One Bible story that certainly wasn’t read or told at home when I was young was that of Jesus’ crucifixion. I’m sure my parents thought it would be too violent and might frighten me. One day, I came home from church and announced to my mother, “Did you know that they tried to kill Jesus?”
“Where did you hear that?” my mother inquired.
“I heard the preacher talking about it in church,” I told her.
“Well, what do you think about it?” my mother asked.
“Some people tried to kill Jesus, but he sure fooled them, didn’t he?” I replied. I’m not sure why that particular story captured my attention. Whatever the reason, I must have been listening to the preacher tell the story in a sermon, and, to tell the truth, my theology of Jesus’ passion hasn’t progressed much beyond that childhood insight.
—Michael E. Williams, Spoken into Being: Divine Encounters Through Story (Upper Room Books, 2017)
When did you first hear the story of Jesus’ crucifixion? What kind of impression did it make on you?
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From noon until three in the afternoon the whole earth was dark. At about three Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,” which means, “My God, my God, why have you left me?”
—Matthew 27:45-46 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Gracious God, thank you for being the original author of the greatest story ever told. Guide us as we learn to tell our own stories and discover how they connect with your story and with the story of humanity. Amen.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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