Part 16 covers Mark 15:21 through the end of the chapter and is focused on the crucifixion, death and burial of the Lord. Once again we look at these events as recorded in all four gospels to get the entire story.
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In this session then we’re going to talk about the crucifixion. We are nominally here in Mark 15:21 where we’ll pick it up with Mark. But like I said, I want to cover all four Gospels and the four accounts of this so you can see all the detail that’s involved in this event.
And so let’s just start. We’ll forget about the fact that we’re in a study of Mark, let’s just start in Matthew. And we’ll start with his account and we’ll take them through the four Gospels. You’ll see things that are alike in all four, and you’ll see little differences in each of the four, and as we put them all together that will give you a complete understanding.
That’s why there’s four Gospels you know, because this was too big a thing to put down in just one perspective. And so in the four Gospels you have the Jewish perspective in Matthew, you have the Roman perspective in Mark, you got the Greek perspective in Luke, and you got the Christian perspective in John.
And so you put those four perspectives together and you got the whole picture. It’s like a hologram then at that point. Or as some people used to say, it’s the Gospel in Quadraphonics. You get four different tracks and you have to listen to them all at once to get the full benefit of all of them.
So why don’t you come with me to Matthew 27:32, and we’ll begin talking about the crucifixion there, and we’ll just go through just basically that day. We’ll stop there, and then the next time we come we’ll do the same thing with the resurrection, and we’ll just cover that event for that day. And then we’ll see where we go from there.
So in Matthew 27 we’ll take a look here at the crucifixion.
Verse 32 says:
As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.
What this means “as they were going out,” Jesus has, as you know from our last session, Jesus has been interrogated by the Romans which consisted of a ferocious and very brutal beating. And at the end of that, then they took Him to this place that we’re going to see called Golgotha, the cross, and for Him to be executed in accordance with the sentence that had just been handed down.
And so, the phrase “as they were going out” means that the soldiers are now taking Jesus from the courtyard in Antonia Fortress next to the temple and they’re going to take Him up the Via Dolorosa, it’s called today, the street that runs from the Antonia Fortress over to Golgotha.
It was just outside the Damascus Gate where the road—if you follow that road from that gate you’d wind up in Damascus in Syria, and so it was the street that ran north there just outside of the Damascus Gate where the crucifixions were.
They were always held on busy thoroughfares, because they wanted people to see the penalty for breaking the law. And of course, only the most critical laws would result in crucifixion—if you stole something, or if you drove your donkey into somebody else’s donkey you wouldn’t get crucified for that kind of thing.
It was for treason, it was for the most serious of crimes. And of course, the crime for which Jesus was executed was treason. He said He was the King of the Jews, and that’s treason according to the Romans because Caesar was the king. And he had appointed Herod in his stead and so Herod was really the man on the scene. He was really the “local” king of the Jews.
And so, for Jesus to proclaim Himself to be King of the Jews was in fact, to commit treason. And that’s the Roman law that He broke. Of course according to Jewish law He was being executed because of blasphemy, He claimed to be God and anybody who claims to be God is automatically presumed to be committing blasphemy.
And so, the problem was the Jews didn’t have the authority to put Him to death, so they had to find Him guilty under Roman law in order for them to legally execute Him. And it was the statement that He claimed to be King of the Jews that did it, that’s what gave Caesar the legal basis for pronouncing the sentence on Him.
And so, here they are, now they’re going out and they’re going to this place called Golgotha.
Now we’ll read on here a little bit.
They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.
Okay, let’s back up a little bit here again. They’re going out, Jesus is carrying this beam across His shoulders. His hands are tied to the beam, so His hands are out horizontal to the ground, and the beam is over His shoulders and His hands are tied to it.
Now He’s just received this beating from which many people did not escape alive. The beating itself killed a lot of people, but it didn’t kill Him. According to medical reports, and if you ever get a chance to read one of these you should read it. It’s not fun at all but you should know really what was going on here and how serious this punishment was.
This wasn’t just a little spanking you know, this was a huge and very, very horrible beating that He took. If you saw the movie Passion of the Christ you saw a portrayal of it, and you got a feeling from watching that as to how terrible it was. But it was much worse, much worse than that.
When they were done with Him, there wasn’t any skin left on His back at all; His rib cage was sticking out and all the muscles on His back were gone. He was in deep shock, and if He had been left alone, He would have died just from that.
And then they strapped this forty-pound rough sawn beam on his raw skin, tied His arms to it so that if He fell down or anything He’d fall right on His face, because there’s no way to reach your arms out to catch yourself.
And of course He did, He was so weakened from the beating He couldn’t carry the cross beam, and He did fall down, and they picked Him up. They grabbed this guy, Simon, from Cyrene, which is in northern Africa; it was down on the other side of the Mediterranean near Alexandria, Virginia—or Alexandria, Egypt rather! [laughs] Little further, Alexandria, Egypt.
And he was there for the Passover because it was the law. Every able bodied Jewish male had to be in Jerusalem for Passover, that was the law. They were supposed to attend all the feasts, three of them were very important, but people tried, if they couldn’t do anything else, they at least tried to be in Jerusalem for Passover.
And so Simon’s up there from Alexandria, having come a long way to get there. He arrives in the city, and just as he’s on his way into the city, this procession meets him coming the other way, and he gets grabbed out of the crowd and the soldier says, “Here carry this for Him, because He can’t carry it Himself.”
