The Cross

But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.
Galatians 6:14 CSB

I wonder…was the apostle Paul, as a zealous member of the Pharisees, and an unbeliever – among those screaming and/or instigating for Jesus’ crucifixion?

Those who passed by were yelling insults at him, shaking their heads, and saying, “Ha! The one who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself by coming down from the cross!” In the same way, the chief priests with the scribes were mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with him taunted him.
Mark 15:29‭-‬32 CSB

Were these the apostle Paul’s vivid recollections of Jesus’ crucifixion?

I persecuted and pursued the followers of this Way to the death, binding them with chains and putting [followers of Jesus] both men and women into prisons, as the high priest and all the Council of the elders (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) can testify; because from them I received letters to the brothers, and I was on my way to Damascus in order to bring those [believers] who were there to Jerusalem in chains to be punished. “But as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a great blaze of light suddenly flashed from heaven and shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And I replied, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’
Acts 22:4‭-‬8 AMP

Saul, murderous Pharisee, becomes Paul, unashamed follower of Jesus Christ. Interesting that Jesus would characterize Himself in this way. A description Paul would surely have recognized, since Jesus the Nazarene was condemned to die at the behest of the Sanhedrin, of which Paul was likely a member.

This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”  — and I am the worst of them. But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate his extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 Timothy 1:15‭-‬17 CSB

Amazing Love!! ✝️

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ
Philippians 3:8 NLT

Although some consider it likely, we don’t have a record of Saul at the crucifixion of Jesus. But we do know that after the Damascus road encounter with the risen Lord, he was as fanatical in his devotion to Christ as he had been to Phariseeism, yielding to the Holy Spirit to transform him into the image of Christ.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges ; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5‭-‬11 NLT

Praise the Name of Jesus! 🙌✝️🙌