Good Friday – Day of Crucifixion
Selections for each day of Holy Week from The Lion of Judah (4) The Death of Jesus
Free eBook this Easter: (5) The Resurrection of Jesus
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Holy week, from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to his death and resurrection, is by far the greatest week in history. Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, chose to be crucified in Jerusalem at the Passover festival. He became our Passover Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world. The Old Testament points to Jesus, the Messiah, God’s Anointed One. The New Testament tells his story and calls us to respond in faith to his gift of salvation and eternal life.
Holy Week: the last week of the earthly life of Jesus may be summarized this way as a general guide. The different Gospels record different events, each one telling the Gospel, the good news, in their own way. So this arrangement is an estimate of the sequence of the momentous developments in Holy Week.
This summary follows the outline in Mark’s Gospel:
Selections from The Lion of Judah (4) The Death of Jesus
Palm Sunday – Day of Demonstration
Mark 11:1-11 (Zech 9:9) – Jesus enters Jerusalem
Monday – Day of Authority
Mark 11:12-19 – fig tree, temple cleansed
Tuesday – Day of Conflict
Mark 11:20 – 13:36 – debates with leaders
Wednesday – Day of Preparation
Mark 14:1-11 – anointed at Bethany
Thursday – Day of Farewell
Mark 14:12-42 – last supper
Good Friday – Day of Crucifixion
Mark 14:43 – 15:47 – trials and death
Saturday – Day of Sabbath
Mark 15:46-47 – tomb sealed
Easter Sunday – Day of Resurrection
Mark 16:1-18 – resurrection appearances
Jesus before the Council
They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. 54 Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. 56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. 57 Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, 58 ‘We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.”’ 59 But even on this point their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, ‘Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?’ 61 But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ 62 Jesus said, ‘I am; and
“you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power”,
and “coming with the clouds of heaven.”’
63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? 64 You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?’ All of them condemned him as deserving death. 65 Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, ‘Prophesy!’ The guards also took him over and beat him. (Mark 14:53-65)
Jesus before Pilate
As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. 2 Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ He answered him, ‘You say so.’ 3 Then the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 Pilate asked him again, ‘Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.’ 5 But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
Jesus before Herod
When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. 9 He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. 12 That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.
Pilate Hands Jesus over to Be Crucified
Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. 7 Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. … 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
(Mark 15:6-7, 15)
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. 18 And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ 19 They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. 20 After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. 22 Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.
25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The inscription of the charge against him read, ‘The King of the Jews.’ 27 And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. 29 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!’ 31 In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.’ Those who were crucified with him also taunted him. (Mark 15:21-32)
This was to fulfil what the scripture says, ‘They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.’
(John 19:24; see Psalm 22:18)
These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘None of his bones shall be broken.’ 37 And again another passage of scripture says, ‘They will look on the one whom they have pierced.’
(John 19:36-37; see Psalm 34:20; 22:16; Zechariah 12:10)
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ 35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling for Elijah.’ 36 And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’ 37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’
40 There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
Matthew gives further details.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ 47 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘This man is calling for Elijah.’ 48 At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’ 50 Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The Burial of Jesus
When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. 45 When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.
Seven Statements on the Cross
- Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).
- Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).
- Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (John 19:26-27).
- My God, My God, why have you forsaken me, (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).
- I thirst (John 19:28).
- It is finished (John 19:30).
- Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46; see Psalm 31:5).
This summary uses NKJV. The Mounce translation (www.biblegateway.com) of John 19:30 is ‘It is accomplished.’ Traditionally, these seven statements are called words of
- Triumph, and
Contexts of the Seven Statements on the Cross
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ (Luke 23:34 NIV)
There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.’
42 Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’
43 Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:42-43 NIV)
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing near by, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ 27 and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:25-27 NIV)
From noon on, darkness came over the whole land[p] until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. (John 19:28-29 NIV)
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30 NIV)
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.
(Luke 23:46 NIV; see Psalm 31:5)