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. Natalie Knutson says:

    I saw this story in a new way today. My husband and I have been working through false allegations for 3 years now. It is really difficult to know how to react when people are not treating you fairly and when they turn their backs on you. But Jesus gives us a beautiful reminder here. Even though these people had turned their backs on him and hung him up on that cross he still prayed for their forgiveness.

  2. Kimberly Z says:

    @Anne praying for you! Letting go of stuff in the past is HARD! But give yourself grace! I too have had to learn to let go of things and I understand how difficult it can. You’ve got this!

  3. Kimberly Z says:

    @Taylor good luck with your young adult group! I started one of those recently as well and I was nervous too! But honestly I just kept telling myself nothing but GOOD could come for a young adult group just trying to become better friends right? In a time in my life where singleness has really hit me hard I often realize that I am longing for a strong community of people to be surrounded by. Praying it goes well for you!

  4. Kimberly Z says:

    @Kenta Rafferty love your post today. I agree it is truly amazing to see how much pain and suffering and beauty there was yet he chose to just simply pray for them. Something I can also chose to do in my anger and suffering whether it’s with somebody else or myself. I find such comfort knowing Jesus has so much compassion for us. Praying I can be the same way for others as well.

  5. Kenya Rafferty says:

    How many times have we been in the position of “not knowing what we are doing?” As humans, most of our lives are lived that way. Jesus forgives all those treating him so terribly because he sees their humanness. Their imperfections. And he weeps for them. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking moment that he wanted them to see the truth so badly that on his death, he would pray for them. What an incredible example of what to do with people in our own life we desperately need to forgive. We’ve all been there (and living in the flesh Jesus understands) and so in that we can also forgive. Even in pain. Even in sorrow. And if not forgiveness, we can always pray.

  6. Alayna P. says:

    If Jesus can forgive those who hurt Him, I can forgive those who hurt me. It’s hard, I pray that the Lord helps me to forgive.

  7. Claire B says:


  8. AG says:

    Jesus forgiving those who were doing terrible things to Him is astounding. I love this community because I would not always pick up on some of the things that take place in the readings without the comments, devotional and podcast.

    My roommates and I are starting our own small group tonight. Please pray that this group will take off and benefit us all and lead us closer to the Lord!

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