So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands.
Jesus was betrayed by one of His friends for a bag of money. Then He was sent to court, and the governor found him innocent, but the people wanted Him to be crucified, so Pilate sent Him to be crucified.
What is 'Crucifiction'? In a typical crucifixion, they strip the person naked, beat him with a leather whip, and then he had to carry his 70 lb crossbar through the city, until he got to Calvary, where they put him up on the stake (making the cross we now associate with Christianity). They nail his feet and ankles to the cross, and then they wait.
People offer the criminals a wine mixture, to help ease the suffering, and sometimes the Roman Soldiers, in a moment of mercy, go around to break the criminal's legs, to make the death come faster.
This was how Jesus died. His death was a typical crucifixion. They stripped Him, they split His clothes up among themselves, they taunted Him, and gave Him a purple robe and a crown made of thorns, as if they were dressing Him up as a King should dress (the title on His cross said 'Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews'). They whipped Him. Then they led Him to Calvary, where they pierced His hands and ankles, and nailed Him to the cross.
The people offered Him the wine mixture, and He refused it. By the time the soldiers came to break His legs, He was already dead, so they pierced His side with a spear.
He refused the mixture because He was suffering, not for what He had done, but what we have done. He did all of that, knowingly, because of us. He could have, at any time, decided that this wasn't what He wanted to do, and just jumped down.
Why didn't He? He knew that it was God's will that this happened. And He loved us. He loved us so much that He did all that for us. I've heard that in a crucifixion, the person will actually die most often from suffocation. This was not a calm, peaceful death. This was torture, that He endured for us!
They mocked Him, and He ignored them. Why? Because He knew that this was how we would be saved. He knew that He would have to pay the price of our sins. It would take human blood for our sins to be covered, and He offered Himself up as the pay for anyone who believed in Him.
Do you believe in Him? Do you believe that He did all of this, and died, for you, so that your sins would be forgiven?
How does one tell Jesus that you believe in Him? With this prayer:
"God, I know that I am a sinner, worthy of being cast from Your presence. But I also know that Jesus came down, lived a sinless life, died a horrible death, and then rose again, for me, so that my sins might be forgiven. I pray that You will forgive me for my sins and come into my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
You know, at the end of that story, Jesus did die. He was put in a tomb. And three days later, his friend Mary Magdalene came to go to His tomb, but He wasn't there. He had come alive again. Why? Because God is good. Jesus was sinless, and didn't deserve to die.
In His Service,
Response Question: Why did Jesus rise again? (Our topic for next Friday)!