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The Crucifixion of Jesus

Following Jesus' arrest and some interrogation sessions, the chief-priests and the elders of the people of Israel had Jesus tied and then they handed him over to Pilate the leader.

Pilate was a Gentile - the imperial prefect, procurator, governor of the Roman Emperor over the people in Judea, Samaria and Idumea at that time. After a series of questions, Pilate marveled because Jesus did not respond as he expected.

Also, it was customary at this time of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread to release one prisoner to the crowd whom they wanted to be released. Pilate brought a prisoner named Barabbas as the alternative to Jesus.

When the people had been assembled Pilate said to them...

  • “Whom do you intend (will) I would loosen to you,
  • Barabbas or Jesus the one being said as Christ?”
    • for Pilate knew (perceived, saw) that it was on account of envy they gave him over.

The chief-priests and the elders persuaded the crowds for the purpose and result that they would ask Barabbas for themselves, but they would destroy Jesus. And the people said, “Barabbas.”

Pilate said to them, “What therefore should I do with/to/for Jesus the one being said as Christ?”

All the people said, “He must be crucified!”

But Pilate asked them what bad thing did he do? And the people exceedingly spent time shouting saying...

  • “He must be crucified!”

When Pilate saw that he profits nothing but on the contrary rather a tumult came-to-pass, he took water and washed his hands (as washing something away from himself) in the presence of the crowd saying...

  • “I am innocent from this blood.
  • Emphatically you will see (the consequence of your actions because what you are doing and what happens to/with you as a result of this have nothing to do with me)!”

And all the group of people assembled (all the people of Israel, Judeans collectively) answered by saying...

  • “His blood is on us and on our children (the guilt for shedding his blood, murdering him, is down on us and on our children, we accept the responsibility and consequences of ending his life).”

Then Pilate loosened Barabbas to them, but he had Jesus flogged (scourged, tied to a pillar in a bending or stretched position and hit with leather thongs having sharp pieces of bone or lead at the ends which tore the flesh of the back and the breast), and afterwards he gave him over for the purpose and result that he would be crucified.

By this time it is about 12 noon on 13th Nisan, Tuesday.

At that time Pilate’s soldiers received Jesus from him into the praetorium (referring to the area of the guard-room attached to Herod’s palace, now occupied by Pilate and his entourage) and they assembled the whole corps (the entire body of men-at-arms stationed there at that time, usually a corps consisted of 600 men) down on Jesus…

  • and after they had unclothed him (stripped his clothes off from him)
    • they put around him a crimson cloak (a short coarse robe usually worn by military officers, etc, outside all other clothes and colored a deep scarlet or purplish red),
  • and after they had weaved a crown from thorns (plaited, braided, intertwined prickly briers, brambles making a garland, wreath)
    • they put this thorny crown upon his head and a reed in his right hand (as a king wearing his kingly crown and his scepter in his hand of authority and office),
  • and after they had kneeled in front of him (fallen on their knees before him, as though they were in subjection to him and were paying him homage)
    • they derided him (played-with him, mocked him like a child, toyed-with him)
    • saying, “Joy, king of the Judeans (rejoice, you must joy, royal ruler over and belonging to the Judeans/Israelites; spoken as a form of greeting to him),”
  • and after they had spit into him
    • they took the reed from him and spent time beating him into his head (they were continuing to strike Jesus with the reed stick into his head which had a crown of thorns on it),
  • and when they derided him again
    • they unclothed the cloak from him and clothed him with his outer-garments,
  • and they led (conducted, directed, conveyed) him away for the purpose of crucifying him.

All of these activities took time – in fact, the next thing we read about takes place the following morning, 14th Nisan, Wednesday, the day that the Passover lamb was sacrificed.

While they were going out from the praetorium on their way to the place where they would crucify Jesus, the soldiers found a Cyrenian man named Simon and they compelled this Simon for the purpose and result that he would lift (take up and carry) Jesus’ cross (stake). Simon from Cyrene lifted the physical cross after (behind, following) Jesus that Jesus was to be crucified on. Jesus himself was too weak/sick from being beaten, etc, by this time to lift it himself.

We should note that the record in John 19:17 refers to Jesus carrying out his assignment which God gave him and which they talked about in the garden of Gethsemane (refer to Isaiah chapter 53; Matthew 8:17, 16:24 and 26:36-46; Luke 14:27; Romans 5:6-21 and 6:6; I Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews chapters 9 and 10; I Peter 2:21-24). Jesus willingly drank the drink in the cup that God gave to him; he had taken man’s sin upon himself, the sin offering, and now he was suffering the right/just judgment for all sins.

