. 26:59-68; Mark 14:55-65). He then is sent to Pilate, where He is sentenced to death and scourged. Pilate sends Him before Herod, who longs to see a miracle, and asks Jesus many questions, but He answers him nothing (Luke 23:6-12). Herod and the soldiers mock Jesus with the crown of thorns and the robe, and He is smitten in the face. Back to Pilate He is sent, and here the crowd will not listen to the verdict, "I find no fault in Him!" Instead, they demand Barabas to be released and Christ to be crucified. By 9:00 a.m., He is hanging on the cross, so badly beaten that there is no resemblance of being a man. He hangs in shame before the world until noon, when the earth is plunged in darkness. For three hours, He tastes the wrath of God as He who knew no sin became sin for us. At 3:00 p.m., He cries out, "My God, My God!" and the veil in the Temple is rent from top to bottom, the earth quakes as the rocks are rent. Then the shout, "It is finished!" rings out, and He commends His spirit to the Father, and gives up the ghost. He will be in the borrowed tomb by 6:00 p.m., and all the disciples will be hiding out for fear of the Jews. The dead body of the Lord Jesus will lay in that sepulcher for three days and three nights. The sufferings have been beyond compare, and the cup has been very bitter. His last hours were spent in agony before Satan, mankind and God Almighty. The wages of sin is now paid.
As we await Sunday morning, anticipating the empty tomb, let us not forget the fellowship we have with His sufferings. “He was wounded for our transgression, and bruised for our iniquities”Isaiah 53:5. “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not...Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed”1 Peter 2:22-24.
Pause to remember your part in His sufferings, and await these next three days and three nights with anticipation as our Saviour will triumph over sin and the grave, making a show of them openly (Colossians 2). Spend time retracing His steps of suffering for our redemption. How much sweeter will Sunday seem!