Our Savior Is Crucified

Open Your Bible

Mark 15:20-22, John 19:19-22, Luke 23:32-43, Matthew 27:45-54, John 19:38-42, Isaiah 53:12

This is it.

This is the question and answer, the moment, the hinge upon which all of history sits.

Did Jesus, fully man and fully God, die on the cross, not just as a Jewish rebel and teacher in ancient Rome, but as the promised Messiah and Savior of all humanity? Did He?

Do you believe it?

Do I?

I have a very vivid memory of standing in the emerald-green-tiled shower of our charmingly dilapidated St. Louis apartment, a year and a half into seminary, water washing over me and tears rushing down my face. I asked myself, “Do you really believe this is true? Do you?” The questions, the concepts, and the reordering of my heart and mind were almost too much.

I have an equally vivid memory of driving to Target the afternoon our little friend-family experienced unspeakable tragedy, and of whisper-screaming with every breath I took, saying, “Jesus, be real. Jesus, BE REAL. Jesus, please be real.”

I have just as many if not more moments of deep assurance, of knowing Christ to be true. I resonate with John Wesley’s words describing his own faith: “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”

All this makes me wonder, reflecting on today’s Scripture, how many people who were there at Christ’s crucifixion found themselves feeling the terror of unbelief? And who felt the sweet, blessed assurance of faith? What would it have been like to be a witness to this moment, to believe that all the promises of the ages were coming true? Or to be a blind witness, without faith, and to feel nothing more for Jesus than for the criminals who hung next to Him?

The terror of unbelief settled on Peter, who denied Jesus three times. Disbelief motivated the scoffing Jewish leaders, and the insulting criminal on the cross. It led Pilate to apathy.

But the repentant thief on the cross next to Jesus believed. The centurion gasped at the sudden darkness and knew this was not just another prisoner hanging nearby.

Joseph and Nicodemus believed, and acted in faith to care for the broken body of the Son of God. Chapters earlier we read that Nicodemus, a pharisee, wasn’t sure if he believed in Jesus; but in today’s reading, we suddenly find him doing the humiliating work of preparing the Lord’s dead body for burial—work typically reserved for women and slaves. Nicodemus knew it was all true.

This is it. And it is all true.

It is true on the days I am blindsided by the terror of unbelief. And it is true on the days I feel it doubtlessly in every bone and blood cell in my body.

My Good Friday prayer, in this between-Friday-and-Sunday life that we live, is that I will always remember and proclaim, “Truly, this man is the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54).

(52) Comments

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52 thoughts on "Our Savior Is Crucified"

  1. Kit says:

    Thank you for bravely asking a question we need to ask in the open.

    I’m in what I’ve heard is my “wilderness time” in my life, and people, even my parents, continue to doubt my faith, and the world continues to try to make me doubt.

    All this sometimes gets to me, shadowing the cleft of the rock Jesus keeps me in.

    But I know what I’ve believed, and the many times God has shown his unmeasurable grace, and these are safe in my heart, where God holds them.

    Thank you for the assurance that we may ask, but that the Holy Spirit is strong enough to keep us safe.

  2. Steph C says:

    In the words of the New Testament father, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!” So thankful that God knew our need and created a way of salvation for us. So thankful for His gift of faith. ❤️

  3. Sue says:

    Abby Grace your comment is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.
    A great reminder to me that although today may seem full of fear and hopelessness, I can indeed have hope because Sunday is coming.

  4. Brenna Page says:

    I remember waking up in the middle of the night with the urgency to get down on my knees and ask Jesus to come into my heart. Through tears, I too felt the unmistakable warmth of Christ come over me. I knew it was all true, but now there was absolutely no room for doubt. Thank you Jesus for forgiving me of my sins and taking me into your arms. Thank you for loving me

  5. Emily says:

    Blessed Assurance

    Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
    O, what a foretaste of glory divine
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God
    Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

    This is my story, this is my song
    Praising my Savior all the day long
    This is my story, this is my song
    Praising my Savior all the day long

    Perfect submission, all is at rest
    I in my Savior am happy and blessed
    Watching and waiting, looking above
    Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

    This is my story, this is my song
    Praising my Savior all the day long
    This is my story, this is my song
    Praising my Savior all the day long


  6. Lisa says:

    As I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face, I’m reminded that Good Friday isn’t good because of what was done to Jesus, Good Friday is good because of what Jesus WILLINGLY did for me! He willingly was beaten, spit upon, had a crown of thorns jammed in his head and eventually died an excruciating death on a cross for me! Not because someone made him or took his life from him but because he loved me enough to suffer and lay his life down so that I could spend eternity with him!

