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The death of Jesus on the cross. After he had been betrayed by Judas Iscariot and arrested, Jesus was condemned by his fellow Jews as a false Messiah and turned over to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate to be crucified. Pilate found no reason to condemn Jesus; he tried to convince the people that it was absurd to regard Jesus as “King of the Jews” and offered to release him. But when the people insisted that Jesus be put to death, Pilate washed his hands to indicate that Jesus' fate was no longer his responsibility and turned Jesus over to be crucified. Roman soldiers then placed a crown of thorns on the head of Jesus and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews.” He was made to carry a wooden cross up the hill of Calvary near Jerusalem, where he was nailed to the cross and was placed between two thieves, who were also crucified. Shortly before his death, he said, “ Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” After his death, the followers of Jesus placed his body in a tomb.
Note: Jesus had told his disciples that he would sacrifice his life so that believers' sins might be forgiven. Christians believe that his death on the cross and his Resurrection three days later make salvation possible.
Note: Having a “cross to bear” means any painful responsibility that is forced upon one.
Note: To “wash one's hands of it” means to refuse to take responsibility for an action or event.
a common mode of punishment among heathen nations in early times. It is not certain whether it was known among the ancient Jews; probably it was not. The modes of capital punishment according to the Mosaic law were, by the sword (Ex. 21), strangling, fire (Lev. 20), and stoning (Deut. 21). This was regarded as the most horrible form of death, and to a Jew it would acquire greater horror from the curse in Deut. 21:23. This punishment began by subjecting the sufferer to scourging. In the case of our Lord, however, his scourging was rather before the sentence was passed upon him, and was inflicted by Pilate for the purpose, probably, of exciting pity and procuring his escape from further punishment (Luke 23:22; John 19:1). The condemned one carried his own cross to the place of execution, which was outside the city, in some conspicuous place set apart for the purpose. Before the nailing to the cross took place, a medicated cup of vinegar mixed with gall and myrrh (the sopor) was given, for the purpose of deadening the pangs of the sufferer. Our Lord refused this cup, that his senses might be clear (Matt. 27:34). The spongeful of vinegar, sour wine, posca, the common drink of the Roman soldiers, which was put on a hyssop stalk and offered to our Lord in contemptuous pity (Matt. 27:48; Luke 23:36), he tasted to allay the agonies of his thirst (John 19:29). The accounts given of the crucifixion of our Lord are in entire agreement with the customs and practices of the Roman in such cases. He was crucified between two "malefactors" (Isa. 53:12; Luke 23:32), and was watched by a party of four soldiers (John 19:23; Matt. 27:36, 54), with their centurion. The "breaking of the legs" of the malefactors was intended to hasten death, and put them out of misery (John 19:31); but the unusual rapidity of our Lord's death (19:33) was due to his previous sufferings and his great mental anguish. The omission of the breaking of his legs was the fulfilment of a type (Ex. 12:46). He literally died of a broken heart, a ruptured heart, and hence the flowing of blood and water from the wound made by the soldier's spear (John 19:34). Our Lord uttered seven memorable words from the cross, namely, (1) Luke 23:34; (2) 23:43; (3) John 19:26; (4) Matt. 27:46, Mark 15:34; (5) John 19:28; (6) 19:30; (7) Luke 23:46.