Jesus, being so badly wounded during the scourging, is unable to carry the cross for His crucifixion. So the Roman officers grab a man named Simon from Cyrene in North Africa who is visiting Jerusalem for the Passover, and force him to pick up Jesus’ cross and carry it as the crowds watch. Jesus tells the women weeping not to weep for Him but for themselves, knowing the fate that was to come upon Jerusalem and ultimately all who reject Him. When they arrive at Golgotha, they hang Jesus on the cross between two thieves and place a sign over His head that says, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
The officers divide His garments and cast lots for them, fulfilling Scripture (Psalm 22:18). And while Jesus is hanging on the cross, insults after insults are hurled at Him, but Jesus responds, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
One of the thieves being crucified taunts Jesus by 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.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’” And just like that one of the criminals receives eternal salvation by grace through faith just moments before his death.
Before Jesus dies He ensures that His mother, probably widowed, will be cared for by His beloved disciple, John. “And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” As the elder son, Jesus entrusts his mother to John because His brothers were not believers at this time nor were they present at His crucifixion.
”Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’”
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
”Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, ‘Truly this Man was the Son of God!’” The Lord tearing the veil of the temple signifies that man now has direct access to the throne of God through the works of Jesus Christ as the final sacrificial Lamb. Jesus bore the full weight of our sins on that cross, providing a way for man to be restored into a right relationship with His Father, where we are deemed righteous based on faith in His Son.
”And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.”
“Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 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 came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken’ (Psalm 34:20, Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12). And again another Scripture says, ‘They shall look on Him whom they pierced’” (Zechariah 12:10, Revelation 1:7).
Tomorrow, Jesus rises from the dead. Keep reading.
(Mark 15:21-24, Matthew 27:32-34, Luke 23:26-31, John 19:17-18, Mark 15:25-32, Matthew 27:35-44, Luke 23:32-43, John 19:19-27, Mark 15:33-41, Matthew 27:45-56, Luke 23:44-49, John 19:28-37)