In this part of our study on Christology, I would like to take a look at the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ - His Death.
In the days of the four Gospels, Crucifixion was a common practice of punishment of the Romans. It is not certain whether it was known among the ancient Jews; probably it was not. The practice of capital punishment according to the Mosaic law were, by the sword Exodus 21, strangling or fire Leviticus 20, or by stoning Deuteronomy 21.
This was regarded as the most horrible form of death, and to a Jew it would acquire greater horror from the curse in Deuteronomy 21:23. This punishment began by subjecting the sufferer to scourging. In the case of our Lord, however, His scourging was rather before the sentence was passed upon Him,
and was inflicted by Pilate for the purpose, probably, of exciting pity
and procuring his escape from further punishment Luke 23:22 & John 19:1.
condemned one carried his own cross to the place of execution, which
was outside the city, in some conspicuous place set apart for the
purpose. Before the nailing to the cross took place, a medicated cup of
vinegar mixed with gall and myrrh (the sopor) was given, for the purpose
of deadening the pangs of the sufferer. Our Lord refused this cup, that
his senses might be clear Matthew 27:34. The
sponge of vinegar, sour wine, posca, the common drink of the Roman
soldiers, which was put on a hyssop stalk and offered to our Lord in
contemptuous pity Matthew 27:48 & Luke 23:36, He tasted to allay the agonies of his thirst John 19:29. The
accounts given of the crucifixion of our Lord are in entire agreement
with the customs and practices of the Roman in such cases. He was
crucified between two "malefactors" Isaiah 53:12 & Luke 23:32, and was watched by a party of four soldiers Matthew 27:36; 54 & John 19:23,
with their centurion. The "breaking of the legs" of the malefactors was
intended to hasten death, and put them out of misery John 19:31; but the unusual rapidity of our Lord's death 19:33 was due to his previous sufferings and His great mental anguish. The omission of the breaking of his legs was the fulfilment of a type Exodus 12:46. He
literally died of a broken heart, a ruptured heart, and hence the
flowing of blood and water from the wound made by the soldier's spear
John 19:34. Our Lord uttered seven memorable words from the cross, namely:
As part of the scourging process, Jesus had a Crown of thorns forced on His head in mockery by the Romans Matthew 27:29. The object of Pilate's guards in
doing this was probably to insult, and not specially to inflict pain.
There is nothing to show that the shrub thus used was, as has been
supposed, the spina Christi, which could have been easily woven into a
wreath. It was probably the thorny nabk which grew abundantly round
about Jerusalem and whose flexible, pliant, and round branches could easily be platted into the form of a crown.
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His
resurrection are the two most important events in human history. Why is
this so? Because of Jesus' death, the human race has the opportunity for
eternal salvation. All four of the New Testament Gospels talk of the crucifixion of Christ. These authors give us great details of the ancient Roman practice. Here are some main points in the crucifixion timeline:
· Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:43-52).
· Jesus endured six trials - three by Jewish leaders and three by the Romans John 18:12-14; Mark 14:53-65; Mark 15:1a; Mark 15:1b-5; Luke 23:6-12 & Mark 15:6-15. Jesus survived painful beating, whipping, and mocking Mark 15:16-20.
tried to compromise with the religious leaders by having Jesus beaten,
but this act didn't satisfy them. Pilate handed Jesus over to be
crucified Mark 15:6-15.
· Jesus was mocked by the soldiers as they dressed Him in a purple robe and a crown of thorns John 19:1-3.
· Jesus was crucified on Golgotha, which means the Place of the Skull Mark 15:22.
· The sky turned dark for three hours Mark 15:33.
· Jesus cried, "Father! Into your hands I commit my spirit!" and He died Luke 23:46.
Arthur W. Pitt describes it this way, "With bleeding back, carrying His
cross under the heat of the now almost midday sun, He [Jesus] journeyed
up the rugged heights of Golgotha. Reaching the appointed place of
execution, His hands and feet were nailed to the tree. For three hours
He hung there with the pitiless rays of the sun beating down [on] His
thorn-crowned head. This was followed by the three hours of darkness,
now over. That night and that day were hours into which an eternity was
Savior of the world had emerged from three hours of darkness, during
which He was separated from God the Father. Why did the Father turned
away from Him? It is against the character of God to face sin, so God
withdrew Himself from communication with His Son while Jesus bore the
guilt of the world's sin.
Following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Joseph of
Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Joseph was given
permission to bury Jesus, so he brought fine linen, wrapped the body,
laid Jesus in a tomb and rolled a large stone across the entrance. Jesus
was in the grave for three days. After the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene,
Mary (the mother of Jesus), and Salome prepared spices to anoint Jesus'
body. When they arrived at the tomb, the stone had already been rolled
away! They entered the tomb, where an angel said, "Don't be alarmed. .
.You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has
risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell
his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee.
you will see him, just as he told you'" Mark 16:6-7.
The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ was God’s eternal gift to all mankind. What
does the crucifixion of Jesus Christ have to do with you? God, who
knows what you're are made of, knew you could not live the sinless life
necessary for heaven. So He decided to offer Himself in your place. He
did that by becoming a man in the person of Jesus Christ, His own Son.
Jesus lived a sinless life on earth.
God had said the punishment for sin is death. Since we all have sinned Romans 3:23 & 6:23. Man needed
someone sinless to die in our place. Jesus, being sinless, died in our
place and became the saving grace of the world. He died for you! Romans
5:10 says, "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to
him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled,
shall we be saved through his life!"