Day 27

Jesus Is Crucified

from the reading plan

Matthew 27:1-66, Isaiah 53:1-9, John 3:16

Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:1-66, Isaiah 53:1-9, John 3:16

Early on in my life, I learned that love comes at a price. Whether it was wanting the latest video game or striving for a college scholarship as an athlete, I knew that these goals would cost. Just like how businesses conduct cost analyses to make wise decisions, many of our life choices come with their own costs. Have you ever considered how much what you love most would cost you?

When we delve into the narrative of Jesus’s death presented in the Gospel of Matthew, we witness the considerable costs borne by the people involved, each driven by their own personal motives and loves.
One of the first people we encounter in this story is Judas, one of Jesus’s closest friends. Judas betrays Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Judas’s love for money and his act of betrayal exact a heavy toll, resulting in his tragic end (Matthew 27:3–5).

Next, we meet the chief priests who make choices that have significant consequences. They resort to bribery by offering money to Jesus’s friend. When Jesus is handed over to them, they wash their hands of the situation, take back the money of a deceased man, and release a criminal. In their quest to destroy Jesus, the chief priests compromise their own integrity, paying a high price for their actions (Matthew 27:6–10,20).

Then we encounter Pilate, who finds himself face to face with Jesus. Jesus was handed over to him by His own people, and now this foreign governor holds Jesus’s fate in his hands. Instead of making the costly but right decision to free Jesus, Pilate caves to the pressure. The cost for Pilate was maintaining peaceful relations instead of doing the right thing in releasing an innocent man. And in the end, just like the priests, his actions cost someone else’s blood (Matthew 27:11–14,24–26).

The final person is Jesus. What cost did He incur and for what purpose? The claim on Jesus throughout this narrative is that He is “the king of the Jews” and “the Son of God.” Jesus, God’s only son, is betrayed, mocked, beaten, and hung on a tree. He is like a lamb at the slaughter, willingly accepting the end. He was despised and rejected by all people, both Jew and Gentile alike. He hung on a thief’s cross, pierced and crushed in shameful agony.

But why? Because God so loved (John 3:16). Love is a costly thing. And God loved us when we all, like the people in this story, betrayed Him for money, blew up our integrity, and chose to please others rather than God. The purpose of Jesus being crucified and dying is you and me. To obtain our life, He gave His life.
This narrative urges us to see Jesus and answer the question: Do you know how much it cost God to save you? The answer: His life.

Written by Ryne Brewer

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