Day 31

Jesus Is Crucified

from the The Life of Jesus reading plan

Luke 23:13-25, Mark 15:16-20, Luke 23:26-43

BY Bailey T. Hurley

In this narrative of Jesus’s last hours, we encounter a slew of hard hearts. Sin has clouded with unjust vengeance the vision of those who once saw Jesus heal the blind and broken. Jesus, who was celebrated with a welcome fit for a victorious general, is now treated as a criminal—more guilty than Barabbas, a known murderer. 

The officials treated Jesus as a joke, a troublemaker, a heretic—unable to see true power in humility. When everyone around Him was mocking Him, Jesus was a calm presence, offering mercy: “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Instead of asking for justice and wrath—even as the officials tempted Jesus to ask for God’s help to bring him down from the cross—He goes so far as to ask God to forgive them. Amid pain and persecution, Jesus offers forgiveness.

I’ve experienced what it feels like to have people spread lies about my character and intentions. I have felt them judge me, say hurtful words about me, and wish ill things for me. It’s easy to want God to persecute them instead of offering them forgiveness. Yet the only truly innocent one showed us how we can be merciful when we experience persecution, rejection, and hurt—we pray. 

Only through Jesus’s blood can we hold the pain our enemies bring us and God’s free gift of forgiveness simultaneously. With a knowledge of God’s saving grace through Jesus, we can pray for our enemies knowing it is not within our power to offer forgiveness, but God’s. Phew. It takes the pressure off. As we wrestle with our limitations to forgive, we can trust that God can carry us gently through the process of healing and reconciling. When we are the wrongdoer waiting anxiously for someone to accept our apology, we can come to Jesus knowing that he has already canceled out our debt and called us “free.” 

Who is Jesus? Jesus is merciful. He has the capacity to have compassion in our pain and extend a hand, offering a second chance to those who “do not know what they are doing.”

Post Comments (56)

56 thoughts on "Jesus Is Crucified"

  1. Ada McCloud says:

    How do you protect against a hardened heart?

  2. trina beckwith says:

    Amen. Such a beautiful lesson

  3. Susan Lincks says:

    Amazingly beautiful

  4. Portia Strange says:

    It really struck out to me that while he is hanging on the Cross, physically exhausted, hungry, thirsty, emotionally spent, abandoned, denied, betrayed, psychologically agonized, He still calls God His Father! Lord forgive me if I’m reading too much to/adding to Scripture. How beautiful! Even in the midst of persecution, hurt, & pain, Jesus still recognizes that God is still His Father. In the same way when we, as Christians, are in the mist of persecution, hurt, & pain, Holy Spirit help us to remember and to believe that God is still Our Father.

  5. Lolly Regan says:

    Lord bring me to confession of my sins

  6. Amanda Browning says:


  7. Maddie Hodgett says:

    Today’s reading felt so powerful. They’re verses I’ve read before and I’ve known the story my whole life, but today I really noticed Jesus’ humility shining through, and it blew me away

  8. Natalie Knutson says:

    Needed this today ❤️

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