When they came into a place being called Golgotha, which is also called Place of a Skull (Calvary, this was a hill outside the gate/wall of Jerusalem), they gave to Jesus to drink wine (some texts have a word referring to a cheap, sharp, sour kind of wine, vinegar) that was mingled with gall (it had bile or a bitter-tasting substance from a plant blended, mixed in it which would deaden the pain if he drank it), and when Jesus tasted he did not intend/will to drink. This is the second time that Jesus was offered a drink during these events.

Also, the word translated "cross" literally means a stake, and to “crucify” is to nail someone to/on a stake. So we ought to realize that Jesus the Christ was crucified on a stake, as the trunk of a tree or single log of wood stuck upright into a hole in the ground. Thus his hands would not have been out to either side nailed on another piece of wood, but they were stretched above his head and nailed in that position which made it much more difficult for him to breath, etc.

After they had crucified Jesus they fully distributed his outer-garments by casting a lot, ballot. The result of their voting was that the particular part of his clothes was given to the winner.

While they were sitting-down they were continuing to have Jesus in safekeeping on the stake - they were not going to allow any escape or rescue attempt by his friends.

They placed over Jesus’ head the reason for accusation that was written, “This is Jesus the king of the Judeans.”

The Book of Matthew (chapters 26-28) is a very condensed record of what happened, and for further details of all that occurred during this time we need to read the accounts in Mark, Luke and John. The time of Jesus’ crucifixion is given in Mark as the third hour of the day, which is about 9:00 am in the morning on the day of Passover when the lamb was killed, Wednesday 14th Nisan.

After all that has happened, then two robbers (two men who plundered by violence and open force) were nailed to stakes in conjunction with Jesus who was already there, one robber was staked literally at his right-hand side and one robber at his left-hand side.

The people who were journeying-by spent some time blaspheming him shaking their heads in contempt (derision, disgust, ironically) and saying…

  • “The one disuniting the interior-temple and in three days building, you must save yourself!
  • If you are God’s son, you must descend from the cross!”

Also the chief/high priests similarly deriding with the scribes and elders spent time saying…

  • “Others he saved, himself he is not able to save!
  • He is king of Israel, he must descend now from the cross and we will believe on him!
  • He was persuaded and continues persuaded on God, He must now rescue him if He intends (God must at this present time right now deliver, snatch or draw Jesus to Himself if God wills), for Jesus said that ‘I am God’s son’!”

Also the robbers who were crucified together with him, spent time reproaching Jesus with the same-thing. Both of these robbers were continuing to defame, insult Jesus the same way as the people passing-by, the chief-priests, scribes, and elders.

From the sixth hour (12 noon on 14th Nisan, Wednesday) darkness came to pass on all the earth for the length of time until the ninth hour (3 pm in the afternoon).

About the ninth hour Jesus cried-aloud with a great sound saying,

  • “Eloi Eloi lema sabachthani!” (these words are transliterated from the Aramaic language spoken by Jesus, and texts vary in the spelling of the words) –
  • this is, “My God, my God - in order for that You left me down-in this state.”

Jesus did not address God as “My Father” but as “Eloi/Eli”: my God, the God of me, the only strong, powerful, mighty Creator of His creation, Who knows, sees and perfectly completes His work, He does what He intends/wills and says. Also, the verb translated “leave behind in (a certain state or way or place)” does not mean to forever disown, forsake or abandon someone or something, but it does mean to leave that one behind remaining there at that time in that state.

Jesus made it known that the only true God was/is his God and he was doing God’s will and that’s why God left him there to die at that time.

“You are the God of me, my God - it is for that purpose and result, the definite thing that You have designed, to that end You left me behind remaining where I am this way/place.” Jesus utters an exclamation, a declaration of fact and truth, not a question because God had already told him what to do and why he was doing it.

Both God and Jesus knew what was in the process of being accomplished – redemption. Jesus was carrying out God's purpose, part of which was for God to leave Jesus remain dying on the cross at that time. Jesus cried this truth aloud with a great sound to God, in front of mankind and the devil/satan who could hear what he declared.

