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In this chapter I am going to concentrate on Jesus’
crucifixion and death. In the next chapter I will take a closer look at the words
Jesus spoke while on the cross. This was a particular difficult chapter for me
to write as at times there was a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as the
full horror of the pain, both physical and spirtual, that Jesus experienced on
the cross while slowly dying a horrible death by means of suffocation. And here
is the real kicker . It was my sin and your sin that put Him on that cross.He
suffered the cross because He loved you and me so much that He, who was without
sin,paid the penalty for our sins so that you and I my have forgiveness of sins
and eternal life. How can we not accept this precious gift that Jesus won for
you and me on the cross. I would like to include here the following hymn by
Michael W Smith as it encapsulates for me the essence of who Jesus really was,
why He came to earth and what he did on the cross for both you and me.

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Above All

W. Smith

Above all powers
Above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began

Above all
Above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure what you’re worth

Laid behind the stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone


Like a
rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me

Above all





cross of Jesus :

Long ago on a lonely hill, called Golgotha, outside of
Jerusalem a wooden cross arose to which the Saviour of humanity was nailed.Throughout
all the centuries the cross of Jesus signified 
hope of forgiveness of sins, salvation and eternal life in Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Saviour, to Christians throughout the world. This hope was gained
for all believers when Jesus our Saviour died on the cross. He who was without
sin bore our sins  and payed the penalty
for all our sins thereby cancelling the penalty for our sins, namely death and
condemnation to hell , the kingdom of Satan, 
for all eternity. Through His blood shed on the cross we are justified.
Have there ever been such an act of sacrificial love in all of human history?
Jesus, the Son of the living God, our Almighty Father in heaven,willingly left
His home in heaven and came to earth with the definitive mission to save
humanity from the clutches of Satan and sin by giving up His life on the cross
as a willing sacrifice to atone for the sins of all humanity. All we need to do
to receive this wonderful gift that Jesus won for us on the cross is to embrace
His sacrifice of Himself on the cross by believing in Him, loving Him like He
loved us and be one hundred percent committed to Him, living the life He wants
us to live through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Accept Jesus today, repent
your sins and accept His wonderful gift of forgiveness.  Allow Him to transform your life and start
living your new life in Jesus Christ, free from the clutches of Satan.

 On the way to Gogotha Matthew 27 :32-33 ;
Mark15 :21-22 ;Luke23 : 26 and John 19 : 17 ) :

As the Roman soldiers led Jesus out to the place of
crucifixion, Golgotha ( the Place of the Skull ), a lonely hill outside the
walls of Jerusalem, Jesus was totally exhausted and weak. Jesus just spent a
night without sleep or rest as He was led around Jerusalem first to face  Annas and then Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin.
From there He was taken to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod Antipas and then back
to Pilate. Throughout all these appearances before the Jewish and Roman
authorities He was beaten, mocked and spat upon. After His second appearance
before Pilate He was brutally flogged by the Roman soldiers. No wonder that He
was exhausted and weak from the loss of blood because of the flogging.It was
customary for the convict to carry the horizontal bar ( patibulum ) of the
cross to the execution site.  This bar
could easily weigh 45 kilograms ( 100 pounds ). In His exhausted and weakened
state Jesus was expected to carry the patibulum to the execution site. It was
therefore not surprising that Jesus was not able to carry His cross all the way
to Golgotha, the execution site.When it became clear to the Roman soldiers  that Jesus would not be able to carry His patibulum,
the Roman soldiers forced a man, identified only as Simon of Cyrene in the
gospels of Matthew and Mark, to carry Jesus’ patibulum the rest of the way to




crucified ( Matthew 27 : 34-56 ; Mark 15 :23-41 ; Luke 23 : 32-49 and John 19 :
20-37 ) :

So on this bleak day Jesus arrived at Golgotha where soon
a wooden cross would arose to which the Saviour and Redeemer of the world,
Jesus Christ, would be nailed. He was nailed to this wooden cross to become the
perfect safrice to atone for our sins, thereby rescuing us from the wages of
sin, namely death and eternal condemnation.What is your choice today ? Are you
accepting the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for you and have eternal
life in heaven in the presence of Jesus or are you rejecting His sacrifice on the
cross and face eternal condemnation in hell in the presence of Satan ? The
choice is yours.

When they arrived at Golgotha, Jesus was offered a
mixture of gall and wine to drink. This was normally offered to those who was
about to be crucified as a mild anesthetic in an effort to lessen the pain and
shock of being nailed to a cross. Jesus refused this drink which meant He was
about to face the pain and shock of being nailed to the cross in its fullest
measure because although He was the Son of God, He was also human which meant
He also experienced our emotions and pain.   

Jesus was about to be executed by means of crucifixion.
This was one of the most hideous and brutal means of execution ever devised by
man. What made the Roman method of crucufixion even more horrifying was that
they preferred nailng the condemned to the cross, using metal spikes. Jesus was
thrown on His back on the ground. Then His arms were stretched out along the
horizontal crossbar. Iimagine the sound of hammerblows as the Roman soldiers were
driving the metal spikes through  the wrists
of Jesus nailing Him to the horizontal crossbar. A cry of intense pain must
have escaped the mouth of Jesus as these spikes severed the large median nerve,
causing excruciating pain flaring through both of Jesus’  arms. These spikes were driven through the wrists
rather than the palms of the hand in order to support the weight of the body
when the horizontal crossbar was raised and attached to the stipes (vertical
crossbar ) which was already erected at the execution site. In the center of the stipes the Romans placed a
wooden platform to assist in supporting the body of the condemned person on the
cross. The Roman soldiers now proceeded to nail Jesus’ feet to the cross by
placing one foot on top of the other and driving a metal spike through both
feet causing Him even more pain. The person nailed to the cross was positioned
in such a manner( hanging on the cross with the hands above the head ) that
breathing became very difficult. Therefore, in order for Jesus to breath while
hanging on the cross, He had to push up on His feet. In the case of Jesus this
pushing up on the legs in order to breath was especially difficult because He
was already weak due to bloodloss  and
exhausted after facing trails by both Roman and Jewish authorities, without
sleep the previous night, suffering beatings  at the hands of His captors and also suffering
a horrendous flogging. In addition to this the pain in His legs when pushing
upwards on them to be able to breath must have been unbearable,with His feet
being nailed to the cross.Furhter it must be remembered that Jesus’ back was torn
to shreds when flogged by the Roman soldiers. How painful it must have been for
Jesus to push up on His legs, scraping His torn back against the rough wooden
surface of the cross. This meant as every minute passed of the six hours that
Jesus was hanging on the cross at Golgotha, He was slowly dying of suffocation.
One fact is certain, that while hanging on the cross, with metal spikes driven
through His wrists and feet while slowly dying of suffocation, He endured
unimaginable  pain while dying a horrible
death.I do not think anybody can imagine the physical pain that Jesus endured
during that six hours on the cross. We need to remember that while hanging on
that cross suffering this intense agony and dying a horrible death, Jesus did
not think about Himself but about you and me and our salvation from the slavery
of sin.

While Jesus was slowly dying on the cross, He not only
endured physical agony but also the insults of those standing around the cross.
They mocked Him saying :” You who are going to destroy the temple and build it
in three days, come down from the cross, that we may see and believe.” ( Mark
10: 9 ) The chief priests and teachers of the law were not far behind saying :
” He saved others, but He can’t save Himself ! Let this Christ, this king of
Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe” ( Mark 16 :
31 ). As you examine your life do you hear your voice among  those mocking our Saviour. If the answer is
yes, you need to go on your knees and with a sincere and contrite heart ask
Jesus to forgive you and allow Him, through His Holy Spirit, to transform your
life into the one that Jesus wants you to live. Become the person Jesus wants
you to be and turn away from your life of sin.

Jesus was on the cross for six hours.During the last
three hours that Jesus was on the cross darkness, in the middle of the day,
came over the land. At the moment that Jesus died on the cross the gospels of
Matthew, Mark and Luke mentions a number of things that happened.There was an
earthquake and in the gospel of Matthew it is mentioned that the rocks split
and that the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life and
after the ressurrection of Jesus appeared to many people in Jerusalem. Also the
curtain in the the temple separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the
temple was torn in two. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies to
atone for the sins of the people and then only once a year. The tearing of this
curtain signifies to Christians all over the world that Jesus’ sacrifice on the
cross was sufficient to atone for our sins once and for all times. Through His
death on the cross Jesus broke down forever the barrier of sin  between humankind and God. We now have direct
access to God the Father covered by the blood of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. All
these things that happened at the moment of Jesus’ death had such a profound
effect on the Roman centurion on guard at the cross of Jesus that he cried out
: ” Surely He was the Son of God” ( Matthew 27 ; 54 ).

