It’s out of the crucifixion that we learn how to love. It’s out of the unimaginable pain of the cross and the immeasurable generosity of God that we learn how important Jesus is, and how important and loved we are. The cross has become Christ the King’s throne. The cross has become for us the greatest symbol of self-sacrificing love, and it is with self-sacrificing love that God changed the world. On that cross God sacrificed His Son and Jesus sacrificed himself for us; and when we pick up our own crosses, and have self-sacrificing love for each other, the world is changed—made new. All things are made new. We are made new. The picture on the right is The Kings Crown by Aaron Spong.
11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, so that you may have all endurance and patience, joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35 And the people stood by watching, but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.” 43 He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”