Jesus was emphatically speaking to God his Father as “El” Who created mankind regarding His plan leaving him remaining behind where he was in that state at that time to die being the sacrificial lamb. Jesus had not died yet but he knew that it was necessary for him to die, with the understanding that God will come to him again three days and three nights (72 hours) after his burial to resurrect him giving him eternal life.

God did not forget about Jesus but – yes – God left Jesus there on the stake because at that time he was the cursed offering, the lamb that had to be killed as the just judgment and punishment for sin, for breaking God’s laws. It was approaching 40 hours since the time he was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane where he willingly took our sins upon him. The number 40 is significant in that from God's point of view it is the period of probation and trial in order to prove something.

Some of the people who were still standing there in the vicinity of the cross having heard Jesus crying something out-loud were saying that this man is making a sound with his voice calling to/for Elijah the prophet. It is evident that they did not understand the meaning of what Jesus cried out loud.

And immediately one out-from them ran and took a sponge, and after he had both filled the sponge up with enough sharp-wine and put it around a reed, he spent some time offering Jesus to drink from the sponge. But the rest of the people were saying, “You must leave him, let us see if Elijah comes saving him.”

Jesus, after he had again shouted with a great sound/voice, let the holy spirit-life within him go away from himself and thereby he willingly permitted God to take it back away from him. This was Jesus’ spiritual death, loss of holy spirit-life, followed immediately by his physical death, loss of the soul/breath life of his fleshy body described below.

And look (see, behold, calling attention, pay attention to what is written here)!...

  • the veil of the interior-temple was divided away from-the-top until below into two
    • (the “veil” refers literally to the heavy curtain in the temple in Jerusalem, and figuratively it is referring to the flesh of Jesus – the curtain, that-which spreads-out and hangs-down as a separation or barrier at the entrance/access into the innermost part of God’s temple where the only true God's presence is to be manifested-forth, called the "Holy of Holies", was split, a schism was caused, rent away from the top, that part that is above, upwards, for the whole length to the bottom, all the way downwards, into two – this was God’s doing),
  • and the earth was caused to quake (made to shake, it was shocked, quick movement as a seismic event happening),
  • and the rocks were divided (split).

The true sacrificial Passover lamb was dead. He was killed instead of the people. They had killed their Messiah.

God had provided this sacrifice for mankind, but it was Jesus Christ's own freedom of will to do God's will and offer the sacrifice of himself to God. The "cross of Christ Jesus" includes his death and his burial and also his resurrection from the dead which proved God's having accepted his sacrifice, and his ascension into heaven, plus his being seated at this present time at the right-side of God in the heavens having shed forth holy spirit-life making it available to mankind.

References: Exodus chapter 12, 14:21, 26:31-37, 40:3-5; Numbers 21:7-9; I Kings 19:11; Isaiah 2:19-21, 11:10-12, 62:10; Nahum 1:2-7; Matthew 20:19, 27:11-51, 28:1-10 and 16-20; Mark 15:37 and 38; Luke 23:45 and 46; John 2:19-21, 3:14-17, 8:38, 12:31-36, 19:17-22 and 28-30; Acts 2:1-4, 26, 33 and 36, 3:12-18, 4:10, 5:31; Romans 1:4; I Corinthians 1:18 and 23, 2:7-9; II Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 5:24, 6:14; Ephesians 2:13-18, 4:8; Philippians 2:8-11, 3:18; Colossians 1:20, 2:14; Hebrews 9:3 and 22, 10:20, 12:2 and 24-27, 13:12, in fact all of the Book of Hebrews would be most helpful.

To see the contrast between the first man Adam and the second man Jesus it may help to read Genesis chapter 3,  and I Corinthians chapter 15. You may also refer to Matthew 16:18; Acts 1:22; Romans 1:3 and 4, 8:3, 4 and 19-21; I Corinthians 3:16 and 17, 5:7, 6:19 and 20, 15:23-28; II Corinthians 6:16; Galatians 5:24, and 6:14; Ephesians 2:13-22; Colossians 1:18, 2:9-15; Revelation 1:5.

In year 28 AD:
Nisan 14 (Wednesday)
Crucifixion and Burial
27:35-51 and 54-5615:24-4123:33-4919:18-37
Nisan 15 (Thursday)27:62-66   
Nisan 16 (Friday) 16:123:56a 
Nisan 17 (Saturday)28:1 23:56b 

You may also like to view the complete chart of events covering the timeframe of Jesus' crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, ascension into heaven, and Pentecost, plus chapters 26-28 of Matthew, at: