Read Matthew 27:32-44

As the soldiers were taking Jesus to the place of execution they came across Simon of Cyrene. They forced him to carry Jesus’ cross to the Place of the Skull. The soldiers offered Jesus a drink but it may have been made bitter to compound their mockery and His isolation. In fulfilment of Scripture, in His moment of greatest trial, He found no earthly comforters.

And they crucified Him.

The scene is well known. The nailing of His hands and feet to the wooden beams; its being hoisted up; the gambling of the soldiers; Pilate’s notice; the robbers either side; the derisive comments from the crowd: “If you are the Son of God come down from the cross”; the mockery of the chief priests, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself”. 

What is striking about the disdain is what it reveals. Clearly Jesus was not their idea of the Son of God. To them, if He were a Saviour He would be able to save Himself before others. It was incomprehensible that Jesus could save others by not saving Himself. It was a stumbling block to believe that the Son of God came in weakness to establish His eternal kingdom.

But the kingdom of God is not built through the powers that be. It does not rest upon human strength. God has power and we are jars of clay.

As the kingdom of God grows in Asia and around the world, it is not by the power of the mighty. It grows as God, through His mighty Spirit, uses weak vessels so that He gets the glory. The kingdom comes through preaching Christ crucified. What seems folly is, in fact, the power of God. Weak vessels preaching a message of folly. Who would have thought of that as the means of saving the world? God did. Who would have paid such a price for us? God did. Our weakness is not a bar to service – it is of its very nature.

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