You can imagine how Simon felt about that. He didn’t know who the guy was, what was going on, or anything. He’s a stranger in town and all of a sudden, he’s carrying this cross up to this place called Golgotha.
Now, we think of it as a top of a hill, but there really isn’t any basis for that; it’s just kind of the way it’s always been portrayed for us. What is what, was right alongside the main highway, it was probably in front of a small hill that still stands there today.
Up until 1989 or so, it was very clearly, the front of the hill very clearly resembled a skull. And up on top of it, on top of the hill, there’s a cemetery today. I don’t know if there was one back in those days. Probably the crucifixion took place along the highway at the base of this hill, and so it faced in front of this representation of a skull on the side of this hill.
What happened in 1989? Well, you remember in 1988, the first Gulf War. And you remember Saddam Hussein set all the oil fields in Kuwait on fire. We shot a whole bunch of particulates up into the sky, water vapor formed around those particulates, and the next year they had one of the first snowstorms they’d ever had in Jerusalem in one hundred years.
I happened to arrive in Jerusalem just at the time the snowstorm did, and so I can remember it vividly. This was my first trip to Jerusalem.
There is no snow removal equipment in Jerusalem because it never snows there. Shopkeepers were out with these squeegees in the street trying to sweep the snow off the sidewalks in front of their shops so the people could walk. It just paralyzed the city, and that was one of the first times ever. And because of that heavy snowfall a couple of remarkable things happened.
One was there was a lot of erosion and it sort of made the representation of the skull less obvious. As you look at the hill it made it less obvious, because some of it eroded away because it was just a bare hillside, you know. There was no grass or anything on it.
The other thing was when we got down to the Dead Sea, it made the whole place green. The Dead Sea is usually a real brown desert, if you’ve been down there it’s usually a really brown desert.
On that one year, the only time that was ever that way when I was there (I was there on six different occasions, six different years) and that one year the whole place was green, and the wildflowers were in bloom, and around the Dead Sea it was just the most gorgeous place you’ve ever seen.
I’ve got pictures of people from our tour laying in the grass with the wildflowers around them; it’s just like you’re in some mountain valley. And that was because of the water that came along with that snowstorm that particular year.
Today, in the place where they believe the crucifixion took place, it’s a bus terminal. And the bus lines keep their buses there, that’s basically their main terminal. And just across the street from that, is a garden area in which we believe the actual tomb that Joseph of Arimathea laid the Lord into exists, and you can go visit that tomb today and it’s still there. And so, all those places are right there together, so it makes a lot of sense for that to be the case.
All right so now in verse 34 it says:
There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.
It was a narcotic that, by tradition, the women of Jerusalem in their compassion would offer this. They mixed up this concoction and they’d offer it to prisoners who were about to be crucified on the way to the cross because it would help to deaden the pain. Crucifixion is one of the most painful ways to die there is, and it would help to deaden the pain. But He refused to drink it. Now we’ll understand that more later when we see John’s version of this.
And so then, in verse 35:
When they had crucified him,
What that means is they weren’t finished yet. They had nailed Him to the cross, and erected the cross beam up on the cross. So He was up there on the cross.
When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.
Because these were the soldiers, it’s their job to make sure that He actually died.
Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
And we’ll see that Pilate ordered that sign made in three languages so that everybody understands this is the crime for which the man is being executed, “He claimed to be a king and He’s not, and that’s treason.”
Two robbers were crucified with him,
That must have been the heist of the century because normally theft would not get you crucified. And maybe they weren’t robbers but that’s the way it’s come down to us through the ages.
Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”
And of course, the crowds liked this; you know how crowd mentality is. To get your mind off your own problems it’s fun to make fun of somebody else’s, right? And so this was part of the punishment, this humiliation and this, everybody just yelling at you and everybody hating you.
And they all jump in on this because this helps them keep their mind off their own troubles.
In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
All right, now a lot of things are going on here. You remember that the way you know Jesus is who He says He is, is not just because of the claims He made. But it’s because of how many details of His life were foretold in prophecy; that’s your proof.
Prophecy is the way in which God authenticates Himself to us. There are a number of holy books in the world, aren’t there? I mean, many religions have their own “holy writings” and they form the basis for the belief of that particular religion.
Only one of the so-called holy books offers an authentication process that allows you to know for absolute certainty that the one who’s “writing it” or who it’s written about, is who He claims to be.
In all the other holy writings you’re expected to accept the writing at face value. But the Bible is not like that, the Bible offers you proof. And the proof they offer is in prophecy.
Over and over and over again the Lord said, “Here’s what I’m going to do.” Or, “Here’s what’s going to happen.” And then it happened. And for four-thousand years He had done this with the Jewish people. He had first predicted, and then He had performed. Predicted, performed. Predicted, performed.
Sometimes the performance lagged behind the prediction by hundreds, or even a thousand years or more, but that’s His authentication process.
He said, “I make known the end from the beginning so that you don’t have to wonder if I am who I claim to be.” And He’s the only one who does this.
In fact, in one of the chapters in Isaiah, we read this a number of times throughout the study, He says, “Anybody else who wants to be a God, there’s a two step qualification. All you have to do is tell us everything that has happened in history.”
And of course if you studied hard and long enough you could do that, couldn’t you? You could tell people just about everything that’s happened in history if you took the time to learn about it. So that would be step one. You could get by that one, you could pass that step.
But here’s the second step, “Now tell us everything that is going to happen.”
