Think back to a time when you felt as though God were absent from your life. What happened to make it work out?
Exploring God’s word
1 What is Pilate’s first question to Jesus? What answer does he receive? What do you think is Pilate’s opinion of Jesus? How does he attempt to secure a discharge for Jesus? Why is he thwarted in his efforts?
2 What do the soldiers do to Jesus? What do you think lies behind their desire to humiliate him? What happens on the way out of the city? Why do the soldiers offer Jesus the wine and gall mixture? How does Jesus respond to this? What do you suppose is the reason behind his refusal?
3 Once Jesus is on the cross, how do the soldiers occupy their time? What is the official charge against Jesus? What are the taunts yelled at him from the passers-by and the religious officials? Can you detect an irony in them?
4 Trace the events that take place beginning at the sixth hour (noon). What effect do they have on the centurion and the other guards?
5 How do you suppose the women felt as they watched from a distance? Which of these events makes the deepest impression on you?
For further thought and action
St Paul spoke of Christ crucified as “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called … Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23,24). How does this work out in your life today?