John Day 35: Jesus is Condemned and Crucified

Gospel of John Reading Plan
Day 35 Reading:
John 19:1-30

Bringing the Word to Life
Make a sign that says, “Jesus of Nazareth – King of the Jews.” Write the letters slowly and deliberately. As you write them, reflect on your understanding of who Jesus is.

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
There they crucified him. There were two others crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. – John 19:18 (NLT)

Pilate orders Jesus flogged. The soldiers mock Jesus with their words, their beatings, by placing a crown of thorns on his head, a reed in his hand, and a purple robe on his bleeding back. Pilate presents Jesus to the crowd, saying he is not guilty. The crowd cries for Jesus’ death. Pilate wants to release Jesus, but relents as the crowd accuses Jesus of treason. Jesus is crucified between two thieves. Before his death, he gives his mother into the care of a disciple and cries “It is finished!”

I usually read the passion of Jesus in a single sitting. Starting at chapter 19 today felt like I was jumping into the middle of the story. The violence ordered by Pilate and the violence of the crowd startled me. Passive aggression and active aggression are both aggression. Jesus dies for those crying out for his death, for those who have run away, for those hammering the nails and gambling for his clothes, for those who stand by silently, for those who have gone before and those yet to be born. Jesus willingly bears the violence on our behalf and on behalf of the whole world.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Lord Jesus,
You are my righteousness,
I am your sin.
You took on you what was mine;
yet set on me what was yours.
You became what you were not,
that I might become what I was not.- Martin Luther

This is the first hymn God ever gave me. It started as a poem for a Lenten devotional book written by the staff and members of Temple Terrace United Methodist Church. I am forever grateful to the good folks at TTUMC for their prayers and sacrifices on my behalf. They took a chance on a very young, inexperienced music major and hired her as their music director. They welcomed Ed and me into Methodism. They welcomed our girls into the world and baptized them. They affirmed my call to the pastorate and sent us off to seminary with a generous scholarship and their blessing. I would be a very different person in a very different place today without them. May every person know the blessing, influence and empowerment of a faithful group of Christ followers.
– Lisa <><

Tell me, Dear Tree
A Lenten hymn of sacrifice
Meter- 86.86 double (CMD)
Suggested tune: KINGSFOLD (UMH #179)

Tell me dear tree on which my Lord,
my blessed Lord did hang,
How could you hold the spotless Lamb,
be party with the gang?
That cheerless day, that shadowy hour,
my blessed Savior died,
to free my soul for heavenly things,
O tree, you must have cried.

Yes all your fibers must have screamed
for you one time did live
a green and growing tree, alive,
but your whole self did give
to be the instrument of death,
to be the very tree
to be the place for Christ to die
upon dark Calvary

But do I hear a shout of joy
from somewhere deep within?
Your duty done; the battle won
so all the world might win.
How beautiful your love for Him
He sewed it long ago
You bore the weight. You took the stain,
and now the world must know

The tree of death felt every wound,
felt all the pain and loss.
She loved her maker through it all,
was glad to be His cross.
Teach me dear tree on which my Lord
My precious Lord did die
To treasure grueling duties done
so Christ is lifted high

© 1992, revised 2009 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.
Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to original music.

Click here for a powerful prayer of commitment on Luke’s version of this passage by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled King of Mercy.

For more information on the Gospel of John Reading Plan, click here

For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

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