If you can do that, then you have a right to go up to Heaven and say, “Move over there’s two of us now.” But nobody else can do that!
And God said, “Don’t worry Israel, nobody can do that. I’m the only one. I’m the one who makes known the end from the beginning. I’m the one who predicts and then performs so that you can know that I am who I say I am.”
If you were to undertake a legitimate study—and I’m not talking about scholar league, going to school, giving up your life, becoming a PhD—I’m just talking about in your spare time, undertake a legitimate study comparing history with the prophecy in the Bible.
You could come away absolutely convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Lord is who He claims to be. And nobody could ever shake your belief. Nobody. Because nobody but God could do such a thing. It has to be someone who is outside of time, who can see all the past, present, and future all at once. That’s the only person who can have that kind of a one-hundred percent track record, and only God can do that.
Some of the very best prognosticators, let’s call them, can be right at least half the time, sometimes more. And the world stands aghast at the incredible ability they have. But God said, “If anybody is ever wrong even once, he’s a false prophet, don’t believe him.” And then later on He said, “Put him to death. Because he spoke something in the name of the Lord that I didn’t tell him to speak.” So not only is he a false prophet, but he is worthy of death. He said that in Deuteronomy 18.
And so, that’s how important this is to Him, that’s how important His Word is to Him. And so, with all that great big introduction, let’s go to Psalm 22. I’m just going to point out little pieces of this as we go along, you’ll see parts of it in our reading in the New Testament and I’ll just give them to you as we read them. If you want to put a bookmark in Psalm 22 or keep your pencil there or something like that, because we can go back there from time to time.
Look at verse 16:
Dogs had surrounded me,
a band of evil men has encircled me;
they pierced my hands and my feet.
I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.
That’s a pretty specific prophecy. That was written by King David, one-thousand years before the fact. And so, crucifixion hadn’t really been invented yet for all practical purposes. The Assyrians had experimented with a form of it, but the Romans really are the ones who perfected crucifixion as a method of punishment. And they weren’t due to come on the screen for almost one-thousand years when this was written.
Psalm 22 is the most frequently quoted Psalm in the New Testament because it has such clear detail about the crucifixion. The second most quoted Psalm in the New Testament is Psalm 69, which we’re also going to be looking at because it tells a lot about how Jesus felt about all this. So you got those two Psalms that would be good to undertake a study of.
Psalm 69, and while we’re right there look at verse 21 of Psalm 69 just as an example.
They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
And so, we’ve already seen the gall mixed in with the wine, and a little later on we’re going to see them offer Him a drink of vinegar for His thirst. And so just keep that, but if you want to read Psalm 22 and 69 you’ll get a really good view of the crucifixion written one-thousand years before the fact, as just some of the 300 or so prophecies Jesus fulfilled in His life here on Earth.
You see, that’s why you believe His is who He says He is, because of the detail with which His life was prophesied.
Back to Matthew, and now we’re down to verse 45:
From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.
The sixth hour means the sixth hour from sunrise, so that would be noon, because it nominally gets daylight about 6:00 so noon would be the sixth hour. The ninth hour would be 3:00 PM.
So from noon to 3:00 PM the land was dark, the sun went away.
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)
If you went back to Psalm 22 that’s verse 1 in Psalm 22:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Let’s look at Amos 8:9 and 10. You’re going to be in some books of the Bible you might not have been in yet today. Amos 8:9 and 10.
In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth in broad daylight.
I will turn your religious festivals into mourning
and all your singing into weeping.
I will make all of you wear sackcloth
and shave your heads.
I will make that time like mourning for an only son
and the end of it like a bitter day.
Now, part of that’s been fulfilled. The sun did go down at noon, it was dark in the middle of the day. The religious feast that was being celebrated on the day is Passover, and we learned from Zechariah 12:10 that on the day that they recognized Jesus as the Messiah, they will go into mourning for Him, like one would mourn for an only son. Zechariah 12:10.
So there’s Amos written about 750 B.C., Zechariah written about 450 B.C.
How old do these things have to be before they become impressive? I mean, we got one that was one-thousand years old when it was fulfilled, we got one that was 750 years old, we got another one that was 450 years old.
Are these written far enough before the fact so that you could say He couldn’t have arranged for that to be done?
I mean, how do you come one-thousand years before you’re born and arrange for some details about your life to be written down, unless you’re God? I know I’m preaching to the choir here but there may be some people who get the recording who are curious about that.
Now He’s speaking here in Aramaic—I’m sorry back in Matthew 27:46—He is speaking in Aramaic when He says:
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
You’ll see in verse 40 it says:
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
They misunderstood what He was trying to say, because “Eli” sounds a little bit like “Elijah.” Eli means God in Aramaic, but it’s not a singular, “El” is the singular. And so He’s speaking to, my view is, He is speaking to the other two, the Father and the Holy Spirit because they’ve both left Him now.
And why would they have left Him at His darkest hour? Why would the one whose promised never, ever, to leave us—you’ll never have to say this because He’s promised never, ever, to leave you. Why would He leave His own Son during His darkest hour? Well, why was the Son there? To pay the price for the sins of the world. Not just a stand in, by the way, but to become sin. He became, in those moments, the physical embodiment of sin.
Turn to 2 Corinthians 5:21.
2 Corinthians 5:21:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
He became sin for us. And so, it wasn’t just that He was our stand in, He actually became the physical embodiment of sin in order that we might attain the righteousness of God.
