In The Word
Read: Mark 15:22-41
22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.
25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.
27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.  29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Death of Jesus
33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
It is not how we start the race that matters, but how we finish. How many of us start the race only to give up when things get tough, uncomfortable, or when sacrifice is required? Jesus did not quit, even though most men would have given up their fight during the scourging or during the agonizing, humiliating parade to the cross. Jesus had the power to call on an army of angels at any time, but He willingly chose to finish what the Father asked Him to do.
He knew what waited at Golgotha:
– A rough and rugged cross that would soon be soaked with His blood
– Nails to hold Him to that cross (only because He chose to stay)
– His feet nailed so that He must push Himself up to breathe until He suffocates and dies
How do our everyday excuses line up with what He endured to finish? He is our example of how to finish this race. We are to be like Him, even if that means being obedient to the point of death.
When I read these scriptures, I remember images of the movie, The Passion of the Christ. I meditate on a worship song that says, “So what can I say? What can I do? But offer this heart, oh God, completely to You!”
Don’t just start, but finish strong for Him and for His glory! Do this in remembrance of Him!