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I am back from Europe. It was a meaningful trip for me. I enjoyed the experience with the team that went and with the people I met. I believe I have approval to discuss the trip, but for certain reasons, I would rather share it personally than through social media.

As I have spent a week outside the United States, I also have drawn a little weary of American politics and the current cultural issues. There are quite a few topics I could address, but this week, I’m going to call an audible.

Today is Good Friday, a somewhat overlooked observance. This is the day set apart to reflect the crucifixion of Christ. This event, my friends, is the heart of the Gospel.

So far this week’s Doyle’s Half Dozen, I offer six passages that reflect Christ’s crucifixion and its significance.

  1. Isaiah 53:5 – “But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.”

This Old Testament verse may be the best summary of the Crucifixion. As one commentator said, all the brokenness of mankind was place on Jesus Christ. He was punished to bring us peace with God, to reconcile our relationship with the Father.

  1. Mark 15:22 – “And they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means Skull Place).”

I reference Mark’s passage of the crucifixion first because it is considered by many to be the first recorded book of the Gospels.

  1. Luke 23:41-43 – “’We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!’ And He said to him, ‘I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.’”

I love this exchange between the thief on the cross and Jesus. The thief admits he deserves his punishment and acknowledges Christ for Who He is, then humbly asks to be remembered. This is the lowest plea followed by the most unexpected joy anyone could ever experience, when Jesus pardons the thief, allowing him to be with Christ eternally.

  1. John 19:26-27 – “When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple He loved standing there, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”

Even in the most painful condition, Jesus still showed care for His mother and had John care for her.

  1. John 19:30 – “When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

I often wonder if Jesus yelled those three words before he died in similar fashion to William Wallace in Braveheart yelling “Freedom!” But there could be no more powerful of a sentence in all of history than that concluding declaration.

  1. Matt. 27:54 – Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’”

An onlooker, not a follower, makes a powerful profession. With everything that happened, the centurion encountered the truth. Oh that more and more would make the same conclusion.

Thank you Jesus for your willingness to suffer and die for the sake of my sins. Amen.