Now we go to another book you probably haven’t been in today, Habakkuk 1—1:13, somebody’s done their homework!
Habakkuk 1:13. Go to Zephaniah and turn left. It’s on page 1388. [laughs] Don’t you wish they had done it that way?
Habakkuk 1:13, I can just read it to you that way you won’t have to spend the rest of the evening looking for it.
It says, Habakkuk speaking to God:
Your eyes are too pure to look upon evil;
you cannot tolerate wrong.
And so, when Jesus became sin in those moments, the Father had to turn away from Him. He could not look at His own Son, because He had become evil, and God’s eyes cannot look upon evil. And when God turned away, it took light from the world, you understand? The light disappeared from the world at that moment.
Now, if you’ve finally found your place in Habakkuk, let’s go back to Matthew.
And so they misunderstood Him in verse 47, and thought He was calling Elijah because it was a tradition that Elijah is one they called upon in times of trouble.
Verse 48 says:
Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar,
Remember Psalm 69, They gave me vinegar for my thirst.
put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
And so, that was that drink of (we talked about this a couple of meetings ago I think) He took that sip of wine as a last thing He did before He died.
Now in John 10:17, Jesus makes a fascinating comment about His abilities that we sometimes lose sight of in the face of all this.
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Don’t ever let anybody convince you that the crucifixion was an unfortunate mistake where Jesus simply kind of let things get out of control and then couldn’t get it back again, and it wound up with Him dying and it was a tragedy, shouldn’t have happened. That is a theology that some people will sell you, try to sell you. Don’t let it happen.
Jesus said, “I was given the authority to lay down My life, and I give it of my own accord.”
He died by choice because He was dying for you. If He was not dying for you He could have stopped. When they said to Him from the foot of the cross, “If He’s the Son of God let Him come down now and we’ll believe in Him.”
I can imagine Him saying to them, “If it wasn’t for you, I could.”Because He wasn’t up there for Himself you see, or to prove a point or anything like that. He was up there for them and for us. He was up there by choice.
For the joy set before him he endured the cross,
See, He was looking at the result of the action, not at the action itself. And the result of the action that brought Him joy, was He got you. He got you in the bargain. He gave His life, but He got you. And that’s why He did it. That’s what He went there for, to get you. And the notion of getting you as His reward was sufficient to allow Him to endure the cross. Think about that sometime.
And so, in verse 50 it doesn’t say, He died. It says, He gave up His spirit. He let the spirit depart from Him, He let His body die.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
The curtain in the temple was 40 feet tall. It was a tapestry, a woven tapestry that in some places was as much as eight inches thick. And yet it spontaneously ripped in two, starting at the top, 40 feet up, ripping to the bottom. No person did that, nobody climbed up on a ladder with a knife and cut that open.
This happened, and the reason it happened is to signify that the way to God had been opened to man. Previously only the high priest could go through that curtain, and only one time a year. Anytime anyone else would go in there he would be immediately killed.
In fact, when the high priest went through there, he wore a rope around his ankle in case he died in there and they had to pull him out. Serious. And he wore bells on the bottom of his garments so he could hear the wind, the sound of God, in the chamber.
He was in the presence of God. And if he wasn’t properly prepared—if he wasn’t clean and holy, and if he wasn’t hidden behind the smoke that he had to have a censer in front of him with smoke, if there wasn’t anything to hide him there, he could die. In which case they’d have to pull him out and send in the next guy who was prepared to go in that case. And I wouldn’t want to be the second guy, you can imagine?
But when Jesus died, His death opened the way to God. In the Millennial temple, there is no veil; it’s open. The way to God has been made open because of the Lord’s death.
The idea of the tombs breaking open, the bodies of the holy people coming out, this I believe was the fulfillment of something that the Leviticus calls the wave offering, it was the sample of the harvest basically, that was fulfilled on the Feast of First Fruits.
And you notice they didn’t come into the city, they weren’t made visible to mankind until after the resurrection. They went into the holy city, I believe they administered in the holy city and then when Jesus went to Heaven they went with Him, so that’s where they are now.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene,
Of course you know that name.
Mary the mother of James and Joseph,
Now this is not James and John the two brothers.
and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
Who is the mother of James and John, the two disciples.
So you actually got Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of—he’s sometimes called James the lesser because he was not as prominent or well known as the half brother of Jesus really—and then you got the mother of Zebedee’s sons. Zebedee was the father of James and John, the two apostles.
All right now verse 57:
As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.
Now this tells us two things. One is it tells us he was a fairly prominent man, because he was able to get an audience with Pilate. And the second is he was probably related to Jesus, because only a family member, under normal circumstances, only a family member would be given the body. Normally the body of a crucified person was thrown into the dump, and the dogs ate it up. They were denied even a burial.
Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock.
And you know when people said, “Joseph what are you doing? You’re giving this guy your own tomb?”
And Joseph said, “Well, it’s just for the weekend.”
[laughing] You will always remember that now!
Now that comes from—the first time I heard it was from Chuck Smith, the founder of the Calvary Chapel, so I can’t take the credit for that. But it’s a good one.
He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
They wanted to know where Jesus was, because you see, they have an unfinished assignment here that they’ve got to take care of.
The next day,
Now listen to this:
The one after Preparation Day,
So if the next day after Jesus’s death is the one after Preparation Day, what do you call the day of Jesus’s death? Preparation day! These aren’t tough questions, are they? If the next day is the one after, then this day is the one, right!
