Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 30, 1966
NUMBER 9, PAGE 2b-3,5b

The Crucifixion Of Jesus

Butler, Mo. 64730

Twas the darkest and saddest day the earth has known, the day the pure and innocent was made to suffer for the impure and guilty, the day our Lord was crucified. How depressing it is to the friends of Jesus to read of the terrible ordeal our Savior went through that day. The events that led to his death are often overlooked, yet surely must have been most difficult to endure without any attempt to retaliate.

After being betrayed into the hands of his enemies by one of his chosen disciples, Jesus was led away to Annas, father-in-law to the high priest (John 18: 13), which was the beginning of a long day for the Lord. His trial that day was a farce from beginning to end, as the enemies led him from one official unto another. A study of the events that day show the following order: (1) To Annas (John 18:13) where he was bound; (2) To Caiaphas the high priest; (3) When morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death; and when they had bound him, they let him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. (Matt. 27:1-2) Pilate learning that Jesus was from Galilee, and thus belonged' in Herod's jurisdiction, was glad to send him away. (4) Unto Herod (Luke 23:7). Herod was happy for he thought to be amused by miracles which Jesus might perform. When no such miracles were performed, Herod and his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and returned him to Pilate. (5) Second appearance before Pilate (Luke 23: 11). On this occasion Pilate must make some decision, but is greatly troubled for he knows of the innocence of Jesus. Yet, he had him scourged (Jn. 19:1), allowed the Jews to put a crown of thorns upon his head, and mock him, then at the insistence of the Jews, and for fear of losing favor of Caesar (Jn. 10:12) Pilate said unto the Jews who were crying, Crucify him, crucify him, "Take ye him, and crucify him; for I find no fault in him." Then he delivered Jesus unto them to be crucified. (John 19:6,16)

As the multitude led Jesus away "they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian ...and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus." (Lk. 23:26) And there were also two other malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. (Lk. 23:33) Luke describes the crucifixion of Jesus with these words, "THERE THEY CRUCIFIED HIM". Though other things are mentioned these words are descriptive of the death of the Savior. I often use these four words when preaching on the crucifixion, showing that they answer the questions raised concerning the crucifixion. (I do not know the source of this line of study, but I am indebted to someone in years past for it.)

There They Crucified Him

THERE at Calvary or Golgotha Jesus died. The very name of this place means "the place of a skull" (Jn. 19:17; Lk. 23:33) In the Hebrew language it was Golgotha, but in Greek and Latin it was Calvary. Whether it was thus called because it was a place of execution, or because of the shape of the hill, we know not.

There between two thieves Jesus was crucified. The prophet had spoken of this. (Isa. 53:12) Think of the humility and shame of dying as a common thief.

Therein a conspicuous place "nigh unto the city" (Jn. 19:20) Jesus died. Though it was conspicuous, yet it was a solitary place for Jesus. Surrounded by people Jesus was alone, betrayed, denied, forsaken by his friends, and finally forsaken by his Father in heaven, Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, la-ma sa-bach-tha-ni? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46) How lonely it must have been on the cross! But it was the appropriate place for his death, for he was dying for the sins of men. "For the bodies of those beast whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. " (Heb. 13:11- 12; Cf. Ex. 29:14; Heb. 9:6-12)

There They Crucified Him

Who crucified Jesus? "They" crucified him. The Jews crucified him. To the chief priests and officers Pilate said, "Take ye him, and crucify him." (Jn. 19:6) Unto the Jews Pilate said, "Behold your king! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him...then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away." (Jn. 19:14-16) Indeed the JEWS crucified Jesus, and the guilt upon them must rest. All the decrees of men of the twentieth century cannot remove this truth. The Jews planned it, demanded it, and even said, "His blood be on us, and on our children." (Matt. 27:25) The inspired apostle Peter preached unto the Jews assembled in Jerusalem, "Ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." (Acts 2:23) Later Peter said unto the Jews, "Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life." (Acts 3:14-15) Yes, through ignorance they did it (Acts 3:17), "for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (1 Cor. 2:8) but nonetheless they did it.

The Roman soldiers crucified Jesus. They acted through a sense of duty, for the Romans were in power at this time. Four of the soldiers attended to the crucifixion. They parted his garments among them, and for his vesture they did cast lots. (Jn. 19: 23, 24) They mocked him. (Lk. 23:36) They were guilty of his death.

