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 The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Intro: As much as it would be my desire to write on the Resurrection; my heart, yea my very soul is moved in such exceeding gratitude and humility for what Jesus did for me at Calvary.   Many times I find tracts with absolutely no mention of the Resurrection or necessity of it in our witnessing. Without the Resurrection there is no salvation no matter how great a Sacrifice was accomplished on the cross. Christ must be alive or we have nothing to believe. Rom. 10:9 ”…and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” 1Co 15:17  And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Sin                                                                             

Who died on the Cross? I list the many names given to Him Who died for the sins of the whole world. He is first mentioned in the book of Genesis as the seed of the woman. Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. In Is.9:6 He is called “…a child…” “… a son…” In that same book of Isaiah this One is called “…man of sorrows…” in chapter 53. He is called the Redeemer here in Job and many other places in the Old Testament. Job 19:25  For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

2 Cor.5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 Yes, it is with awe that I write about the crucifixion of Jesus. How can it be that thou my God should die for me? It is amazing love! I know God didn’t die but that makes it even greater that He came in the flesh and suffered and died in our place. Heb.10:5 “…but a body hast thou prepared me:” and Phil. 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Though I could never plumb the depths of the sorrow, excruciating pain, and sacrificial love that were exhibited that day at Calvary; I simply begin with the fact, that this is where man’s sin met the grace of God.  

 

               What a thought and great truth that my personal redeemer lives today. Jesus Christ is the One Who was able to buy, purchase that which was lost to sin. He paid the debt of sin for all as the kinsman redeemer of all mankind. Let’s look at some other New Testament names of the One Who died on the cross. 

·       The Lamb of GodJohn 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  He is called Lamb of God. A spotless innocent Lamb who shed His blood for the guilty simmer. All the way back in the Garden of Eden it was the little lambs that had to die to cover Adam and Eve. The bible says the Lord clothed them with skins to cover their nakedness. Blood was shed in order for the skin to be used as a covering for them. This was a picture of the Lamb of God that John the Baptist cried out was present as he baptized in the Jordan there. It was Jesus Christ who appeared there and John saw a Lamb. John knew that this Man was going to give His life for the sins of the whole world. For thousands of years before it was the blood of animals (lambs, bulls and goats) that atoned for the sins of the people. But it was not possible for those animals and their sacrifice to take away sin. They had to be offered over and over again because it was only a temporary covering. But, Jesus the bible says offered Himself as a Sacrifice (A Lamb) for ever and is seated at the right hand of God. His sacrifice as the Lamb of God satisfied the LORD’s requirement and wrath forever. It is finished because the Lamb was the perfect, pure, spotless Sacrifice for sin.

·       The Just for the unjust - 1Peter 3:18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:   Make no mistake Jesus Christ was and is the Just One. We are unjust, wicked low down sinners. He is holy and was the innocent Lamb that was slain for us. We are unholy, and ungodly deserving of hell. Jesus the Just One took our place. Act 7:52  Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

 

·       The sin – bearer - Heb.9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Oh the glorious fact that the Son of God took upon Himself our sins. He bore your sin, and even more wonderful is that He bore my sin. 2Cor. 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

            Please understand this that my words could never say it or convey just what it means that He bore our sins like how the bible says it.  I give you three verses out the most wonderful chapters in the entire bible. Read them and let it speak to your very soul.

                        Isa. 53: 4-6 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem            him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Isa. 5 But he was wounded for our   transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned       every   one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. I would almost have to          underline the whole of the verses but we see He bore, carried what was ours. We should bear it           all but He did for us. It was at the Cross Jesus became the Sin-Bearer.

·       The Saviour – Isa. 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. How wonderful to know the Lord provided a savior in fact He is the Saviour. Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. His name is Jesus Christ.

  Why did He have to die?    Rom.6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…”

·       It doesn’t get any clearer than that. There is a payment that must be exacted for sin and that payment is death. In 2Cor. 5:21 the bible tells us that He (Jesus) became sin for us. Jesus didn’t have any sin to pay for but He took upon Himself our sin which He paid for by dying on the cross. He had to die because He became sin!

·       The sinner should be in absolute awe of this wonderful, loving Saviour Who took our place. Is. 53:10 we find that “…it pleased the LORD  to bruise him…”  God the Father and the Son, yea the whole Godhead were in absolute agreement that this was the way to pay for sin’s wage. They seem more happy and pleased with the plan then the forgiven sinner. Why? Perfect, unconditional and sacrificial love.

·       Jesus died because sin‘s wage needed to be paid and the Good Shepherd said in John 10:17, 18 these wonderful words 17 “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

·       Jesus died because He loves you.

