John 19:16; Mark 15:20; Luke 23:26a, John 19:17; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:27-32, Friday, around 8 a.m. Jesus is taken to Calvary. (10/17/14)
The Chronological Gospel –
Holy Week: Friday, Part 3, and Saturday,
Jesus' Death and Burial
|John 19:16; Mark 15:20; Luke 23:26a, John 19:17; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:27-32, Friday, around 8 a.m. Jesus is taken to Calvary.|
|Matthew 27:33-34; Mark 15:24a, 25; Luke 23:34a; John 19:19-24; Matthew 27:36, Friday, 9 a.m. – noon. Jesus is crucified. “Father, forgive them...”|
|Mark 15:29-32a; Matthew 27:43; Luke 23:36-43, Friday, Midday. Jesus is mocked. “Today you will be with me...”|
|John 19:25-27; Luke 23:44; Mark 15:34-35; John 19:28; Matthew 27:48-49; John 19:29-30a; Luke 23:46, Friday, Mid-afternoon. Jesus dies. “Here is your mother...” “My God, my God...” “I thirst.” “It is finished.” “Into your hands...”|
|Matthew 27:51-54; Luke 23:48-49; Mark 15:40b-41; John 19:31-37, Friday, Late afternoon. The immediate reaction to Jesus’ death|
|Mark 15:42; Matthew 27:57; Luke 23:51b-52; Mark 15:44-45; John 19:38c-41; Luke 23:54; John 19:42b; Mark 15:46c-47, Friday, shortly before sundown. Burial|
|Random Walk in a Gallery of Religious
Art, Step 48: John 19:38-42, The Entombment of Christ, by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo|
|Matthew 27:62-66; Luke 23:56b; Mark 16:1, Saturday. The Sanhedrin works, but the women keep the Sabbath.|
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John Wesley says that the prisoners carried only the cross piece of the cross, because the entire cross was much too heavy. Probably he’s right. Even the cross piece proved to be too heavy for Jesus to carry after he had been kept up all night, beaten, and scourged. The Romans impressed a man from the crowd, Simon of Cyrene, to carry it in his place.
The interesting thing to me about Simon is that he is identified as “the father of Alexander and Rufus,” when it would have been much more common to identify Alexander and Rufus as “the sons of Simon the Cyrene.” Alexander and Rufus must have been well known to Mark’s readers in the early Christian community. Their mention is the kind of trivial detail that convinces me of the integrity of the scriptures. Many of Mark’s readers were alive, and some at least had been present, at the time of the events he records. If he (or any of the Gospel writers) had been inventing things, the other witnesses would have spoken up, and the material would have been corrected or omitted from the Bible altogether.
16, 20, 17 Then Pilate gave Him up to them to be crucified. Accordingly they took Jesus; At last, having finished their sport, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. and He went out carrying His own cross, to the place called Skull-place – or, in Hebrew, Golgotha –
Matthew 27:33-34; Mark 15:24a, 25; Luke 23:34a; John 19:19-24; Matthew 27:36, Friday, 9 a.m. – noon. Jesus is crucified. “Father, forgive them ...” (10/20/14)
26a, 21 As soon as they led Him away, One Simon, a Cyrenaean, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing along, coming from the country: him they compelled to carry His cross.
27 A vast crowd of the people also followed Him, and of women who were beating their breasts and wailing for Him.
28 But Jesus turned towards them and said,
“Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
29 For a time is coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the women who never bore children,
and the breasts which have never given nourishment.’
30 Then will they begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us;’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’
31 For if they are doing these things in the case of the green tree, what will be done in that of the dry?”
32 They brought also two others, criminals, to put them to death with Him.
The Gospels record seven words from the cross, although we would call each of these “words” a “sentence.” Crucifixion is a slow and horrible way to die, and Jesus had already been beaten and scourged. I have read that the victim usually died of suffocation because being suspended by the forearms draws the muscles tightly across the chest, although exposure, loss of blood, dehydration, or shock also seem to me like good candidates for cause of death. A few of Jesus’ relatives and closest friends were nearby, close enough to hear and remember anything he said. Given all these factors, I’m inclined to think that what we have recorded is probably everything he said from the cross. The first word is a prayer for the men who had the job of putting him to death.
33-34 and so they came to a place called Golgotha, which means ‘Skull-ground.’ Here they gave Him a mixture of wine and gall to drink, but having tasted it He refused to drink it.
Mark 15:29-32a; Matthew 27:43; Luke 23:36-43, Friday, Midday. Jesus is mocked. “Today you will be with me ...” (10/21/14)
24a, 25 Then they crucified Him. It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified Him.
34a Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”
19 And Pilate wrote a notice and had it fastened to the top of the cross. It ran thus: JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
20-21 Many of the Jews read this notice, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the notice was in three languages – Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. This led the Jewish High Priests to remonstrate with Pilate. “You should not write ‘The King of the Jews,’” they said, “but that he claimed to be King of the Jews.”
