Tag Archive for crucifixion

Psalm 22

When Jesus prayed on the cross,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”,
he was quoting Psalm 22.
This hymn helps us understand His prayer,
not as a cry of doubt,
but as a deep expression of faith
for life’s worst moments.

Printed Music 

O why have You left me,
My Father and my Lord?
My prayers hang unanswered,
My desperate cries, ignored.
Your love, pure and holy,
Is ever here and now,
A pure, tender wisdom,
Though sense cannot see how.

They growl as they circle.
They pierce my hands and feet.
They mock, laugh, and torture
With hatred soon complete.
O God, I am helpless,
But ever it is so.
I need You each moment –
O Lord of all, You know.

My God, still my Father,
I praise Your glorious name!
In light and in darkness
Your goodness is the same.
My song is Your greatness,
Your glory, my reward,
My Sovereign, my Savior,
My Life, my Light, my Lord!


by Ken Bible, © 2017 LNWhymns.com


from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 4:34; 5:36; 13:1; 17:4, 23; 19:28

Throughout His earthly ministry, from first to last, Jesus repeatedly spoke of completing the work His Father had sent Him to do. It seemed always on His mind. To express His desire, He used a Greek word meaning to complete, finish, or accomplish.

For example, when He was weary from travel, His disciples urged Him to eat. Jesus was more concerned with drawing a Samaritan woman to His Father:

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34, NASB)

Jesus’ critics scoffed at His claim that God was His Father. They considered it blasphemy! Jesus said His works proved that God was His Father:

“The works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.” (John 5:36, NASB)

On His final night with His disciples before His arrest, Jesus prayed to His Father and gave Him this report on the task for which He had been sent:

“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.” (John 17:4, NASB)

Jesus finished this same prayer by praying for all who would believe on Him in the years to come. Looking ahead, the work He desired to see completed was their perfect union with each other in the Father and Son:

“I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23, NASB)

What was the task that had characterized Jesus’ ministry from first to last? It was showing the Father’s love, in all its length and depth and height:

Jesus knowing that His hour had come that he would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end [margin: to the uttermost, or eternally]. (John 13:1, NASB)

Considering this focus of His life, how else would Jesus spend His final breath as He died in agony on the cross?

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.”
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:28, 30, NASB)

The completion of His Father’s work was Jesus’ daily food, His unshakable foundation, His love’s driving force, His dying wish, and His vision of the future for every believer.

Father, my desires,
my time,
my energy,
my future are in Your hands.
Plant me like a seed,
as You did Jesus.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Christ Is Our Horizon
Printed Music & Lyrics

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Prepare for Holy Week

Father, prepare my heart and mind for Holy Week.

Help me to
rejoice, and
sing praise
as Jesus comes to us triumphantly in the face of death,
proclaiming Himself our Messiah!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!

Help me share His burning zeal for His Father’s house.
And may He cleanse my heart as well whenever I allow
life’s busy-ness to crowd out prayer.

Open my ears and my heart, Lord,
as Jesus urges us to
pray boldly and
patiently endure the persecution that will surely come.

Infuse my life with the fragrance of love
as a woman models how to
lavishly worship Jesus,
with no thought of self,
holding nothing back.

Humble me and
challenge my concept of ministry
as our Master takes on Himself
the lowest,
most menial,
most irksome service to His disciples.

Then, Father, help me watch with new eyes
as Your only Son
sweats blood in the garden,
silently endures brutal injustice, and
dies willingly under indescribable torture.
Impress Your love in a fresh way on
my mind and
my heart.
Make me ready once again to
receive it and to
pour it out on others.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: As You Love
Printed Music & Lyrics

Jesus’ Last Words

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 19:28-30

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV)

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43, NIV)

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
(John 19:26-27, NIV)

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46, NIV)

“I am thirsty.” (John 19:28, NIV)

“It is finished.” (John 19:30, NIV)

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46, NIV)

Imagine that you are Jesus on the day of your death. Look around. Who do you see?

  • the religious leaders, proud, self-righteous, angry, blind to their own murderous jealousy
  • Judas, a close friend whose heart had wandered and who turned you in for a few pieces of silver
  • the disciples, who lived with you for three years then fearfully deserted you in your time of trouble
  • Pilate, who knew the truth but was too weak to act on it
  • Herod, who held your life in his hands but was only concerned with his own entertainment
  • sadistic soldiers, to whom you were cruel sport
  • a thief dying next to you, taunting You in an effort to save himself
  • the crowd of people looking up at you, a mixture of gloaters, mindless mob, and curiosity seekers

In short, you’re surrounded by humanity. To them, you’re a criminal, a blasphemer, a financial opportunity, a pawn, a scapegoat, a fool, a buffoon. Your pain is their afternoon’s amusement. You’ve given yourself for these people, and they’re crushing you with their indifference, injustice, torture, humiliation, and the most agonizing death they can devise.

Every fiber of your being is screaming in pain and begging for relief. You are in your final moments. What is on your mind?

Most people being crucified would have filled their last hours with angry curses and bitterness. Read Jesus’ final words. Listen as He speaks them. What is on His heart during these moments?

Forgiveness for those killing Him and for the repentant thief. Pain never overwhelmed the love in His heart.

Care for those He loved. Mary must have longed for a word from her son, and Jesus didn’t disappoint her. Even as He died, He provided for her and bestowed a great honor on John.

Abandonment. Jesus’ deepest sorrow was feeling cut off from His Father. But how did He express it? He prayed, using words from Psalm 22. Read the psalm. It’s a moving expression of desperate complaint and ultimate trust. Even when separated from His Father, Jesus turned to Him and trusted Him.