Who did He die for?    The Calvinists can squirm in their seats and crush their tender tulips as they gnash their teeth against the truth of - Heb 10:10  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  Jesus died for every person ever born past present and future. The bible says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23 There is none righteous no not one. Rom. 3:10 We all needed a Saviour so Jesus became the Saviour of all men. He is the only Mediator between God and men. 1Tim.2:5

            Jesus died for sinners of which all human beings qualify. So who did Jesus Christ die for – YOU!

What did His death accomplish? The requirement to bring man back into fellowship with his Creator was finished at the Cross of Calvary. Rom 5:8 - 11 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

            Jesus’ death on the cross reconciled man back to God. We were on a collision course and doomed for hell as the enemy of God. Through His death He opened the way to be brought back into a right fellowship with God.

 

What happened at Calvary?

·       The events leading up – This is a sterile set of facts

1.     The Last Supper

2.     The Garden of Gethsemane

3.     The Arrest

4.     The Mock Trials

5.     The Beatings, Scourging and Mocking

6.     The Walk to Golgatha

7.     The Crucifixion

·       Physically and Medically, His Suffering– I will attempt to describe what Jesus Christ physically suffered shortly before and during the crucifixion. Following the Last Supper Jesus left the upper room and went across the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane. It was here He would face His most extreme anguish. It was here He surrendered His will to the Father’s. He prayed more earnestly the Bible says because He was about to bear the sin of the world and be forsaken by His Father.

            The Bible says in Luke 22:44 “…and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. This is a medical condition called hematidrosis, and only Dr. Luke records it for us. It is caused by extreme physiological stress which causes the tiny capillaries under the skin surface to distend and go into arterial spasm with necrosis (the death of living cells) and rupturing into the sweat glands. The result was a bloody sweat. Jesus was already tired from sleeplessness and now is dehydrating and going into the very early stages of shock. Now we understand why an angel had to be sent to strengthen Him.

            Now comes the mob to take Him.  Space does not allow the indignity to the Son of God let alone the gross violations of Jewish Law. Without going into all the events that took place from the arrest and mock trials, with not two witnesses to agree, I will focus on the physical events that took place that night into the early morning before the actual crucifixion.  Jesus is led before several people the first being Annas who examines Him while one of his officers strikes Jesus. Remember Jesus is bound. We are told in Luke 22:63, 64 He was mocked and beaten while blindfolded. He was asked to prophesy who had struck Him. He did not cower at every blow even not knowing when they would be administered.

             Jesus is now led before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin for another mock trial. The charges are changed and false witnesses cannot agree in their testimony. Jesus is becoming exhausted by the continuing events, abuse, dehydration and ridicule. He stands before this Roman governor with no guile, or bitterness but in supernatural power. He makes no defense and finds no mercy.

            Pilate attempts to appease the mob by scourging Jesus. He is beaten mercilessly with a wooden handled whip of three cords. Metal shards and bones rip open the flesh upon every lash. Tissue is torn out and away with each strike and the skin is now falling in ribbon like pieces causing profuse arterial bleeding. Next the crown of thorns pressed deeply into the scalp result in more bleeding as He falls into a deepening state of shock. A robe is thrown round about Him and could have temporarily acted as a compression for the gaping, bleeding wounds. The soldiers mock Him, spit upon Him, beat Him with rods and pull out His beard. Is. 50:6  If you have ever had hair pulled from your face you would know the pain and swelling that would result.

            Behold the Man! Before a howling mob He stands clammy and lifeless now most probably in shock. He has cold, pale sweaty skin with His mucous membranes turning blue and cyanotic (a condition from lack of oxygen in the blood). His visage is marred more than any man as He stands before Pilate with pulse pounding and breathing shallow at best. Pilate condemns Him to death and the robe is stripped away. Why the mention of the robe being pulled away; but because it is like a bandage being ripped off carelessly from a recently dressed wound. Needless to say the blood begins to flow again.

            Jesus arrives at the hill called Calvary and is thrown back onto the transverse beam as to secure Him to the cross. Careful were the executioners not to fully extend His arms for that would only hasten His death. Large triangular nails were driven through His hands, probably at the lower portion of His forearm and wrist. Here the nails would compress the median nerves that go into the hands. This drew the thumb into the palm of the hand because the tendon was affected. Note: the nails weren’t put into the palms of the hands as they would tear right through from the weight suspended on them. Next the same was done to the feet through the arches with the knees flexed.

