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Just as this Biblical story was written in the book of Luke, the chief priests, the captains and elders of the temple, the scribes and the whole multitude led Jesus to Pilate, and after Pilate's interrogation, they led Him to Herod where He was vehemently accused. Then King Herod, with His men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, but interestingly, he mercifully arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, before sending Him back to Pilate. After His examination, Pilate acknowledged that Jesus had committed no crime deserving of death, yet the crowd demanded with a shout, "away with this Man, and release Barabbas, the rebellious criminal and murderer to us."

Reference: Luke 23:33 New International Version (NIV) "When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left."

As the voices of the crowd prevailed, owing to their persistence, Pilate gave a sentence that the innocent man, Jesus Christ, should be crucified according to their awful request. For this reason, our Saviour and Lord was delivered to their will for crucifixion while a rebellious criminal and murderer was released from the prison, to the crowd's satisfaction. Although it was pure injustice, it was the revelation of God's eternal purpose for mankind on display. For this reason, their aberrant behaviour towards Jesus was officially approved.

The Bible says, "The chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him" (Luke 24:20 NIV). Yet every detail of the events surrounding His crucifixion revealed the plan and purpose determined by God from eternity, which was being unfolded in the history of time realm. While it seemed as though the crowd and the Jews were very wicked and unreasonable, there was an eternal plan and purpose being fulfilled by Christ, for our redemption and complete freedom from sin.

This is why today is observed as Good Friday, a day we acknowledge that the death of Christ was part of the divine events, promises and predictions of the Old testament Prophets that finally came to a fulfilment. For instance, Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 53:3-5 saying, "He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces as he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities... (NIV). To reckon the details of His sufferings properly, you can read the entire chapter.

Indeed, it was God's perfect will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, making His life and blood an offering for the sins of mankind. Therefore, make time today, which is quite memorable in the history of mankind, to reflect on or consider Christ's oppression, undeserved fiendish method of torture, and severe judgment because of you and me. Observing this reflection is a sign of fervent and humble attitude of every wise and virtuous mind. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Matthew 27:35-37; Mark 15:25; John 19:17-23; Galatians 2:20.

Guided Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for the precious gift of the Lord Jesus Christ, who was oppressed and afflicted for my sake, so that I might be saved, become righteous and have eternal life. The righteousness of Christ in me is not based on my own works, but is based on the finished works of Christ on the cross. By living in faith, pressing on in faith, and serving you faithfully, Christ, the Author and Finisher of my faith continually perfects all that concerns me. Indeed I acknowledge this truth as the source of my confidence and assimilation to Christ's life in my world in Jesus' Name, Amen!


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