Okay, so there’s one of the four places we’re going to read that say that Jesus died on Preparation Day, which was the day before the Feast of Unleavened Bread began, officially known as Passover.
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
All right, so that’s where we’re going to stop with that account. So now we know that even though the disciples didn’t really understand yet that Jesus was going to rise from the dead, the Pharisees, they had figured it out.
And they wanted to prevent it, so they were going to have the tomb sealed up, so that He couldn’t get out. And nobody could get in there and get Him out, and Pilate agreed to that.
And so you see, the stone was sealed in order to keep other people out, it wasn’t designed to hold Him in, as we’ll see. And they set a watch there, soldiers were assigned to guard it in case anybody came along and tried to take Him.
All right, so that’s the place we’re going to stop there in Matthew.
Now let’s go to Mark’s version which is obviously going to be shorter because Mark is the Reader’s Digest version here. And we’re in Mark 15:21.
And I’ll read through this, you’ll see a lot of similarities here.
A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.
Apparently Alexander and Rufus, the sons of Simon, were well known by the time Mark wrote his Gospel which was about 50 A.D.
And so they were known to the people of the day. Some people think Rufus is mentioned by Paul in Romans 16 (16:3 I think it is) and others believe that Alexander and Rufus were both prominent in the early Church.
They were just boys when the crucifixion took place, but by the time the Gospels were written about 20 years later they would be men and they were well known.
And so, they forced him to carry the cross. Now as I mentioned he’s from North Africa so he came across the Mediterranean to be there.
They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh,
Which was similar to the other account which was wine mixed with gall, either way it’s a pain killing narcotic.
but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.
We saw this from Psalm 22.
It was the third hour when they crucified him.
That would mean the third hour after sunrise from 9:00. He had already been beaten, He’d already had His trial and everything and by 9:00 He’s on the cross.
The written notice of the charge against him read: the King of the Jews.
We know about that.
They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!”
We know about that one.
In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Christ,
Or in the Hebrew: “Let this Messiah,”
this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
And then we see the death of Jesus, we see the darkness coming over the land until the ninth hour (so that would be again 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM) same Aramaic statement there:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
They thought He was calling Elijah. One man ran with a wine and vinegar and put it on a stick and offered it to drink, and with a loud cry He breathed His last. So they agree so far that that last thing Jesus did before He died was to take a sip of the vinegar.
Now we read in verse 38:
The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
There’s a Gentile witness to the fact. And, you have:
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome.
We get a little more insight there, and we get the name of the mother of the two disciples; her name is Salome. James and John, the sons of Zebedee. Salome was Zebedee’s wife.
And then we get to the burial and it says in verse 42:
It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.
Okay, so pretty much the same account there.
We get to Luke and we’re on Luke 23:26. And Luke has a more detailed account. We’re going to get some more information here that we haven’t read yet.
And it’s Luke 23:26:
As the soldiers led him away,
Remember, the soldiers are leading Jesus away now from the Antonia Fortress again.
As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
So from that point on, after He stumbled and couldn’t carry the cross, Simon carried it. Jesus walked ahead, Simon came behind carrying the cross.
A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.
Now listen to this:
Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then
“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!”’
For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
And so, He’s issuing some prophecy here. It turns out that in the siege of Jerusalem, 68 to 70 A.D., 1,200,000 men, women, and children died at the hands of the Roman army during that period of time. And it’s always a tragedy when war causes things like that, but to see women, and especially innocent children, being killed makes it even worse, if possible.
And so at that point a mother, who had never bore children, would say to herself, “Boy, I’m glad I didn’t have any children, because now I don’t have to endure that on top of everything else.”
“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
This is a quote from Revelation 6:15, by the way, that the kings of the Earth will say at the beginning of the wrath of God during the early part of Daniel’s 70th Week.
and to the hills, “Cover us!”’
For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
And of course, what He’s talking about is how terribly, how horribly, men would one day treat each other. Mostly because of their conflict over their belief in Him.
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
Here they’re not called robbers here; they’re called criminals.
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said,
Here’s a new one:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Okay. And then they said:
And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Christ, the Chosen One.”
The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the King of the Jews.
Now here’s some new information:
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
What did that man do to deserve to accompany Jesus to paradise? He recognized Him for who He was. He believed in Him because he said: “When you become the King, remember me.” Because he said, “I believe You’re going to become the King.” Is what he’s saying there. “Keep me in mind when that happens.”
And his belief is what saved him, okay? His belief is what saved him, because Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
They’re both going to die this day, and one of the two criminals is going to go with Jesus to paradise because he believed. Just always remember this.
We are saved because of what we believe, not because of how we behave. Can you remember that? We’re saved because of what we believe, not because of how we behave.
Now we’re supposed to behave too, but we behave out of gratitude for our salvation, not to try and earn it or keep it. Our behavior is meant to be an expression of our gratitude for having been saved. It’s what we believe that saves us, so keep that in mind.
I don’t know what your behavior has been in the past, mine has been terrible. And I’m so happy that my salvation is based on my belief, not on how I’ve behaved. Because if it was based on my behavior, guess where I’d be going? That’s where we’d all be going, that’s right.
It’s our belief.
Okay verse 44:
It was now about the sixth hour,
So that’s 12:00 again.
and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining.
How do you pull that off in the middle of the day, unless you happen to be God?
