The Events of the first Good Friday.
Bible extracts: John 19:18-27
It is impossible adequately to describe the horror of that day. Events had moved quickly from the arrest (Matthew 26:47-56) in the Garden of Gethsemane to the trials (see John 18:12-24; Matthew 26:57-68; Matthew 27:1-2; and Luke 23:1-25) and Peter’s denial of his Lord (Mark 14:66-72), from the trumped-up charges, to the near-acquittal, to the mocking and the scourging (Mark 15:15-19), and then to the handing over of an innocent man to the howling religious mob whipped to a frenzy by the chief priests. Horror enough you may say, but now, Jesus whose beard had been yanked out, whose back had been laid open to the bone all over, whose flesh must have been hanging from Him like so much raw meat, was forced to carry His cross to the final place of execution.
This stumbling, agonising and breath-sapping procession was through streets (Via Dolorosa) thronged with a crowd which just a few short days ago was heralding Him as their King, but was now raucously deriding Him. He had been sentenced to death and was therefore regarded as a dead man already. He was fair game for all the horrors which could be inflicted on a condemned man on the public road to His death.
Was He kicked, pushed from side to side of the street, jeered, spat upon, reviled? Perhaps rubbish and sewage was thrown over Him…. perhaps we shall never know, but human nature today allows us to think that the final footsteps of His life were more horrific than we might care to consider.
Whatever happened, Jesus could carry His cross no longer (Luke 23:26). The Roman executioners pressed Simon from Cyrene (Mark 15:21) in North Africa into carrying it the remainder of the way. Finally, at the place called Golgotha – the place of the skull – Skull Hill, Jesus was flung to the Cross and nailed there. The common practice was to use spikes through the forearms so that as the victim hung upright, he would not tear the spike through his hand and free his arm. Spikes were driven through his feet – probably his ankles, rupturing tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints – you see nobody cared anymore, Jesus was just another condemned non-entity, a joke, He would be dead in a few hours anyway. And then they hoisted the cross up ………… do you think they carefully put it in the ground so as not to jar the body more than necessary!? I don’t think so……………..
You saved others, but you can’t save Yourself (Matthew 27:41-43)……………. Get Yourself and us down from here (Luke 23:39)……… Perhaps Elijah will come and get Him, let’s wait and see (Matthew 27:47-49)………… What’s that He said? (Matthew 27:50)……… Why is the sky getting dark, its hardly past lunch-time? It’s pitch black!! (Luke 23:44-45) ………. Why is the ground shaking? (Matthew 27:51) ……….Who are those people? (Matthew 27:52-53) ……….What’s happening?!!!!!!
Questions: Dare you answer them truthfully?
What would you have done?
What stand would you have taken in this final unfolding of horror?
Do you jeer at injustice now?
Who is Jesus?
What claim does the Son of God have on your life?
Application: Could this really apply to us?
Jesus’ death had been planned from before the foundation of the world. His death was for the wrongs of the whole world. The sacrifice of the Lamb of God so that we might go free. His life for our life. The penalty for our sin paid in full. Our sicknesses and diseases carried so that we don’t need to. Deliverance from the power of Satan, so that he cannot have control over us. Only one problem, we must respond to His gift of eternal life in order for it to be effective personally. You see, nobody will die unforgiven, but we may choose to die unbelieving.
What about you? Have you received the free pardon offered you by Jesus? Or are you an “I’ll-take-my-chances-with-the-rest” person. If you are, you are not taking a chance, you have just made a decision of absolute certainty. (See Matthew 12:36-37; John 3:16)
A million dollars may have been put in your bank, but unless you acknowledge its presence, and draw it out, you can’t spend it, and you will die without receiving its benefit. So check out all Jesus Christ died to pay for.
Prayer: Talk to God ……………….
Jesus, I have never even considered the extent of the horror that you went through for me. I have never been told that you died for more than my sins – that you included my sicknesses and my diseases (Isaiah 53:4-9), or if I have, I have ignored it. I never even considered that at the cross You finally defeated Satan, and I can now be free of his power forever. Please forgive me. Jesus, I recognise that you are the Son of God, and that there was a mighty purpose to your death. I acknowledge and confess my sin, and I ask you to forgive me, and to take control of my life. I lay my burdens down at your feet, and recognise that I HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN!!!! Thank you.
May God bless you and lead you on to know Him more dearly, and to grow with Him more closely.
Other References – Check these out:
Matthew 27:15-56; Mark 15:6-41; Luke 23:11-43; John 19:1-37; Matthew 28:1-10