Day 6: Good Friday–the Day of Crucifixion
A. Jesus’ trial continued this day—at daybreak:
- He was bound and led away to the high council (Sanhedrin) at the break of the day and a religious vote of guilty was taken. This was the first formal Jewish or religious trial of the Lord Jesus and His condemnation to death (Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66-71).
- During this time, Judas Iscariot, the traitor, was remorseful and sent back the thirty pieces of silver he had collected to the chief priests and elders and went and committed suicide. The account of Matthew was that he hanged himself, while that of Luke in Acts was that his death was due to headlong fall (Matthew 27:3-10; cf. Acts 1:16-20).
- He was led away to Governor Pontius Pilate (highest Roman authority) because all death sentences needed Roman approval. This was the first government trial and the Lord Jesus was found not guilty (Matthew 27:2, 11-14; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28-38).
- The Lord Jesus was led to Herod Antipas by the order of Pilate. This was a courteous and guilt-sharing act by Pilate because Jesus’ home was in the region of Galilee and Herod Antipas, who was in Jerusalem for the Passover celebration was then the ruler of Galilee. So, Pilate feared taking action since Galilee was out of his jurisdiction (Luke 23:6-12).
- The Lord Jesus was sent back to Pilate by the order of Herod. This was Jesus’ third and final Roman trial without a verdict. It was also Pilate’s last effort to avoid condemning an obviously innocent man. However, he was faced with the choice of preserving his office of giving justice to Jesus. He finally chose to preserve his office (see Matthew 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:13-25; John 18:39-19:16).
- He was mocked by the Roman soldiers and the rulers of the people (Matthew 27:27-31; Mark 15:16-20; cf. Luke 23:35-37; John 19:1-3).
B. The crucifixion of the Lord Jesus also took place this day:
- He was led forth to Golgotha to be crucified (see Matthew 27:31-34; Mark 15:20-23; Luke 23:26-33; John 19:17). Because of the weakness due to scourging, a certain man named Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was compelled to help Him carry the cross to the execution site (Matthew 27:32, 33; Mark 15:21, 22; Luke 23:26; John 19:17). On the way to Golgotha, the Lord warned the women who were weeping and wailing for Him of judgment yet to fall on Jerusalem (Luke 23:27-31). He was given sour wine mingled with gall to drink—which He refused to drink (Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:23; cf. Luke 23:36).
- The early or first three hours of the Crucifixion (see Matthew 27:35-44; Mark 15:24-32; Luke 23:33-43; John 19:18-27).
♦ The Lord Jesus was crucified and His garments divided by the soldiers (see Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24, 25; Luke 23:34; John 19:23, 24). The casting of Jesus’ garments was a fulfillment of Psalm 22:18.
♦ The soldiers kept watch over Him—probably to prevent anyone from trying to rescue Jesus from the cross (Matthew 27:36).
♦ An inscription of His accusation that reads “THIS IS JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” was placed over His head. It was written in three languages: Hebrew, Greek, and Latin (Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19-22).
♦ Two robbers were crucified with the Lord—one on the right and another on the left. This was a fulfillment of Isaiah 53:12, “He was numbered with the transgressors.” One of these robbers reviled and mocked the Lord while the other believed and was promised that he would join the Lord Jesus in paradise that very day (Matthew 27:38, 44; Mark 15:27, 28, 32; Luke 23:32, 33, 39-43; John 19:18).
♦ The Lord was blasphemed by passersby (see Matthew 27:39, 40; Mark 15:29, 30). This was a fulfillment of Psalm 22:7, where the insult that would be directed at the Messiah was predicted.
♦ He was mocked by the religious leaders—the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders (Matthew 27:41-43; Mark 15:31, 32; Luke 23:35).
♦ The Lord requested forgiveness for His enemies from the Father. He gave up the right to do wrong, to those who wronged Him—and so should we (see Luke 23:34).
♦ Some women disciples or followers, who were faithful to the Lord to the end stood at Jesus’ cross, including His mother, Mary (John 19:25).
♦ He committed the care of His mother Mary to the beloved disciple, John. This teaches us about human responsibility (see John 19:26, 27).
- The last three or closing hours of the Crucifixion (see Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46; John 19:28-30):
♦ Darkness fell all over the land of Jerusalem from the sixth hour (noon) until the ninth hour (3.00pm). This was a supernatural occurrence (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44, 45).
