Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”
They cried out all the more saying, “Let Him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”
And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
Then he released Barabbas the murderer and rebel to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
Let me tell you, Jesus’ blood was on those people, and on their children. In A.D. 70, Jerusalem fell among a horrible, terrible, traumatic experience for the Jews. They paid for betraying their Messiah. They handed Him over to the Romans to be destroyed… the Son of David, the Son of God, the Chosen One, the Redeemer, the Prince of Israel. They mocked Him, and they beat Him, and they flogged Him. And then they killed Him. What did Jesus say about those who killed Him?
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” That was why Christ died. He died to give us forgiveness. Every single last one of us is no better than that mob that crucified the Christ. James says, “For whoever will keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” So, if you break one of God’s commandments, you are guilty of breaking all of them (James 2:10) We can go on and on about how that crowd killed Jesus, and how evil they were, but all of us without Christ, are equally evil. One sin is as another, an offense, a rebellion against God.
Interesting point about that part of the crucifixion, Christ said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And guess what? What happened when Jesus died? The centurion said, “Surely, this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54) He believed that Jesus was the Son of God, he was forgiven. Jesus’ prayers are always answered with a “yes” because He and the Father are One. Jesus’ will is God’s will. They are One.
And they led Him away to a place called Gogotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him wine mixed with gall to drink. And they put over His head the accusation written against Him: This is Jesus the King of the Jews And two robbers were crucified with Him. And those who passed by blasphemed Jesus saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” and the chief priests also mocked saying, “He saved others, Himself He cannot save.” The one robber also who was hanged with Him, blasphemed Jesus saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us!” But the other answering rebuked him saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
It was the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, the Lamb cried out with a loud voice saying, “Eli, Eli! lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God! Why have You forsaken Me?”
The Father turned His face away from Jesus, for the first and only time in their perfect, loving relationship. He turned His face away. He left Jesus so that Jesus would suffer the worst, most horrible pain anyone ever could. So that He could save us. Many people were crucified, but none had the anguish that Jesus did. Jesus was separated from God as He was on the cross, dying, just for us miserable sinners who don’t deserve His love or His mercy. It was the most horrible anguish anyone can ever imagine. My pastor told us, “We can’t even grasp how that pained Jesus. We cannot even grasp the perfect relationship between Him and His Father. It was the most horrible anguish imaginable when God left Him by Himself” “Eli, Eli! Lama sabachthani?”
And Jesus cried out with a loud voice again,and said, “Father! into Your hands I commit My spirit. It is finished!” Having said this, He breathed His last. And the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom; and the earth quaked and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
It was a catastrophic event. The weather went crazy, the sun was darkened, the earth quaked, the rocks were split. This was God Himself taking our sin, and bearing the penalty for what we had done. Jesus never sinned. He lived a perfect life, and yet He died the death of the worst kind of criminal, because that’s what we are. We are criminals against God. Crucifixion was a death penalty frequently given to rebels and rebellion leaders. We were in rebellion against God, and Jesus died for our rebellion. He was the Lamb the Jew’s Passover pointed to. In Exodus there is a commandment given in regard to the lamb that is to be killed to eat on the Passover. “nor shall you break one of its bones” also Exodus says, “when God sees the blood, the Lord will pass over and not allow the destroyer to come into your house.” Those verses are gotten from Exodus 12. When God looks on the blood of His Lamb, Jesus, He passes over our sin, and protects us from the destroyer.
The Jews asked Pilate that the crucified men’s legs might be broken, because it was the preparation day for the Sabbath. So they broke the bones of the two criminals who were crucified with Jesus, but when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water rushed out.
Remember from Exodus “nor shall you break one of its bones” and then in the Psalms David writes, “I count all my bones.” These prophecies and symbols were fulfilled at Christ’s death. As well as the prophecy, “they gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink” (Psalm 69:21)
All the prophecies for the Messiah, were fulfilled in Christ. In His life, and in His death and in His resurrection. And the most glorious part of this story? He didn’t remain dead! He came back to life after conquering hell. “You will not leave my soul in hell, neither will you suffer Your Holy One to see corruption.” He went down to the lowest parts, into hell. But He didn’t stay there. He conquered hell, and He came back to life to ascend into Heaven, and there He sits now, on the right hand of God Almighty. “Look! I see heaven opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” That was what Stephen cried out as the council was shouting and running at him to seize him. And what did Stephen do when he died? He followed the example of his Saviour and Lord. “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge!” Who stood by as Stephen was being murdered? Saul of Tarsus. Later to become known as the Apostle Paul. The one who wrote all those awesome books and letters to help us live more like Christ. Stephen’s prayer of faith was answered.
I love the crucifixion story. It’s the only way we can be saved is to accept it as fact. It shows perfect love. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Greater love hath no man. But Jesus was not a mere man. He was fully God and fully man. He had greater love even, because He died for His enemies.
Praise God we have a merciful Saviour who interceded for us in our rebellion, and drew us to Him! If you are not a Christian, then I would say to you, “Today, if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts as in the rebellion.” Today, if you hear His voice, respond, and come to Him and love Him and follow Him and obey Him. He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” No man comes to the father but through Him. What kind of Love, would cause someone to die such a horrible death and suffer indescribable anguish for us? What kind of Love would drive Someone to go to the lowest beds of hell and fight and win so that we would not have to suffer eternal damnation? What kind of Love would bring Him back from the dead and draw us near to Him? Only God. God is love. And when we come to Him through Christ, we do not have to fear because, “There is no fear in Love”
All praise, glory, honour and exaltation be to God our Father, and to the Lord, Jesus Christ who alone is merciful, compassionate, and worthy to be praised! Death is conquered! Hell is obsolete! Death, where is your sting? Hell, where is your victory? It is gone! It is destroyed! It is conquered through the blood of the Lamb, for those who have accepted Him as their Saviour!