And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
I’m pretty sure that of the disciples, only John was there at that point. The others had fled, but John stayed there, and we’ll see that a little later on. I’ve got a note here I want to look at real fast, oh yeah the quote:
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.
Is a quote from Psalm 31:5, a direct quote.
Into your hands I commit my spirit
Okay back to Luke 23:50:
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action.
Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin is the group that voted on whether to execute Jesus or not. We read in our discussion a couple meetings ago about the trial, and we read that everyone voted in favor of executing Him. Joseph had not consented to their decision, he said, which tells me they didn’t invite him to the meeting.
I believe that a case can be made that one of the things that was illegal about the Lord’s trial was the high priest only brought those he knew who would vote with him into that meeting. I don’t believe Nicodemus was there, I don’t believe Joseph was there, I don’t believe there were others who were there either, because they didn’t want any dissenting votes because even one “no vote” would have stopped the process.
Their law required a unanimous vote. It actually required that they go home and sleep on it, and then come back and vote the next day. But they didn’t do that, they took the vote right then. The law required a unanimous vote, if there was one abstention or one “nay” vote, there were 71 of them in the full Sanhedrin. If there was one who voted “no” it would have put everything to a stop, and the man was released. Because their view was, it was better to let a guilty man go than to risk killing an innocent one. Wouldn’t that be something if that was the law today?
Okay now the centurions, seeing what had happened, said, “Surely this is a righteous man.”
Oh I’m down to—I’m sorry down to verse 51:
who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.
Here’s the third time:
It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
Now what we’re going to see in—we got one of these left to go in John’s—and what we’re going to see in John’s is that it wasn’t just the ordinary Sabbath it was a special Sabbath and we’ll talk about that more when we get back. But the idea is that they went home and prepared spices and perfume.
Now at sundown the Sabbath would have started, so they had to be doing all this before sundown. So there had to be time to take Jesus down off the cross, wrap Him, prepare Him, put Him in the tomb, go buy spices and things, and do all that before sundown because once the sun went down any further work was prohibited.
So that tells us Jesus died well before sunset. The fact that they took His body down when it was close to sunset is not relevant as an indicator of the time of death. I believe He actually died about 3:00 PM as the Scriptures seem to hint that He was dead and already in paradise before they took His body down off the cross.
Okay, let’s go to John’s rendition, it’s in John 19 and we’re going to start in verse 17:
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).
Now John doesn’t show the Simon of Cyrene, the other three Gospels do. John does not show that, he just starts Him off carrying His own cross which was true.
By the way the place of the Skull which in Aramaic is called “Golgotha,” in the Latin it’s called “Calvariae” which means in English Calvary and that’s where we get that name from.
So you don’t find “Calvary” anywhere in the Bible because that’s the Latin translation of the word “Golgotha.”
Now just—I mention this for one big reason—you’ll hear people say the word “Rapture” doesn’t appear in the Bible. And it doesn’t, because “Rapture” is also a Latin translation of a Greek word “Harpazo” which does appear in the Bible, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
“Rapture” is the English version of the Latin word “Raptura” or, “Rapturo” depending on the tense you use, or whether noun or verb. And it is a translation from the Greek “Harpazo” that’s the word that’s in the Bible and it means, to disappear suddenly, to be caught away, to be taken quickly. That’s the word.
Now people will build whole philosophies on the fact that the Rapture is a false teaching based on their idea that the word “Rapture” doesn’t appear in the Bible. Well guess what? “Calvary” doesn’t appear in the Bible. You know what else? “Lucifer” does not appear in the Bible.
But nobody is silly enough to believe that there is no devil because the word “Lucifer” is not in the Bible, are they? So why would you be silly enough to believe there’s no Rapture because the word “Rapture” doesn’t appear in the Bible?
They’re all the same, they all come from the Latin. They come from the Latin translation of the New Testament, not from the original Greek (and in the case of “Lucifer” it’s from the Hebrew). So don’t let anybody fool you on a whimsical thing like that. It’s only meant to fool the people who don’t know, and you know what? The people who use that know they’re lying, they know they’re not telling you the truth. They know they’re trying to trick you. And so that should tell you don’t believe lots of other stuff they say either.
All right, let’s go down to verse 19 in John 19:
Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.
The three major languages of the day.
The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
He did it as much to embarrass the Jews of course, because he didn’t think Jesus should have been executed and he sort of yielded to their will, but he can’t resist getting a little shot in at them and so, he’s doing that as much to embarrass them as anything else.
When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
The undergarment was a full length robe, it went from the neck down to the ankles, it was long sleeved and it was the garment next to the body. And then over the top of that they wore various cloaks and shawls and other things depending on the weather. But the long robe was an undergarment. This one was seamless, that would have been a very, very expensive robe. Usually only royalty wore things like this.
And there is a belief, it’s more than a tradition, there is a belief that the—you know Joseph and his many colored coat? That word “many colored” doesn’t come out of the Hebrew. That’s a transliteration that somebody stuck in there a long time ago.
It may be that Joseph also wore a seamless robe, and because it was a sign of royalty this is what made his brothers jealous when his father gave it to him, because they were sort of thinking, “Gee he thinks he’s the king, he gets the thing. We get the regular old underwear, he gets the good stuff.” But that’s just a tradition.
But in the Lord’s case here, this was a very expensive garment. So expensive that in verse 24 they say, the soldiers say:
“Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”
Because this was a very valuable thing. And so they threw dice for it, and of course in doing this:
This happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled that said,
“They divided my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.”