His thirst. Having cared for others, He cried out in His own need, again fulfilling Psalm 22 (v. 15). The drink apparently gave Him strength for His final words.

Triumph. To the very end, Jesus’ thoughts were of His Father and His mission. His final words were a cry of victory. “It is completed! Father, I lay My life in Your hands!”

Father, when I die, when I am losing everything I am and everything I hold, will I be looking to You, reaching for the completion of Your work, loving those around me, trusting my life into Your hands? Lord, may it be so.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Last Words
Printed Music & Lyrics

Witnessing Even in Death

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 18 – 19

Even as the Father was allowing His Son to be cruelly tortured and murdered, even as the Son was experiencing a deep sense of abandonment by the Father, each was lifting up testimonies to the other.

The Father was testifying to Jesus as His own chosen, only-begotten, dearly-loved Son, all the while events seemed to proclaim the opposite. And the Father brought these testimonies from highly-unexpected sources.

  • When the arrest party arrived to seize Jesus, He spoke up and asked, “Whom do you seek?” When they answered, “Jesus the Nazarene,” Jesus identified Himself with the words, “I am.” This would be the usual way of saying, “I am he” or “I am the one you are seeking”. But when Jesus thus spoke the divine name, “I am,” even His enemies reacted to Him in instinctive humility, backing up and prostrating themselves before Him on the ground (John 18:4-8, NASB).
  • After a brief interview, Pilate realized that Jesus was an innocent man and looked for a way to release Him. Then when the Jews specifically accused Jesus of claiming to be the Son of God, Pilate was even more afraid (John 18:38; 19:7-8). He seemed to sense that this righteous Man was who He claimed to be.
  • The sign Pilate had hung on the cross correctly identified Jesus for who He was: “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.” Pilate refused to change the sign, even when pressured by the Jewish leaders (John 19:19-22, NASB).
  • One of the criminals executed with Jesus knew who He was. He defended Jesus to the other criminal, then asked, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” Jesus recognized his genuine faith and responded, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:39-43, NASB).
  • While the Son was on the cross, the Father Creator sent darkness over the land from noon through 3:00 p.m. The veil of the temple was torn in two (Luke 23:44-45).
  • The Roman centurion, who supervised Jesus’ execution and saw everything that happened, “became very frightened and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” (Matthew 27:54, NASB).

Even while engulfed by physical, mental, and spiritual agony, even as He surrendered His life to death, the Son stayed focused on His Father. He was intent on testifying to His Father’s loving control, even as events seemed to shout the triumph of evil.

Jesus’ words on the cross show that thoughts of His Father filled His heart, even as He died. Notice particularly John 19:28, 30:

Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.”

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit. (NASB) 

In death as in life, Jesus’ first concern was to fulfill His Father’s will. Specifically, He was intent on fulfilling scriptural prophecies about His death. Why? Because the fulfillment of prophecy showed that the Father was still in full control of all that was happening, even as Satan seemed to be having his way. All was happening as the Father had announced centuries before.

Scripture testifies to divine control, even in Jesus’ dying act. Throughout the gospel account of the arrest and trial of Jesus, He remained passive, allowing Himself to be “handed over” (the meaning of the Greek word) from one party to another:

  • Judas handed Jesus over to the Jewish authorities (Matthew 26:46, 48).
  • The Jews handed Him over to Pilate (Matthew 27:2).
  • Pilate handed Him over to be crucified (Matthew 27:26).

But Jesus had already told His disciples, “I lay down My life . . . No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:17-18, NASB). True to His word, Jesus’ final act on the cross was to “hand over” His Spirit to the Father (John 19:30). He died by His own decision, not as a helpless victim, but as Lord of Life, in full control.

In death as in life, the Son glorified the Father, and the Father glorified the Son.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: His Hour Has Come
Printed Music & Lyrics


Some early historians credited the Persians with the first use of crucifixion, while others said it was a cruel practice the Romans picked up from various barbarous peoples they had conquered. The Greeks had used it – Alexander the Great crucified 2,000 people after the siege of Tyre.

The Romans originally considered it a slave’s punishment. It was later extended to foreigners and robbers and those convicted of treason.

Crucifixion was designed to subject the victim to the greatest possible humiliation. For that reason corpses were sometimes crucified.

Some form of torture customarily preceded crucifixion, such as flogging, in order to start the blood flowing. The victim often had to carry his own crossbeam to the place of execution, which was intentionally very public. He was most often tied to the cross, sometimes nailed. Stretched and immobilized, the victim could find no relief from searing pain. Movement was excruciating. Not moving was torture. The suffering was intense and protracted. Death rarely came sooner than 36 hours (thus Pilate’s surprise when Jesus was dead in only a few hours – another sign that Jesus had given up His own life). The final cause of death is uncertain, but gradual suffocation resulting from fatigue is most likely.

In 1968, the first skeleton identifiable as a victim of crucifixion was unearthed in Jerusalem. The two heel bones were still fastened together by a single iron nail. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Crucifixion Hymn
Printed Music & Lyrics

This Is the One We Follow

Look at Jesus hanging on the cross.
See Him as He truly was:
the blood,
the nakedness,
the pain wrenching His body.
See Him humbled,

This is your God.
This is His passionate love.
This is our Leader,
our Shepherd,
the One we imitate.
This is our goal,
our ambition,
our Way,
our Truth,
our Life.
This is the standard that guides
every day and
every decision.

This is the way we deny ourselves.
This is the cross we carry.
This is the One we follow.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Christ Crucified
Printed Music & Lyrics