What credence for such news as ours? Whom reaches it, this new revelation of the Lord’s strength? He will watch this servant of his appear among us, unregarded as a brushwood shoot, as a plant in waterless soil; no stateliness here, no majesty, no beauty, as we gaze upon him, to win our hearts. Nay, here is one despised, left out of all human reckoning; bowed with misery, and no stranger to weakness; how should we recognize that face? How should we take any account of him, a man so despised? Our weakness, and it was he who carried the weight of it, our miseries, and it was he who bore them. A leper, so we thought of him, a man God had smitten and brought low; and all the while it was for our sins he was wounded, it was guilt of ours crushed him down; on him the punishment fell that brought us peace, by his bruises we were healed. Strayed sheep all of us, each following his own path; and God laid on his shoulders our guilt, the guilt of us all.
A victim? Yet he himself bows to the stroke; no word comes from him. Sheep led away to the slaughter-house, lamb that stands dumb while it is shorn; no word from him. Imprisoned, brought to judgement, and carried off, he, whose birth is beyond our knowing; numbered among the living no more! Be sure it is for my people’s guilt I have smitten him. Takes he leave of the rich, the godless, to win but a grave, to win but the gift of death; he, that wrong did never, nor had treason on his lips! Ay, the Lord’s will it was, overwhelmed he should be with trouble. His life laid down for guilt’s atoning, he shall yet be rewarded; father of a long posterity, instrument of the divine purpose; for all his heart’s anguish, rewarded in full. The Just One, my servant; many shall he claim for his own, win their acquittal, on his shoulders bearing their guilt. So many lives ransomed, foes so violent baulked of their spoil! Such is his due, that gave himself up to death, and would be counted among the wrong-doers; bore those many sins, and made intercession for the guilty.--Isaiah 53
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Loudly I call, but my prayer cannot reach thee. Thou dost not answer, my God, when I cry out to thee day and night, thou dost not heed. Thou art there none the less, dwelling in the holy place; Israel’s ancient boast. It was in thee that our fathers trusted, and thou didst reward their trust by delivering them; they cried to thee, and rescue came; no need to be ashamed of such trust as theirs. But I, poor worm, have no manhood left; I am a by-word to all, the laughing-stock of the rabble. All those who catch sight of me fall to mocking; mouthing out insults, while they toss their heads in scorn, He committed himself to the Lord, why does not the Lord come to his rescue, and set his favourite free?
What hand but thine drew me out from my mother’s womb? Who else was my refuge when I hung at the breast? From the hour of my birth, thou art my guardian; since I left my mother’s womb, thou art my God! Do not leave me now, when trouble is close at hand; stand near, when I have none to help me. My enemies ring me round, packed close as a herd of oxen, strong as bulls from Basan; so might a lion threaten me with its jaws, roaring for its prey. I am spent as spilt water, all my bones out of joint, my heart turned to molten wax within me; parched is my throat, like clay in the baking, and my tongue sticks fast in my mouth; thou hast laid me in the dust, to die. Prowling about me like a pack of dogs, their wicked conspiracy hedges me in; they have torn holes in my hands and feet; I can count my bones one by one; and they stand there watching me, gazing at me in triumph. They divide my spoils among them, cast lots for my garments. Then, Lord, do not stand at a distance; if thou wouldst aid me, come speedily to my side. Only life is left me; save that from the sword, from the power of these dogs; rescue me from the very mouth of the lion, the very horns of the wild oxen that have brought me thus low.
Then I will proclaim thy renown to my brethren; where thy people gather, I will join in singing thy praise, Praise the Lord, all you that are his worshippers; honour to him from the sons of Jacob, reverence to him from Israel’s race! He has not scorned or slighted the appeal of the friendless, nor turned his face away from me; my cry for help did not go unheeded. Take what I owe thee, my song of praise before a great assembly. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the sight of his worshippers; the poor shall eat now, and have their fill, those who look for the Lord will cry out in praise of him, Refreshed be your hearts eternally! The furthest dwellers on earth will bethink themselves of the Lord, and come back to him; all the races of the heathen will worship before him; to the Lord royalty belongs, the whole world’s homage is his due. Him shall they worship, him only, that are laid to rest in the earth, even from their dust they shall adore. I, too, shall live on in his presence, and beget children to serve him; these to a later age shall speak of the Lord’s name; these to a race that must yet be born shall tell the story of his faithfulness, Hear what the Lord did.--Psalm 21:2-32, emphasis added.
