The view from below:
Mark 15:1-15 (around 30 AD)
Early the next morning the chief priests, the nation's leaders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses met together with the whole Jewish council. They tied up Jesus and led him off to Pilate.
He asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?"
"Those are your words," Jesus answered.
The chief priests brought many charges against Jesus. Then Pilate questioned him again, "Don't you have anything to say? Don't you hear what crimes they say you have done?" But Jesus did not answer, and Pilate was amazed.
During Passover, Pilate always freed one prisoner chosen by the people. And at that time there was a prisoner named Barabbas. He and some others had been arrested for murder during a riot. The crowd now came and asked Pilate to set a prisoner free, just as he usually did.
Pilate asked them, "Do you want me to free the king of the Jews?"
Pilate knew that the chief priests had brought Jesus to him because they were jealous.
But the chief priests told the crowd to ask Pilate to free Barabbas.
Then Pilate asked the crowd, "What do you want me to do with this man you say is the king of the Jews?"
They yelled, "Nail him to a cross!"
Pilate asked, "But what crime has he done?"
"Nail him to a cross!" they yelled even louder.
Pilate wanted to please the crowd. So he set Barabbas free. Then he ordered his soldiers to beat Jesus with a whip and nail him to a cross.
Something went terribly wrong here.
The view from above:
Isaiah 53:5-12 (800 years before Christ was born)
He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.
All of us were like sheep that had wandered off. We had each gone our own way, but the LORD gave him the punishment we deserved.
He was painfully abused, but he did not complain. He was silent like a lamb being led to the butcher, as quiet as a sheep having its wool cut off.
He was condemned to death without a fair trial. Who could have imagined what would happen to him? His life was taken away because of the sinful things my people had done.
He wasn't dishonest or violent, but he was buried in a tomb of cruel and rich people.
The LORD decided his servant would suffer as a sacrifice to take away the sin and guilt of others. Now the servant will live to see his own descendants. He did everything the LORD had planned. By suffering, the servant will learn the true meaning of obeying the LORD.
Although he is innocent, he will take the punishment for the sins of others, so that many of them will no longer be guilty.
The LORD will reward him with honor and power for sacrificing his life. Others thought he was a sinner, but he suffered for our sins and asked God to forgive us.
Lord, remind me, when things go terribly wrong in my life, to ask for the view from above.
Scriptures taken from the Contemporary English Version of the Bible