            The Romans had perfected this brutal art to just how long someone could last by how they flexed their legs to expedite breathing. The position on the cross forced a person into a horrible exercise of pushing up on the nail in the feet to relieve the pain in the arms as they slithered downward. Dangling there caused severe muscular pain in the upper extremities and chest muscles. Eventually a paralysis of the intercostal muscles of the chest wall would take place. The result was air being drawn into the lungs but easily exhaled resulting in a build up of carbon dioxide.  Also, lactic acid would create intense muscular spasms throughout the body. Jesus’ body is now ravaged by shock, exhaustion, and incredible thirst, pain in the central nervous system, muscle spasms, dehydration and gradual asphyxiation. Not one reviling word is uttered. The chest wall further elongates as He hangs there and He becomes grossly distorted. The stomach area sinks and the altered blood circulation in and around the heart cause the pericardial sack to fill with fluid. This causes sharp searing pain in the chest with heartbeat and attempted move of the body. These events are found in Psalm 22. Though all His bones are out of joint not one was broken.  He is dying! The Lamb slain!  He cried “It is finished”  Paid in Full!

 

·       The Blood – This was sinless blood, precious blood, innocent blood (Even Judas knew that.) -Mat 27:4  Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood…”  His blood justifies the believer and atones for our sin. Without the blood is no remission. You cannot have your sins forgiven except the blood of Jesus Christ be applied. There is no other way to cover the sin of mankind. Jesus’ blood was not tainted with sin. He was born of a virgin, and though human he had no earthly father. Since He had no father, He had no sin as the sin nature is passed through the man. It comes by way of that first transgressor Adam. Rom. 5:12 tell that “…by one man sin entered into the world. Look at these precious verses about the Lord’s precious blood. 1Pe 1:18, 19  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Mat 26:28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Rom 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; It just doesn’t get any better than that. Some do not like the bloody sacrifice of Christ for the pardon or forgiveness of their sins. There is no other way because the Bible says - Heb 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. I will take the perfect blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the cleansing of my sin with a grateful heart.

 

·       His Death – Satisfied the requirement of sin. The wages of sin is death. Rom.6:23 We needed the shed blood but we also needed a death if I can say it that way. If our Lord Jesus becomes sin on the cross than He must die because He paid for OUR sins. Rom. 5:12 says that because Adam sinned, in came death. Death passed upon all men for that all had sinned. Though Jesus Himself never sinned aren’t you grateful He died your death.

·       His Burial - Jesus made no advance plans for His burial but a tomb was provided. Prophesied 700 years before, of His burial. Isa. 53:9  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. John chapter 19 and Mark 15 both tell us that Jesus was taken by Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple an honourable men. Jesus was laid in a sepulcher never used by any other man.

·       Who killed Jesus? – Oh, there were those who said crucify Him but they didn’t kill Him. He gave His life. This was God’s plan not man’s. Yes, the Pharisees conspired against Him and yes the people went along and desired Barabbas, but on the cross Jesus “gave up the ghost” He gave His life no one took it from Him. He is the Good Shepherd Who gives His life for the sheep. It was our sin that put Jesus on that cross and His love for a lost world kept Him there. Who killed Jesus?  Look in the mirror.

·       Why crucifixion? - This was originally a Phoenician practice but was perfected by the Romans. Sounds sick doesn’t it that men would perfect killing and execution but we do just do the same today. It was known and used around the Palestinian area from approximately 200 BC until 300 AD when it was finally abolished by Constantine.

·       The scene at the cross from the third to the ninth hour.

1.     9:00am to 12:00 noon - Three hours of mocking, ridicule and worst of all gambling at the foot of the cross. There is no understanding that the very Son of God is dying for them. Jesus Christ does nothing but take care of His mother, and his disciple John by binding them to each other in a mother son relationship. He then saves a thief who not long before was casting accusations at Him. He spends three hours writhing in pain and bearing the cruel mocking undeservedly.

2.     12:00 noon to 3:00pm - The Bible tells us that darkness fell at noon. Luke 23:44  And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. It is also said in Mark15:33. What happened during this time we are not fully told but that we must conclude that this is when the Father poured out His wrath on SIN. Jesus in the place of the sinner condemned. This was not for man’s eyes but between God the Father and His Son. For three hours Jesus endured not just His Father’s punishment for sin but He was forsaken. It was at the end, the ninith hour Jesus cried out - Mar 15:34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

            Wouldn’t we be a hopeless people had it not been for the final words spoken on the cross? John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. The payment has been made for the sin of the world. No more sacrifice needed. Paid in Full.

            Then the Bible says He gave up the ghost. I believe Jesus stopped His heart and breathed His last breath. He gave up His life no one took it. He said as God in flesh I will now die. Take some time and think about the Great Sacrifice for your sin.

Conclusion

            I am done. There may be more to write and in fact there certainly is. I just know that writing this paper has taken me through the whole gamut of emotions. I have hurt in my heart for Him. I have cried thinking of what He did and that He did it for me. I have cheered. Praise the Lord Hallelujah to the Lamb.  Anyone who takes any time to consider the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ should come away with the same conclusion that centurion and those with him did.

Matt. 27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying,
Truly this was the Son of God.

Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

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