|The Crucified Christ|
|The burly Roman soldier raised his heavy
hammer and drove the sharp pointed nails through the hands and feet of
Jesus. With the help of others they lifted their victim on a wooden cross
and placed Him between two thieves. They crucified Him.|
The night before, which was actually the same day, Jesus had eaten the Passover with His disciples. The blood of the Passover lamb had been shed and its flesh had been roasted over the fire in preparation for the Passover meal. It was that day that Jesus became the Passover Lamb of God who willingly gave Himself to take away the sins of the world.
Leaving the upper room where He observed the Passover with His disciples, Jesus journeyed toward Gethsemane. Judas departed from them before they left the upper room and made his way to the high priest to betray the Master. Jesus informed the disciples of the impending dangers and advised them saying, "Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me." (John 14:1) Then occurred the events that John recorded in John, Chapters 14, 15, 16, 17 and part of 18.
Jesus was betrayed by a kiss from Judas. He was tried three times before religious leaders and again three times before civil authorities.
"Crucify him," was the prejudiced cry of the people.
Pilate washed his hands and said, "I am innocent of his blood," yet he gave the order for crucifixion and his soldiers carried out the execution.
At about nine o'clock on Friday morning on the fourteenth day of the first month of the Jewish calendar, the soldiers drove the nails into His hands and feet and elevated Him to die on a hill called Calvary.
Centuries before, Abraham had come to this same mountain to offer his son Isaac. Isaac would have been slain and burned as a sacrifice had the angel of God not intervened. Abraham proved his faithfulness and Isaac became a type of the Son of God who would have no one to intervene for Him.
The seven sayings of Jesus on the cross are to be studied as a part of this lesson.
It was after Jesus had been on the cross for three hours that the heavens became dark. This darkness continued for an additional three hours until Jesus was dead. During this time the earth did quake, the rocks were rent, and the beautiful veil of the Temple was rent in twain from top to bottom. It is not amazing that the priests, not a few believed on Him and the Roman centurion was heard to say, "Surely this man was the Son of God."
Why would God allow a person like Jesus, innocent, perfect and noble in spirit, to suffer such shameful agony and die in such disgrace? Isaiah had the answer, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.... He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed ....
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin." Isaiah 53:3-10.
ASSIGNMENT: Matthew 20:28; 27:32-56; Mark 15:21-44; Luke 23:26-49; John 3:5; 17:16-37; 19:26-28; Psalms 22.
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