When Jesus died on the cross, Satan must have thought he
had defeated Jesus and therefore God’s plan of salvation for humankind. Satan
could not have been more wrong. Jesus’  life was never taken from Him. He gave His
life willingly as an atoning sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. Through
the selfless sacrifice of His life on the cross on Golgotha so long ago He
shattered the chains of bondage of sin in our lives and freed us from the
slavery of sin and death On the cross of Gogotha Jesus was victorious over
Satan, forever defeating him. We must never fall for Satan’s lie that he is in
control. He is not, Jesus is !If we embrace Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and
devote ourselves to live for Him and serve Him, Satan cannot control our lives.
He will try, but with Jesus standing beside us he does not have a chance.Jesus
our Lord and Saviour won salvation for us on the cross so that we may have
forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Thank You Lord Jesus !

The day of Jesus’ crucifixion was called Preparation Day
because the next day was a special Sabbath.  The Jews did not want the bodies of
Jesus and the two criminals that was crucified with Him to remain on the
crosses on the Sabbath so they went to Pilate and requested him to have the
legs broken of  those on the crosses. By
breaking the legs it meant that those on the crosses would no longer be able to
push themselves up on their legs to be able to breath thus slowly dying of
suffocation.  After breaking the legs of
the two criminals that was crucified with Jesus, the Roman soldiers came to the
cross of Jesus only to discover that He was already dead. To make absolutely
sure that this was the case the Roman soldiers pierced His side with a spear
causing a rush of blood and water.

of Jesus ( Matthew 27 : 57-61 ; Mark 15 : 44-47 ; Luke 24 : 50-54 and John 20 :
38-44 )

On Preparation Day Joseph of Arimathea, a rich,
influential man and member of the Sanhedrin, approached Pilate requesting the
body of Jesus so that he could bury Jesus.He was a disciple of Jesus seeking
the kingdom of God. He kept his discipleship of Jesus a secret out of fear of
the other members of the Sanhedrin and the Jews. He was accompanied by
Nicodemus another influential member of the Sanhedrin and disciple of Jesus. Nicodemus
earlier visited Jesus in secret at night  (John 3 : 1-21 ) out of fear of the other
members of the Sanhedrin. Both of these men now risked their influential status
in Jewish society by requesting Jesus’ body for burial. Are you prepared to
risk your status in society by making a stand for Jesus ?  

Pilate was amazed to hear that Jesus was already dead
because it could sometimes take several days before those who were crucified
actually die. Mercifully Jesus only spent six hours on the cross before He
died, because of His weakened state as previously mentioned. Pilate summoned
the centurion that was on guard during the crucifixion to find out if Jesus was
indeed dead. When the centurion confirmed that Jesus was dead Pilate released
His body to Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus . They wrapped Jesus’ body,
together with the spices provided by Nicodemus, in clean linen. They then
placed Jesus in a new tomb cut out of solid rock. A big stone was rolled in
front of the entrance effectively sealing the tomb.

The Pharisees and chief priests went to Pilate the next
day requesting the posting of guards at Jesus’ tomb. Why such a request ? The answer
can be found in Matthew 27 : 63-64 : ” Sir ” they said ” we remember that while
He was still alive that deceiver said ” After three days I will rise again.” So
give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise
His disciples may come and steal His body and tell the people that He has been
raised from the dead. This deception will be worse than the first.” Guards were
then posted at Jesus’ tomb.This request demonstrated the fact that the Jewish
religious leaders still did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of
God and that they were prepared to do anything to stop the people to start
believing in Jesus as the Son of God. What they did not realise was that God
was at work bringing salvation from sin to humankind and that their man made
plans would never be able to stop God from raising Jesus from the dead thereby
signifying Jesus’ victory over death.














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