Week 16: The Crucifixion of Jesus

The cross of Jesus Christ has become the most recognised and copied symbol in the world.
In our next five readings, we’ll go back and examine what the Bible says about the crucifixion of Jesus.
It’s not a pretty picture.

47 thoughts on “Week 16: The Crucifixion of Jesus”

  1. From Essential Jesus, Crucifixion was perhaps the most gruesome form of execution ever imagined. At the time of Jesus it was used in the Roman Empire as a way not only of punishing but also.of humiliating enemies of the state. Victims were stripped naked and whipped to a bloody pulp, then made to carry the wooden beams on which they would be hanged. Modern medical experts suggest that death could occur from any number of causes including shock to the body, loss of blood, or simply suffocation as the weight of the victim’s own body hanging from the cross cut off oxygen to the lungs. And the process could take hours or days to run its course.
    Any way you look at it, crucifixion was a horrible way to die.

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  2. From Essential Jesus, One thing you’ll want to keep your eye on in this section is the way Jesus reacted to the nightmare of His arrest, trials and crucifixion. Even though He was the victim, He often seems in control of events. That’s because the cross was the reason He had come to earth. He also seemed more concerned about others than He was about His own pain and suffering; especially notice the things He said while He hung on the Cross.

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    1. Verses 48 and 49:
      Judas had planned to give them a signal, saying, “The man I kiss is Jesus. Arrest him.”
      At once Judas went to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Teacher!” and kissed him.

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      1. From Essential Jesus Day 76, Over the years, scholars have speculated as to why Judas betrayed Jesus. Some say he was disillusioned; he lost faith that Jesus could ever become a political superstar for Israel. Others say he was greedy; 30 pieces of silver was an offer no thief could refuse (John 12:4-6). Still others say he was impatient; he wanted to force Jesus into action – like giving Popeye a can of spinach as the bad guys close in. The truth is, we don’t really know what motivated Judas to do what he did. We do know that his act of betrayal was no accident; it was intentional. Judas planned exactly how he would stab his master in the back (26:48,49).

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    2. From Essential Jesus Day 76, Perhaps the most baffling thing about Judas’ charade is that he thought he could get away with it.
      But don’t we do the same thing today? It’s no good acting as though we love Jesus while cultivating a heart full of sin (Jeremiah 17:9).
      Jesus saw through Judas and He sees through us.

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    3. From Essential Jesus Day 76, Perhaps the most striking thing about this passage is Jesus’ confidence. Even though He could easily stop Judas and his posse dead in their tracks (26:53), Jesus allowed Himself to be arrested without a fight; He didn’t demand to see a lawyer and He didn’t even scream for help when the rest of the disciples cut and ran (verse 56). That’s because His highest priority wasn’t to save His own skin; it was to fulfil the mission God had given Him (verses 54,56). He willingly gave up His life for the sins of the world (John 10:17,18).

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      1. From the Essential Jesus book Day 76: Lord Jesus, I’m sorry for all the little ways I turn my back on You. Please let me experience Your embrace and friendship today.

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    1. From the Essential Jesus book Day 77: Caiaphas and his cronies were breaking all the rules of due process. First, the trial took place at night instead of during the day. Second, the charges were based on false evidence (v 59) and false witnesses (v 60). But the greatest flaw was that the judge and jury had already made-up their minds; they were looking for an excuse to execute Jesus (v 59).

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    2. From the Essential Jesus book Day 77: The sad truth is, when a person makes up their mind to reject Jesus, no amount of evidence will cause them to change. Ultimately, accepting Jesus involves both a change of mind and a change of heart.

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    1. Matthew 27 vv 3, 4: Judas, the one who had given Jesus to his enemies, saw that they had decided to kill Jesus. Then he was very sorry for what he had done. So he took the thirty silver coins back to the priests and the leaders, saying, “I sinned; I handed over to you an innocent man.”

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    2. Matthew 26 v 75: Peter remembered what Jesus had told him: “Before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Then Peter went outside and cried painfully.

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      1. From Essential Jesus Day 78, The good news, as we’ll see in a future reading, is that Jesus used this courtyard debacle to strengthen Peter’s faith and empower him for a new future of productive ministry (John 21:15-19). If we are willing to repent of denying Jesus and sinning against him, no failure is so great that it can separate us from God or keep us from serving Him.

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    1. vv 67 – 9: They said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.”
      Jesus said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe me. And if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will sit at the right hand of the powerful God.”

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    2. vv 13 – 17: Pilate called the people together with the leading priests and the rulers. He said to them, “You brought this man to me, saying he makes trouble among the people. But I have questioned him before you all, and I have not found him guilty of what you say. Also, Herod found nothing wrong with him; he sent him back to us. Look, he has done nothing for which he should die. So, after I punish him, I will let him go free.” [Every year at the Passover Feast, Pilate had to release one prisoner to the people.]

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    3. vv 18 – 21: But the people shouted together, “Take this man away! Let Barabbas go free!” (Barabbas was a man who was in prison for his part in a riot in the city and for murder.)

      Pilate wanted to let Jesus go free and told this to the crowd. But they shouted again, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

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    4. vv 23 – 25: But they continued to shout, demanding that Jesus be crucified. Their yelling became so loud that Pilate decided to give them what they wanted. He set free the man who was in jail for rioting and murder, and he handed Jesus over to them to do with him as they wished.

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    5. From the Essential Jesus book Day 79: Herod was interested in Jesus, but only for entertainment (v 8); Politicians always want to be near celebrities. Jesus made it clear that He was no celebrity entertainer (v 9); we must accept Him as Lord and Saviour or not at all. But perhaps the most famous example came on the watch of Pilate, the man who sentenced Jesus to death. Part of him wanted to do the right thing (23:13-17, 20-22) but in the end he didn’t believe there was any such thing as truth (John 18:38) and it caused him to reject the ultimate source of Truth. Some say that is an apt analogy of our modern society.

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    1. vv 40, 41: But the other criminal stopped him and said, “You should fear God! You are getting the same punishment he is. We are punished justly, getting what we deserve for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

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    2. From Essential Jesus Day 80: Whenever I read this passage, I have a sense that I’m on holy ground; the crucifixion of Jesus is the most amazing demonstration of sacrificial love the world has ever seen.

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    3. From Essential Jesus Day 80, For all the physical pain, the worst part for Jesus was that God temporarily abandoned him; the Father turned his back on his beloved Son (Matthew 27:45,46). That’s what it took to make a way for you and me and the entire human race to be forgiven our sins and restored to God.

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    4. From the Essential Jesus book Day 80: What amazes me now about this account is that even in the midst of His excruciating ordeal, Jesus was more concerned about others than Himself. To the women mourning Him, Jesus offered a prophetic warning (Luke 23 vv27-31); He wanted them to be prepared for the hard times that would follow His death. To the people, leaders and solders who mocked Him, Jesus offered forgiveness (v 34), whether they realised they needed it or not. To the angry thief, Jesus offers silence (v 39); he doesn’t try to retaliate. And to the repentant thief, Jesus more than offers – He promises – paradise (v 43).

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    5. From the Essential Jesus book Day 80: In a very real sense, this passage offers us the defining picture of what the Essential Jesus is all about. Because of our sin, all of us are condemned to die; we’re either one thief or the other.The real question is how we will respond: with insults (v 39) or with a heartfelt ‘Remember me’ (v 42)?

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