  7. Kenya says:

    Sometimes, I over analyze this. How could something that happened so long ago affect me so much now? My brain wants to know exactly how it works! This is where I have to constantly remind myself of faith. Faith that Jesus is real and this sacrifice gives me a chance (many chances, over and over again) at being forgiven and redeemed. So I put away the over analyzation and the questioning and the doubt and I believe. I just believe that because Jesus died, I am saved.

  8. Ana Love says:

    It’s interesting how yesterday I’m feeling remorse, betrayal (on my behalf), hurt and heartache while today although the heartache is still there I’m feeling humbled and thankful for Jesus who gave himself as a SACRIFICE for me.

  9. Angie says:

    Even the sun bowed in reverence to the sacrifice of the Son.

    For my sin you suffered and died, Jesus.
    Your love is unfathomable,
    yet evidenced in Your sacrifice.

    I am sorry to have made this necessary
    I am sorry for Your suffering because of me
    My I live the life You have made possible
    in honor and worship of You alone.


  10. Mari V says:

    I looked up a YouTube video. The scene on Passion of the Christ Where Jesus falls down and His mothers is watching and she ran towards Him and she is “remembering” when he was a little boy and she picks him up and rocks HIM.

  11. Beth Meagher says:

    Belief is easier at devotion time or in uplifting corporate worship. Seminary upheaved my heart as well. Trust is difficult with a rebellious child and tough decisions or enduring lasting challenges AFTER the cancer and chemo and remission. Thanks be to God he does not change and, when I do, he is here with open arms.

    1. Chloe Monz says:

      So well said. You are not alone, Beth.

  12. Pam K says:

    I am joining you Churchmouse. It doesn’t look like this will post as a reply to you, but hoping you see it. On this most somber day of reflection, how appropriate to give up some distraction. In the reading today, I was struck again by all that happened after Jesus gave up his spirit. The fact that the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two always amazes me and reminds me of our access to God because of Jesus alone. The power of this curtain tearing was not something man could do. What separated men from God’s presence was now removed by His power. Praise God that He would do this for us.

  13. Stacey Wilson says:

    Good Friday=Death
    Payment for sin

    Do I believe?
    Y E S.

  14. Heather says:

    Or was Pilate just being political? Ok, Jews, you had your King and you wanted to crucify him. Don’t forget who your lasting king is – Caesar.

  15. Linda G says:

    What really stood out to me in today’s reading is Pilate’s insistence that the sign he ordered above Jesus remained. What a stunning rebuke of the priests: “This is the King of the Jews.” Far from believing Pilate is the good guy in this story, but he certainly saw Jesus’ innate nobility and righteousness compared the the mob demanding crucifixion.

  16. Maggie Radmacher says:

    I believe

  17. Stephanie Roberts says:

    The Unbelief motivated:
    The belief motivated
    Action in faith

    The apathy is hitting me the hardest today…may I not just believe, repent and have faith, but may I be so motivated that it affects every and all parts of my life.

  18. Janice says:

    The majesty and glory of this are new every time I read it. Lord thank you for loving me so much that you made this sacrifice. Amen

  19. Lizzieb85 says:

    In past studies I’ve learned that some think that even Simon of Cyrene (who carried the cross) became a believer because his sons are mentioned. That they are mentioned means that the church was familiar with who they were, possibly because they were believers now too.

  20. Shawn Parks says:

    “ There was a garden in the place where they crucified him. A new tomb was there that no body had yet been placed in.” Wow! First of all, a garden in at the same location called Skull Place. Does anyone else see the beauty that is in the same place as such indescribable ugliness, grief and terror? Isn’t that the true greatness of our God—he has also placed in our ugly sinful souls the absolute beauty of his love, mercy, and grace as a result of the death and resurrection of Christ! The juxtaposition stuns and humbles me. Second, in that garden there was a tomb. How neatly convenient. If this was the place of the skull where the Romans held their horrific executions it seems odd to me that tombs might be readily available. Debatable, I guess, but consider this. God knew this same tomb would only be needed for 3 days-a short time—an then, Praise our Great and Loving and Redeeming God, the grief and sorrow that was entombed in that place would be released and raised to glory, joy and life! Sometimes I am in my own dark, seemingly hopeless tomb that is in the beautiful garden of God’s great love, very near the cross of my Lord, but I have to wait through the darkness for a short time until I am restored to his joy and light! Thank you Lord for your sacrifice and for your example to stay near you when times are dark because the days of restoration, healing, and resurrection ARE coming! God is indeed good!

    1. Lacey Carder-Holden says:

      I love the way you put this! So beautiful. Thank you for that view point!

  21. Eliss Gray says:

    I completely resonate with this reading today as a second generation follower of Jesus. Sometimes in my life, I felt growing up in the church that the price for me that Jesus paid to spend eternity was too extravagant. Too much. It was too much for a girl who had a hard time making friends and getting bullied every day to really believe that the God of the Universe would step down from glory and take my place on the cross. And this semester especially I’ve doubted God’s goodness in my life and prayed “Jesus, be real. Please. This is hard.” The point I guess I’m trying to make is that Jesus and the price on the cross doesn’t change based on the year I’m having, the doubts I have or what the Enemy lies about God and Christianity. I just feel extremely humbled remembering today that the King of Kings stepped down from His heavenly royal realm to die in place of me because He wanted me in Heaven with Him forever. Soli deo gloria!

  22. Linda J says:

    Truth that never changes. Thank you Lord…

  23. Abby Grace says:

    I’ve always loved Good Friday, but didn’t really make that known because it seemed strange to answer “what’s your favorite holiday?” with a day focused on death. And of course we know that this Friday is only Good because we know what happens on Sunday. But I think for me, part of what I love about this day is the manifestation of that in-between feeling. I’m someone who wrestles with anxiety and depression on and off, often fearing the worst would happen. The beauty of Good Friday for someone like me, and I think allow us, is that God gives us this day to mourn. It’s a day set aside where we can lament and feel the heaviness of Christ’s death. For one day, the worst happened. And praise God that we know the next part of the story. Praise God that we know the tomb is empty. But it’s such a beautiful reminder that even in our times of unbelief, our fears, our hopelessness, we can sit there with hope, knowing the truth that Sunday is always coming because of what Jesus has accomplished.

    1. Tricia Schutz says:

      Yes! Yes! Yes! You put beautifully into words what my heart feels. Even when the worst happens… Sunday is coming!

    2. Dee Wilcox says:

      Yes! Good Friday and Saturday are my favorite because they represent our everyday, in-between life. Waiting for redemption and the fulfillment of the promise. Waiting for all things to be made new. Waiting for His return. My breath clutches in my chest when I read, “On this day you will be with Me in Paradise.”

  24. Hannah W. says:

    So often I have felt that terror of unbelief – when all of this feels too fantastic, too marvelous to wrap my mind around, when suffering creeps into the corners of my world, when the enemy whispers lies that I will never be enough, that I am not known by the Father. What blessed assurance there is in knowing that I am not alone in that fear, and that the truth of Good Friday trumps it every time. I am thankful today for a faith that is not dictated by my feelings, nor even by my own action, but by Jesus’ sacrifice alone. I believe!

    1. Alice Carroll says:

      Hannah, me too, me too. Unbelief is so isolating, it feels terrible not to share in the good news with everyone else. It’s really helpful here to remember that it happens, and that it will pass, because it’s still true regardless of what I think. God is so gracious, He reminds me of who He is again and again when I’m in that ‘terror’. I am grateful that one day all will be sight and my faulty faith won’t be needed any more. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

  25. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    I will join you Churchmouse.
    Thank you Lord for the suffering gift of Your Son. I just can’t even fathom.
    It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming! Hallelujah!

  26. Allison says:

    Thinking of doing the same thing, Churchmouse, my Pittsburgh sister, just as soon as this devotion was done. Praying for each of your hearts ladies as the Truth of all of this sinks in today!

  27. Aimee D says:

    Jesus reward my faith and forgive my doubt! Amen.