♦ At about the ninth hour, that is 3.00pm, the Lord Jesus was in deep sorrow, so He cried out with a loud voice in Aramaic, the tongue of His birth, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” meaning “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). This was not a cry of defeat but of separation! He was aware of His alienation from His Father at that moment as He died in order to ransom many.
♦ Those who were standing by the cross heard His cry and thought that the Lord was calling on Prophet Elijah to come and rescue Him (Matthew 27:47, 49; Mark 15:35).
♦ The Lord uttered “I am thirsty,” an expression of physical agony or suffering due to the torture of crucifixion (John 19:28).
♦ He was offered a sour wine which He took (see Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:36; John 19:29). This sour wine was not the same as the drugged wine that had been offered to Him earlier that he refused (see Mark 15:23).
♦ After receiving the sour wine, the Lord exclaimed “It is finished” (John 19:30). This was not a cry of exhaustion, but of victory. By uttering the word, Jesus expressed awareness that He had paid the debt of sin in full.
♦ Having fulfilled every command of the Father and every prophecy of Scripture, the Lord Jesus voluntarily died—He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit. His final words, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46), expressed the hope of restored fellowship with His Father after death. It was a statement of completion (cf. Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; John 19:30).
C. The death of the Lord Jesus (see Matthew 27:51-56; Mark 15:38-41; Luke 23:47-49):
- The veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom—representing the open access to God made possible by the death of His Son, Jesus (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45; cf. Hebrews 6:19; 10:19-22).
- The earth quaked—that is, earthquake (Matthew 27:51).
- The rocks were split (Matthew 27:51).
- The graves were opened (Matthew 27:52).
- The bodies of many Old Testament saints who had fallen asleep were raised; they went into the city and appeared to many (Matthew 27:52, 53).
- The centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw all that happened and witnessed to the divine power of God, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47). the supernatural signs certainly convinced them that Jesus was the Son of God.
- The whole crowd at the crucifixion site saw what happened and beat their breasts before returning home—they were astonished and speechless at what they saw (Luke 23:48).
- Many women who faithfully followed Jesus, and ministered to His needs from Galilee to Jerusalem, were also witnesses to the unique or divine occurrence (Matthew 27:55, 56; Mark 15: 40, 41; Luke 23:49).
D. The burial of the Lord Jesus (see Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:31-42):
- The certification of His death (John 19:31-37):
♦ The soldiers, who knew death, found Jesus already dead when they came to break His legs—so Jesus’ legs were not broken (John 19:31-33).
♦ They also pierced Jesus’ side with spear, and a mixture of blood and water flowed out (John 19:34). This was also an indication that Jesus was already dead. Only blood would have flowed from a living body. Since the Lord was a real man, blood flowed from His side.
♦ These two things happened for the Scriptures to be fulfilled (John 19:35-37)—for “Not one of His bones shall be broken” (Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalm 34:20) and “They shall look on Him whom they pierced” (Zechariah 12:10).
- The procurement and burial of His body (see Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:38-42):
♦ Joseph of Arimathea—a rich, good, and just man—and a prominent council member, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus, went to Pilate and requested to bury Jesus (Matthew 27:57, 58; Mark 15:42-45; Luke 23:50-52; John 19:38).
♦ Nicodemus, who like Joseph was also a council member, provided about one hundred pounds of spices, a mixture of myrrh and aloes—aromatic substances placed between the strips of burial cloth which were wound around the body (John 19:39).
♦ Both men took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth with the spices according to the Jewish custom of preparing a body for burial, and laid it in a new tomb that belongs to Joseph, and rolled a large stone across the door of the tomb. This new tomb was in the garden where the Lord Jesus was crucified (Matthew 27:59-60; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53-54; John 19:40-42).
- Some women witnessed the burial of the Lord Jesus—they observed the tomb: how and where His body was laid. Then, they went home and prepared spices and fragrant oils for the anointing of the body of Jesus on the day after the Sabbath, since they could not make preparations on the Sabbath. Apparently, these women did not anticipate a resurrection because the spices were used to delay decay and lessen the odor of the body (Matthew 27:61; Mark 15:47; 16:1; Luke 23:55-56).
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