Mt. 27:35-56; Mk. 15:24-41; Lk. 23:34-49; Jn. 19:19-37
Two malefactors (robbers) were also crucified with Jesus, one on His right and the other on His left.
Jesus was crucified at the third hour (9:00 AM) on Friday, before the Passover Sabbath.
In order to legalize Jesus’ execution, Pilate had a sign printed in three languages, Greek, Latin and Hebrew stating, “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
The chief priests were not pleased with the sign. They wanted it to read, “He said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” Pilate refused to change the sign. He said, “What I have written, I have written,”
One of the perks for the four soldiers, who crucified Jesus, was to receive the clothing of the condemned. They divided everything except His Tunic. Since it could not be divided, they cast lots for it. This action also fulfilled Old Testament prophecy.
Those who witnessed His crucifixion scorned and mocked Jesus unmercifully. They called to Him to come down and save Himself if He were the Son of God. Some said that He saved others, but He could not save Himself. One of the thieves even said, “If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
Jesus spoke seven times from the cross. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” He had taught during His ministry, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
After having joined in with the mockery earlier, one of the thieves realized that Jesus was the Messiah and repented of his earlier reviling. He asked if He would remember him in His kingdom. Jesus answered, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
(There are those who suggest that since the thief was saved without baptism, it is not necessary for our salvation. Observe: Jesus lived during the Law of Moses. He had the power to do what He wanted at that time; the terms of the New Testament were not sealed until fifty-two days later on Pentecost.)
There were several women, including His mother present at the crucifixion of Jesus. At this point, He addressed her and the apostle John, “Woman, behold your son! Behold your mother!” From that time, He gave her care over to John and he took her into his own home.
At the sixth hour (Noon), darkness covered the whole land until the ninth hour (3:00 PM). This was the lowest point emotionally, that our Lord suffered during His entire earthly life. After three hours of darkness, Jesus cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? (My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”) Some of those present thought He was calling for Elijah. It is impossible to grasp what it meant for Jesus, the Son of God to feel that His Father had left Him ALONE! Remember that all of His physical and mental sufferings were for US!
After a long grueling day and having lost (shed) much blood, Jesus was dehydrated. He said, “I thirst.” One man ran and got some sour wine on a sponge and gave it to Him, while others said, Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come and save Him.”
Jesus had spent thirty-three years on earth. During the last three years, He had ministered and had taught the basics of His kingdom to those who would be responsible for setting it up on the earth. He stated, “It is finished.” His mission on earth had been completed. As He shed His blood, He gave His physical life that mankind might have an eternal spiritual life.
When Jesus breathed His last, He cried out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” He committed His spirit to God voluntarily. It was not taken from Him.
The veil of the temple was a heavy curtain that separated the holy place from the most holy place. Only the high priest was ever permitted to enter the most holy place and that was only once a year to offer a sacrifice for the people.
When Jesus died, this veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. He became High Priest by giving Himself once for all time, so there would be no need for an annual animal sacrifice for sins. With the veil being destroyed, God’s people would have constant access to the High Priest, Jesus Christ and could go through Him to God and ask at any time for the forgiveness of their sins.
Great fear came upon the centurion and the soldiers guarding Jesus when they saw the effects and felt the earthquake when He died. They said, “Truly this was the Son of God.”
The crowd, having been misled by their leaders, beat their breasts in anger and sorrow at what had happened and returned to their places.
Jesus’ mother and the other women who followed Him were looking on from a distance as He died.
Jewish law required that bodies not be left overnight because a dead body was accursed and they did not want the next day to have that curse on it. Since the next day was the Passover Sabbath, it was especially important that the bodies be removed.
The Jews asked that the legs of those being crucified be broken in order to speed death so they could be taken down before the Sabbath.
When the soldiers found that Jesus was already dead, they did not break His legs. This fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy.
Another Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled when a soldier pierced Jesus’ side to make sure that He was dead.