After this, the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the palace, and gathered the whole of their company about him. First they stripped him, and arrayed him in a scarlet cloak; then they put on his head a crown which they had woven out of thorns, and a rod in his right hand, and mocked him by kneeling down before him, and saying, Hail, king of the Jews. And they spat upon him, and took the rod from him and beat him over the head with it. At last they had done with mockery; stripping him of the scarlet cloak, they put his own garments on him, and led him away to be crucified. As for his cross, they forced a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, whom they met on their way out, to carry it; and so they reached a place called Golgotha, that is, the place named after a skull. Here they offered him a draught of wine, mixed with gall, which he tasted, but would not drink, and then crucified him, dividing his garments among them by casting lots. The prophecy must be fulfilled, They divide my spoils among them, cast lots for my garments.
There, then, they sat, keeping guard over him. Over his head they set a written proclamation of his offence, This is Jesus, the king of the Jews; and with him they crucified two thieves, one on his right and one on his left. The passers-by blasphemed against him, tossing their heads; Come now, they said, thou who wouldst destroy the temple and build it up in three days, rescue thyself; come down from that cross, if thou art the Son of God. The chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him in the same way. He saved others, they said, he cannot save himself. If he is the king of Israel, he has but to come down from the cross, here and now, and we will believe in him. He trusted in God; let God, if he favours him, succour him now; he told us, I am the Son of God. Even the thieves who were crucified with him uttered the same taunts.
From the sixth hour onwards there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour; and about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lamma sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Hearing this, some of those who stood by said, He is calling upon Elias: and thereupon one of them ran to fetch a sponge, which he filled with vinegar and fixed upon a rod, and offered to let him drink; the rest said, Wait, let us see whether Elias is to come and save him. Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit. And all at once, the veil of the temple was torn this way and that from the top to the bottom, and the earth shook, and the rocks parted asunder; and the graves were opened, and many bodies arose out of them, bodies of holy men gone to their rest: who, after his rising again, left their graves and went into the holy city, where they were seen by many. So that the centurion and those who kept guard over Jesus with him, when they perceived the earthquake and all that befell, were overcome with fear; No doubt, they said, but this was the Son of God.--Matthew 27:27-54, emphasis added.
Then the soldiers led him away into the court of the palace, and gathered there the whole of their company. They arrayed him in a scarlet cloak, and put round his head a crown which they had woven out of thorns, and fell to greeting him with, Hail, king of the Jews. And they beat him over the head with a rod, and spat upon him, and bowed their knees in worship of him. At last they had done with mockery; stripping him of the scarlet cloak, they put his own garments on him, and led him away to be crucified. As for his cross, they forced a passer-by who was coming in from the country to carry it, one Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. And so they took him to a place called Golgotha, which means, The place of a skull. Here they offered him a draught of wine mixed with myrrh, which he would not take; and then crucified him, dividing his garments among them by casting lots, to decide which should fall to each.
It was the third hour when they crucified him. A proclamation of his offence was written up over him, The king of the Jews; and with him they crucified two thieves, one on the right and the other on his left, so fulfilling the words of scripture, And he was counted among the wrong-doers. The passers-by blasphemed against him, shaking their heads; Come now, they said, thou who wouldst destroy the temple and build it up in three days, come down from that cross, and rescue thyself. In the same way, the chief priests and scribes said mockingly to one another, He saved others, he cannot save himself. Let Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross, here and now, so that we can see it and believe in him. And the men who were crucified with him uttered taunts against him.
When the sixth hour came, there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour; and at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachthani? which means, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Hearing this, some of those who stood by said, Why, he is calling upon Elias. And thereupon one of them ran off to fill a sponge with vinegar, and fixed it on a rod, and offered to let him drink; Wait, he said, Let us see whether Elias is to come and save him. Then Jesus gave a loud cry, and yielded up his spirit. And the veil of the temple was torn this way and that, from the top to the bottom. The centurion who stood in front of him, perceiving that he so yielded up his spirit with a cry, said, No doubt but this was the Son of God.--Mark 15:16-39, emphasis added.
