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Humble Hero

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    Jesus Dies on Calvary

    This chapter is based on Matthew 27:31-53; Mark 15:20-38; Luke 23:26-46; John 19:16-30.

    “And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him.”HH 342.1

    The news of Christ’s condemnation had spread, and people of all classes and ranks flocked toward the place of crucifixion. The priests and rulers had been bound by a promise not to trouble Christ’s followers if He Himself were delivered to them, and the disciples and believers joined the crowd.HH 342.2

    The cross that had been prepared for Barabbas was placed on Jesus’ bleeding shoulders. Two companions of Barabbas were to die at the same time, and crosses were placed on them also. Since the Passover supper with His disciples, Jesus had taken neither food nor drink. He had endured the anguish of betrayal and had seen His disciples forsake Him. He had been taken to Annas, to Caiaphas, to Pilate, to Herod, then again to Pilate. All that night, there had been scene after scene to test a person to the utmost. Christ had not failed. He had borne Himself with dignity. But when after the second scourging the cross was laid on Him, human nature could bear no more. He fell fainting beneath the burden.HH 342.3

    The crowd showed no compassion. They taunted Him because He could not carry the heavy cross. Again the soldiers placed the burden on Him, and again He fell. His persecutors saw that it was impossible for Him to carry His burden further. Who would bear the humiliating load? The Jews could not, because the defilement would prevent them from keeping the Passover.HH 342.4

    At this time a stranger, Simon from Cyrene, coming in from the country, met the crowd. He stopped in astonishment at the scene, and as he expressed compassion, they took hold of him and placed the cross on his shoulders.HH 342.5

    Simon’s sons were believers in the Savior, but he himself was not. Carrying the cross to Calvary was a blessing to Simon. It led him later to take the cross of Christ from choice and from then on cheerfully to stand beneath its burden.HH 342.6

    Many women were in the crowd that followed the Uncondemned to His cruel death. Some had brought Him their sick and suffering ones. Some had themselves been healed. They were amazed at the hatred of the crowd toward Him. And despite the angry words of priests and rulers, as Jesus fell beneath the cross these women broke out in wailing. This attracted Christ’s attention. He knew that they were not mourning for Him as one sent from God, but He did not scorn their sympathy. It awakened in His heart a deeper sympathy for them. “Daughters of Jerusalem,” He said, “do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” Christ looked ahead to the time of Jerusalem’s destruction when many who were now weeping for Him would die with their children.HH 342.7

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