We read this before in Psalm 22:18.
Okay, now we’re down to the end of 24. So this is what the soldiers did, they cast out lots for it and one of them got it.
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
Okay, so Mary, the wife of Clopas, was the Mary who was associated with James the younger and Joses. So there are four of them there, three of them named Mary, so that’s why it’s confusing. Miriam actually was the name.
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved
This is John’s way of speaking of himself.
standing nearby, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son,”
And if He could have pointed, He would have pointed to John.
and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
What He was doing there is something that is the duty of the firstborn son, and that is to see to the care of His mother. It was His responsibility. He is fulfilling one of His responsibilities as the firstborn son. He was the one who was supposed to take care of the mom.
Apparently the father, Joseph, had died some time previous because he’s not mentioned in the accounts at all much after the Lord’s birth.
And so He is basically transferring responsibility for the care of Mary over to John, and John took her as his own mother for the rest of her life. He took her to Ephesus with him, they had a home there, you can go to Ephesus today and visit Mary’s home. It’s been made into a centerpiece in a park, and it’s really nice but you can visit that home today. And he took care of her for the rest of her life.
Verse 28 now, the death of Jesus:
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Now I think it was Luke who says, “He said in a loud voice.” He didn’t just gasp it finally, He hollered it out basically. “It is finished!”
Now that word in the Greek is an interesting word, and so there’s a couple of things here we need to talk about a little more.
In the Greek that word, that one word that’s translated it is finished is “tetelestai.” T-E-T-E-L-E-S-T-A-I. That’s the word.
It doesn’t matter, but I want you to know that that word was a prominent word in the Greek language of the day, because if you were given an invoice for goods or services, and you paid the person the amount that was written on the invoice, you paid it in full. As your receipt he would write across the face of that invoice the Greek word “tetelestai” and that meant paid in full.
If you were convicted of a crime and put in prison, they would write out a bill of, we would call it an indictment (Paul calls it the regulations that were written against us, we’re going to look at that in Colossians in a minute) but there would be a bill of charges there written out and it would specify the sentence that you had been ordered to serve.
That bill was thought of as your debt to society, you’ve heard that phrase before, right? You owe a debt to society they say to some criminals, and the way you pay it is to do time.
When you went to prison, to jail, to serve your time that paper went with you and it was attached to the door of your cell. It showed the crime and it showed the sentence. When you had served the sentence they took that piece of paper off the door of the cell when they set you free, and they wrote across the front of it the Greek word tetelestai. Paid in full.
You kept this paper because this was your protection against ever being charged with this crime again. If somebody came along and said, “Wait a minute you did this and we’re going to put you in jail.”
You could say, “No, no, I agree I did it but here’s my release. I have paid my debt for that crime, you can’t put me in jail again.”
It was a protection against double jeopardy.
Now we’ll go to Colossians and we’ll go to 2. Colossians is a few books to the right. Colossians 2:13, and I’ll tell you the first time I heard this I could not get over this. I mean, I had to hear this a dozen times or more before I finally grasped the full implication here.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
I underlined that: He forgave us all our sins.
How many is all? It means all, doesn’t it? Every one of them. So how many of your sins have been forgiven? How about tomorrow’s? How about the next week’s? How about the ones you commit on the moment before you die?
All of them. All your sins are forgiven.
Now here’s verse 14:
having canceled the written code with its regulations,
That’s the bill of indictment.
that was against us and stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Now, here’s what that means. All of your life, a bill of charges has been accumulating against you. Now when you were a kid they didn’t count, so they didn’t write them down. But as soon as you got to know the difference between right and wrong, every time you did wrong somebody made a record of it.
And they wrote that down. And they wrote it based on the written code, the law. All violations of the law, God’s law, the first five books of Moses. God’s law. And that list has been accumulating all of your life, and in fact it still is accumulating because you haven’t stopped doing it yet.
In the physical realm, the realm where man can see what’s going on, there was a sign that hung over Jesus’s head that said: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. That was the crime for which He was being executed.
In the spiritual realm however there was a different sign. That sign was a list of all of your sins.
How many of them? All of your sins. That was the written code that stands opposed to you.
What that means is those are the charges against you. If you’ve ever been in trouble with the law you know what these phrases mean, those were the charges against you. Now it doesn’t say that you were acquitted from this, does it? It doesn’t say that you were found not guilty. It says these were legitimate charges for which you owe a debt to God.
But when Jesus went to the cross He took that with Him, and He nailed it to the cross so that in the spiritual realm, your accuser can see the charges and can see the penalty being paid so that you have been considered as having paid your debt, because it was voluntarily paid for you by Him.
You can no longer be charged with any of these sins. This is one of the chief reasons why your security is eternal, because all of your sins have been paid for. You can no longer be held responsible for them. Even the sins you commit cannot be held against you because they’ve already been paid for; the price had been paid. God’s justice has been satisfied, you are free to go to Heaven, you understand all that?
And so at that moment, at that moment when He died, He cancelled every charge against you. They were cancelled, they weren’t judged to be valid or invalid. Nobody’s going to say whether you were guilty or innocent, rightly or wrongly accused, the charges were cancelled. We were set free at that time forever, if you believe it. That’s right, if you accept it.
Now if you’re insistent upon paying for those yourself you can do that, but if you’re willing to allow Him to have done it for you He has agreed, and in fact has already done so. The pardon is there waiting for you to accept.