To thee, O Lord, I look for refuge, never let me be ashamed of my trust; in thy faithful care, deliver me. Grant me audience, and make haste to rescue me; my hill-fastness, my stronghold of defence, to save me from peril. Thou dost strengthen and defend me; thou, for thy own honour, dost guide and escort me; by thee protected, I shall escape from the snare that lies hidden in my path. Into thy hands I commend my spirit; thou, God ever faithful, wilt claim me for thyself. Let fools provoke thee by the worship of false gods; for me, no refuge but the Lord. I will triumph and exult in thy mercy; it was thou didst pity my weakness, and save me when I was hard bestead; before the enemy’s toils could close around me, the open plain lay at my feet.
And now, Lord, have compassion on my distress; vexation has dimmed my eyes, frets me away, soul and body. My life is all grief, my years are but sighs; for very misery, my strength ebbs away, my frame is wasted. Openly my foes deride me; even to my neighbours I am a thing of utter scorn; my friends are adread, and the passer-by shuns my contact; I am lost to memory, like a dead man, discarded like a broken pitcher. On every side their busy whispering comes to my ears; peril all around, so powerful the conspiracy that threatens my life. And still, Lord, my trust in thee is not shaken; still I cry, Thou art my God, my fate is in thy hand; save me from the enemy’s power, save me from my pursuers! Smile on thy servant once more, and deliver me in thy mercy; Lord, do not let me plead in vain. Disappoint the wicked of their hopes, hurl them down thwarted into the abyss; let silence fall on those treacherous lips, that spoke maliciously of the innocent in the days of their pride and scorn!
What treasures of loving-kindness, Lord, dost thou store up for the men who fear thee, rewarding their confidence for all the world to see! Thy presence is a sanctuary, to hide them away from the world’s malice; thy tabernacle a refuge from its noisy debate. Blessed be the Lord; so wondrous is his mercy, so strong the wall of his protection. I thought, bewildered, that thy watchful care had lost sight of me; but I cried out to thee, and thou thereupon didst listen to my plea. Love the Lord well, you who worship him; the Lord keeps faith with his servants, and repays the actions of the proud above measure. Take heart, keep high your courage, all you that wait patiently for the Lord.--Psalm 30:2-25; emphasis added.
As they led him off, they caught hold of a man called Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and loaded him with the cross, so that he should carry it after Jesus. Jesus was followed by a great multitude of the people, and also of women, who beat their breasts and mourned over him; but he turned to them, and said, It is not for me that you should weep, daughters of Jerusalem; you should weep for yourselves and your children. Behold, a time is coming when men will say, It is well for the barren, for the wombs that never bore children, and the breasts that never suckled them. It is then that they will begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us, and to the hills, Cover us. If it goes so hard with the tree that is still green, what will become of the tree that is already dried up? Two others, who were criminals, were led off with him to be put to death. And when they reached the place which is named after a skull, they crucified him there; and also the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. Jesus meanwhile was saying, Father, forgive them; they do not know what it is they are doing. And they divided his garments among themselves by lot.
The people stood by, watching; and the rulers joined them in pouring scorn on him; He saved others, they said; if he is the Christ, God’s chosen, let him save himself. The soldiers, too, mocked him, when they came and offered him vinegar, by saying, If thou art the king of the Jews, save thyself. (A proclamation had been written up over him in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, This is the king of the Jews.) And one of the two thieves who hung there fell to blaspheming against him; Save thyself, he said, and us too, if thou art the Christ. But the other rebuked him; What, he said, hast thou no fear of God, when thou art undergoing the same sentence? And we justly enough; we receive no more than the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing amiss. Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him, I promise thee, this day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.
It was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in the midst: and Jesus said, crying with a loud voice, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit; and yielded up his spirit as he said it. And the centurion, when he saw what befell, gave glory to God; This, he said, was indeed a just man--Luke 23:26-47, emphasis added.