  28. Churchmouse says:

    Going dark from 10-3. (not 10-2)

    1. Christina Salisbury says:

      I’m joining you in this!

  29. Deb Keller says:

    I am moved in my spirit today by the 2 criminals. They represent all people. We are all 1 or the other. How will we respond? By God’s pursuit of me many years ago, I have been saved by His grace and will see Him in Paradise one day. My heart is feeling the sorrow of my sin that put Him on the cross next to me. It is also filled with Gratitude and Love for Him – even more today! For all of us who have said – remember me when You have come into Your Kingdom – May we be filled with MORE Love for our Precious Lord Jesus today. He is currently preparing a place for us in Paradise and also currently preparing us for that place. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts Jesus for ALL the things You are doing, most of which we cannot see. By faith we believe!!! Amen.

  30. Lucy Goodwin says:

    It’s Friday…. but Sunday is coming!

  31. Kristen Marino says:

    When I think of Jesus’ suffering it’s hard to fathom all He endured. Yes, He was spat upon, mocked, insulted, wrongly accused, betrayed, abandoned, denied, beaten, tortured physically to the point that He could have died from all of that. How strong He was to even be alive to make it the Cross. I think of the torture Thursday night. He was in such distress that He sweat blood in Gethsemane. He came out and found His disciples asleep. The ridiculous, unjust trials, and being sent back and forth. However, I don’t know if this is how it happened, but I picture Him seeing and feeling every sin ever committed. I picture the sins hitting Him and coming quickly before Him and on Him. Think of every lie, gossip, theft, abuse, and murder. I will never know what He went through to take all of my sins, but I know that I wouldn’t ever be able to have eternal life with the Father without Him. I want to fall in love with Him more and more.
    https://youtu.be/krYDy2e5t7k. Also, there is a devotional at harvest.org on Wednesday about Gethsemane if you want to read it.

  32. Sara Moore says:

    As a long time Christian I don’t believe the enormity of Christ’s death resonates with me enough all of the time. I am so thankful for this study to have taken the time to appreciate his great sacrifice for my sins and shortcomings. Truly he Is the Son of God.

  33. Churchmouse says:

    This day of all days is one for deep reflection. A suggestion: to refrain from social media,the internet, cell phone etc. from the hours of 10-2. This day of all days is one for disconnecting from that which so easily distracts so that we might focus on the eternal implications of the Cross. (Join me? Or at whatever time you can for however long you can? Let us mark this day as different.)

    1. Tammie George says:

      I will join you, disconnect in order to reconnect!

    2. Tammie George says:

      I will join you!

    3. Becky Ryden says:

      I am joining too!

    4. Mari V says:

      I will be with my CR sponsor at 10 AM I will find a window of time to reflect. Matter fact I’m going on a long run and I found the music from Passion of the Christ to listen to.

    5. Shirley Shouse says:

      I will join you!

    6. Mari V says:

      Your 10 AM is most likely my 8 AM. I’m getting ready for a l run. I had already picked out my music. I will be listening to music from The Passion of the Christ.

  34. Crislyn Petzoldt says:

    This is the passage I need for today. To remember why we are all here. To understand the love I have for Jesus and the tribulations he went through because he loves me that much. Using today to reflect on my life. My life as a new Christian, and the life I am going to continue to live as a Christian. Happy Good Friday!!!

  35. Indiana Christina says:

    On this good Friday, I’m feeling so incredibly humbled and grateful for Jesus and what He has done for me and for all people. He willingly went into the deepest darkness and most painful agony–the separation from God the Father, the searing physical pain–to save us all. Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Let us never take Your sacrifice and the salvation it bought us for granted. It’s in Your name I pray. Amen.

    1. Karen Bailey says:

      Amen! My prayer as well. Never to minimize the amazing grace of redemption.

  36. Kathy says:

    Thank You for this bedrock truth in my life – Jesus died. He was buried, and on the third day, He rose again.
    I believe.

  37. Tracy Hutchinson says:

    I believe.

  38. Tega Adogbeji says:

    I have been so busy this week and I feel so guilty that I am not feeling the sadness of this week enough. I read, reflect and go about being busy. Lord forgive me, let my heart be turned to the cross today and to thank you for the undeserved gift of eternity with you.

  39. Natasha R says:

    I believe. ❤️