That’s Colossians 2:14. So that’s an important verse to remember, wouldn’t you say? It goes from 13 to 15 actually. Okay.
All right, so back to John 19:30 now.
So when He had received the drink, remember John writing this in Greek, and if it was in Greek it would say:
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “Tetelestai!”
Paid in full. And then He died.
And what He was saying, because He couldn’t say this after His death He had to say it just at the moment of His death, what He is saying is, “My life for yours.” And, “It’s done. Because I have died, you will live.”
Got that? So I always liked the legal aspects of these things, because God is bound by His own law, and when He makes a statement like that He is bound. That’s a legal obligation in our view—there’s no weasel clause there, it’s a legal obligation of His. He has to accept you if you accept the pardon. It’s there waiting for you with your name on it if you haven’t taken it yet, you ask for it and He’ll give it to you. And all that remains for us to do is say, “Okay, I receive that, I’ll take that, I believe it.”
All right, verse 31:
Now it was the day of Preparation,
There’s the fourth time. So on what day was Jesus crucified? Preparation Day, thank you.
and the next day was to be a special Sabbath.
The day after Passover is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it’s a special Sabbath.
Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.
We went through this before, the act of breaking the prisoner’s legs. You know, when you die of crucifixion you die by asphyxiation, it becomes too painful to push down with your legs in order to take the pressure off your lungs so you can take a breath, and your lungs slowly fill up with carbon dioxide and you die from lack of oxygen. It’s asphyxiation that you die from.
In addition to all the pain and suffering, the dehydration and the shock, and all that’s going on in your body, the actual cause of death is asphyxiation. But if they break your legs you could no longer press down to take a breath, and it accelerates the asphyxiation process so you die sooner.
And so that’s what they were doing, they were trying to get these prisoners off the cross before sundown.
But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
That soldier violated an order, and he did so in order to fulfill Psalm 34. Now I don’t say he knowingly did this, but that was the effect of his action.
Psalm 34:19 and 20:
The righteous man may have many troubles,
And we can all agree that Jesus had many troubles. He was a man of sorrows, as Isaiah says.
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
And also in Exodus 12:46, you were not allowed to break any bones on the Passover lamb. You couldn’t break any bones of the Passover lamb. Exodus 12:46.
Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true.
This is John speaking of himself.
He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled:
John is saying the reason these things happened in the particular way that they did was so Scripture could be fulfilled, so that God could prove to you that Jesus is who He says He is and that He has done what He came to do.
“Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another Scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
This is Zechariah 12:10, the one I told you about earlier.
All right verse 38:
Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation
There it is again.
and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
All right, those are the four accounts of the crucifixion. You can see again that even the body was taken early enough in the day to permit them to wrap it up and put these spices—the spices were there because even today the Jews don’t believe in embalming, and so the spices were there to mask the odor of decomposition.
And so they packed many, many pounds, as you can see they bought 75 pounds. Next time we’ll see that when the women came they brought more, and of course they undid everything that Joseph and Nicodemus did. They washed the body completely, repacked it, (and this is what they were going to do if it had been there) they would repack it and put the linen back and then they would have the tomb closed and then the body would decompose and it wouldn’t be any external odor that would be offensive to anyone.
Of course as we’ll see, when they got there there was no body, and so, that’s for our next time.
But here’s the idea. All four Gospels agree on almost every detail of these events. They all talk about the fact that it was Preparation Day, the day before the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We went through this in detail a few sessions ago, where we demonstrated that the only possible day in the week that this could have taken place was on a Thursday. They couldn’t do it on Friday, they couldn’t do it on Wednesday.
None of the laws could be fulfilled, none of the details could be met, none of the requirements met, if it had been done on any other day than Thursday. And so the Good Friday thing was established in the early Church by Constantine’s mother and it carried on into the Gentile world because the Bible says on several occasions it was the day before the Sabbath. And even Gentiles know that in Israel the Sabbath is a Saturday so they placed this on Friday, never considering the three day three night provision, or ignoring it or somehow justifying their view that it had to take place on Friday.
But now we know that it didn’t have to take place on Friday, in fact, it couldn’t have. But that’s just one of the many instances where tradition is at variance in some cases with the facts of Scripture. It’s an issue that really doesn’t matter except when you’re questioned on it by someone who’s doubting and using that as an excuse not to believe. If you know what the real story is you can come back and say, “Well wait a minute. Here’s how it happened and I’ll show you.”
And so you can show them from the Scripture how it happened and you can see the mistake is not with the Bible, the mistake was with man’s interpretation centuries ago. And we can correct that now because we know.
And so it gives you a defense, if you will, which you can convert into an opportunity to show someone that the Bible really is true, and it really is a dependable document.
You can really count on it for lots of things, the most important of which is Jesus died for our sins, and He rose again proving that His death was considered to be sufficient. And for all who accept it, He purchased a pardon with His blood that gives you a cancelled debt and a free pass to Heaven. Those are two pretty good things!
He doesn’t just handle the negative, the debts, He doesn’t just handle that. He also throws in a bonus, eternity with Him. It’s a good deal.
All right and I assume you’ve all availed yourself of that and so we don’t have to go further into that.
Okay so now you have the four accounts of the crucifixion, you know from our studies exactly how this happened and what all the details were. You’ve seen the trials, you’ve seen the execution of the penalty. And now in our next meeting we’ll look at the result of all this, and how it has benefited us.