Carrying the cross by Himself – He went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew – Golgotha). There they nailed Him to the cross. Two others were crucified with Him – one on either side – with Jesus between them. And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read – “Jesus of Nazareth – the King of the Jews.” The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it.
Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate – “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said – I am King of the Jews.’”
Pilate replied – “No. What I have written – I have written.”
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus – they divided His clothes among the four of them. They also took His robe, but it was seamless – woven in one piece from top to bottom. So they said – “Rather than tearing it apart – let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says – “They divided My garments among themselves and threw dice for My clothing.” So that is what they did.
Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and His mother’s sister – Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother standing there beside the disciple He loved – He said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And He said to this disciple – “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.
In Part 9 of my continuing sermon leading-up to Resurrection Sunday I continue from the Gospel of John – Chapter 19 Verses 17 to 27 – where John writes about the crucifixion of Christ.
Jesus died for us in public. It was a public execution for all to see how shocking it was. Crucifixions were horrific sightings. Sometimes it would take days for the victim to die, but not so for Christ. He was tortured before He was nailed onto the cross, and while He was on it. He died a quick death. The sign on the cross identified Jesus, where He came from, and his “crimes” according to the Jewish high council. He was guilty of being “King of the Jews”. The Jewish leaders objected to that, and they wanted Pontius Pilate to change it to read that “He said – I am King of the Jews”. Pilate refused to change it – believing that Jesus was not guilty of any crimes at all.
Early on in John’s Gospel he writes about John The Baptist’s ministry.
That’s how John The Baptist announces Jesus. He continues by saying that “He is the One I was talking about when I said ‘A Man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for He existed long before me.'” (John 1:30)
At Skull Hill the cross was an altar where Jesus Christ – the Passover lamb – died a brutal death. They did not break His legs. He had no broken bones. When His side was pierced with a spear – blood and water flowed out. He died for us. He died, so that we may live by the power of The Holy Spirit.
I’ll continue this journey on Good Friday – and next (Resurrection) Sunday Scripture.
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