In a sense all men, for whose sins Jesus died, are guilty of the crucifixion. He died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3; Matt. 26:28) Had it not been for the sins of men we would never have had to die.

There They Crucified Him

How did they kill him? They crucified him.

"To crucify means to put to death on a cross...The usual manner of the crucifixion was as follows: After the criminal had carried the cross, attended with every possible gibe and insult, to the place of execution, a hole was dug in the earth to receive the foot of it. The cross was laid on the ground; the person condemned to suffer was stripped and was extended on it, and the soldiers fastened the hands and feet either by nails or thongs. After they had driven the nails deeply in the wood, they elevated the cross with the agonizing sufferer on it, and in order to fix it more firmly in the earth, they let it fall violently into the hole which they had dug to receive it. This sudden fall gave to the person that was nailed to it a violent and convulsive shock, and greatly increased his sufferings. The crucified person was then suffered to hang, commonly, till pain, exhaustion, thirst and hunger ended his life. Sometimes the sufferings continued for days; and when friendly death terminated the life, the body was often suffered to remain — a loathsome object, putrefying in the sun or devoured by birds.

"This punishment was deemed the most disgraceful and ignominious that was practiced among the Romans. It was the way in which slaves, robbers, and the most notorious and abandoned wretches were commonly put to death. It was this, among other things, that exposed those who preached the gospel to so much shame and contempt among the Greeks and Romans. They despised everything that was connected with the death of one who had been put to death as a slave and an outlaw.

"As it was the most ignominious punishment known, so it was the most painful. The following circumstances made it a death of peculiar pain: 1st. The position of the arms and the body was unnatural, the arms being extended back and almost immovable.

The least motion gave violent pain in the hands and feet, and in the back, which was lacerated with stripes. 2nd. The nails, being driven through the parts of the hands and feet which abound with nerves, created the most exquisite anguish. 3rd. The exposure of so many wounds to the air brought on a violent inflammation, which greatly increased the poignancy of the suffering. 4th. The free circulation of the blood was prevented. More blood was carried out in the arteries than could be returned by the veins. The consequence was, that there was a great increase of blood in the veins of the head, producing an intense pressure and violent pain. The same was true of other parts of the body. This intense pressure in the blood-vessels was the source of inexpressible misery. 5th. The pain gradually increased. There was no relaxation and no rest. There was no prospect but death. The sufferer was commonly able to endure it till the third, and sometimes even the seventh day. The intense sufferings of the Saviour, however, was sooner terminated. This was caused, perhaps, in some measure, by his previous fatigue and exhaustion, but still more by the intense sufferings of his soul in bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows--in making an atonement for the sins of the world." (Albert Barnes, Barnes' Notes, Matt. -Mark, p. 309-310)

There They Crucified Him

Whom did they crucify? They crucified "him". He was their benefactor. He was not known to have harmed anyone. He went about doing good. (Acts 10: 38) He was the only sinless, perfect man to live. (1 Pet. 2:22) Pilate's wife called him "that just person", and Pilate referred to him as "this just person". (Matt. 27:19-24) Judas said, "I have betrayed the innocent blood." (Matt. 27:4). Peter had said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matt. 16: 16) The soldiers said, "Truly this was the Son of God." (Matt. 27:54) John had introduced him to the world as "the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (Jn. 1:29), and he died "as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Pet. 1:19) God himself had said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 2:17;17:5) There they crucified the only begotten son of God!

Why Did He Die?

He died because of the hatred of the Jews, but not just because they hated him. He died to fulfill prophecy, but not just to fulfill prophecy. He died because he was willing, but not just because he was willing, for he had prayed unto the Father, "0 my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." (Matt. 26:39) He died because it was the will of God. He died because God in all of his wisdom could not conceive another way to be a just and righteous God and forgive man of his sins except through the offering of his only begotten son. (Rom. 3:24-26) Then some talk of a "bloodless" salvation. How great the price of our redemption, but this is why Jesus died. What a shame that the masses of humanity never profit by the death of Jesus. The sinner must believe and obey the gospel of Christ in order to be saved by his death. (Cf. Mark 16:15-16; 2 Thess.1;7-9)

Since Jesus died for you, why not believe and obey his will that you may be saved by him?

Billy W. Moore

-Box 204,