- Jim Stevenson
The Crucifixion of Jesus
“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) There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 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, the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 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.” 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. “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it" This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled”
John 19:16-24 NIV
On this Good Friday, it is fitting that we turn our eyes to the Cross. No injustice could be greater than God’s blameless Son being slaughtered without mercy in brutal crucifixion. Yet we now know that as a result of His suffering, countless people will spend eternity with God in perfect peace and celebration. Jesus Himself will be forever exalted, and all will recognize him as Lord and Savior.
His sacrifice was foretold: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:5–7 NIV
His purpose was revealed: “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:24-25 NIV
The Cross has challenged mankind for over 2000 years, and the power of the Cross has changed individuals. The Cross convinces us that we are loved (John 3:16). It has the power to set men free since forgiveness comes from the Cross (1 Peter 2:24), and the Cross restores in us a desire for true righteousness (Rom 5:6).
Paul in 1 Corinthians: “We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1:23 NIV).
Bernard of Clairvaux: “To know Jesus and Him crucified is my philosophy, and there is none higher.”
Charles Spurgeon: “My entire theology can be condensed into four words, “JESUS DIED FOR ME.”
Billy Graham: “It was not the people or the Roman soldiers who put Jesus on the cross—it was your sins and my sins that made it necessary for Him to volunteer His death.”
John Stott: “The victim was the victor, and the cross is still the throne from which he rules the world."