Day 37 Journey through Lent by Helen Buchanan

The Longest Night

If you ever suffer a night of anguish and pain, be comforted by knowing that Jesus has been there too. It is always night time our worries and anxieties come to the surface, especially for those living alone.

Once arrested on the Thursday evening Jesus spent the rest of the night on trial. When Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor, could find no reason to sentence Jesus to death, he relied on an unruly crowd to do it for him instead.

 “The soldiers to the Governor took Jesus to the Governor’s palace and called the brigade together for some fun. They stripped him and dressed him in a red toga. They plaited a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand for a sceptre. They knelt before him in mockery: Bravo, King of the Jews. Then they spat on him and hit him on the head with a stick. When they had had their fun they took off the toga and put his own clothes back on him. Then they proceeded out to the crucifixion.

Matthew 27. 27-32

When we revisit the crucifixion every year, the pure horror and cruelty of the very act digs deeper into our souls. Jesus not only gave his life for ‘me’; he did so in the most horrific, degrading and barbaric way. Cliff Richard recently said he finds Easter hard because of having to recall the barbaric way Christ died. He says by contrast he feels the birth of Christ should be celebrated not just at Christmas, but every day of the year as God had come to dwell amongst us.

Finally, just before Jesus died he whispered “It is finished.” Jesus was not talking here about the act of execution but meant Jesus had completed his earthly duties and the sacrifice was met.

This was not a cry of defeat but a cry of triumph and achievement. Those very last words are what we should focus on, even though we know the best was yet to come. The bridge was about to be restored once again! Out of all the other faiths, Jesus is the only religious leader to be executed and give his life for others.

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