22 “What I have written I have written,” was Pilate’s answer.
23-24, 36 So the soldiers, as soon as they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, including His tunic, and divided them into four parts – one part for each soldier. The tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. So they said to one another, “Do not let us tear it. Let us draw lots for it.” This happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says, “THEY SHARED MY GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND DREW LOTS FOR MY CLOTHING.” That was just what the soldiers did. and sat down there on guard.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying – and maybe even used
the saying – “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” This is essentially the argument the argument that Jesus’ mockers used. “If you are the Christ, the Son of God, the King of the Jews, why don’t you save yourself?” Fortunately, Jesus was more interested in saving you and me.
29-30 And all the passers-by reviled Him. They shook their heads at Him and said, “Ah! you who were for destroying the Sanctuary and building a new one in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself.”
John 19:25-27; Luke 23:44; Mark 15:34-35; John 19:28; Matthew 27:48-49; John 19:29-30a; Luke 23:46, Friday, Mid-afternoon. Jesus dies. “Here is your mother...” “My God, my God...” “I thirst.” “It is finished.” “Into your hands...” (10/22/14)
31-32, 43 In the same way the High Priests also, as well as the Scribes, kept on scoffing at Him, saying to one another, “He has saved others: himself he cannot save! This Christ, the King of Israel, let him come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe. His trust is in God: let God deliver him now, if He will have him; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’”
36-37 And the soldiers also made sport of Him, coming and offering Him sour wine and saying, “Are *you* the King of the Jews? Save yourself, then!”
38-39 There was moreover a writing over His head: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Now one of the criminals who had been crucified insulted Him, saying, “Are not you the Christ? Save yourself and us.”
40-42 But the other, answering, reproved him. “Do you also not fear God,” he said, “when you are actually suffering the same punishment? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving due requital for what we have done. But He has done nothing amiss.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your Kingdom.”
43 “I tell you in solemn truth,” replied Jesus, “that this very day you shall be with me in Paradise.”
The Bible does not record Jesus’ suffering on the cross in great detail. Anybody who lived under Roman rule was familiar with such suffering. Instead, the Gospel writers give us what Jesus said from the cross. Notice that the fourth word, “Elohi, Elohi, lama sabachthani?” is the only one given both in Greek and Aramaic (or maybe Hebrew; hard to tell). No doubt this is because vs. 35 – “he’s calling for Elijah” – makes no sense from vs. 34 in either Greek translation (Theos mou, theos mou...
) or English translation (My God, my God...
) unless you have the Aramaic (Elohi, Elohi
). [Note: this explanation is not original with me, but I thought it was brilliant. If you want the originator, I can look it up.] Jesus is quoting from Psalm 22.
25 Now standing close to the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.
Matthew 27:51-54; Luke 23:48-49; Mark 15:40b-41; John 19:31-37, Friday, Late afternoon. The immediate reaction to Jesus’ death (10/23/14)
26-27 So Jesus, seeing His mother, and seeing the disciple whom He loved standing near, said to His mother, “Behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that time the disciple received her into his own home.
44 It was now about noon, and a darkness came over the whole country till three o’clock in the afternoon.
34 But at three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “ELOHI, ELOHI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” which means, “My God, My God, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?”
35 Some of the bystanders, hearing Him, said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah!”
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that everything was now brought to an end, said – that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “I am thirsty.”
48-49 One of them ran forthwith, and filling a sponge with sour wine put it on the end of a cane and offered it Him to drink; while the rest said, “Let us see whether Elijah is coming to deliver him.”
29 There was a jar of wine standing there. With this wine they filled a sponge, put it on the end of a stalk of hyssop, and lifted it to His mouth.
30, 46 As soon as Jesus had taken the wine, He said, “It is finished.” and Jesus cried out in a loud voice, and said, “Father, to Thy hands I entrust my spirit.” And after uttering these words He yielded up His spirit.
Sometimes a person would remain on the cross for several days before dying, and apparently very few died as quickly as Jesus did. In Judea, the Romans – as a special allowance for the Jewish revulsion at having victims of crucifixion hanging on the cross on a holy day – would break the legs of the victims before the Sabbath. Unable to support their weight with their legs, and subject to additional trauma, the victims would die quickly and be taken down before sundown. Jesus died around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. One of the soldiers was so surprised and skeptical that he stabbed Jesus’ body with a spear to be certain he was dead.
51-53 Immediately the curtain of the Sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom: the earth quaked; the rocks split; the tombs opened; and many of God’s people who were asleep in death awoke. And coming out of their tombs after Christ’s resurrection they entered the holy city and showed themselves to many.
Mark 15:42; Matthew 27:57; Luke 23:51b-52; Mark 15:44-45; John 19:38c-41; Luke 23:54; John 19:42b; Mark 15:46c-47, Friday, shortly before sundown. Burial (10/24/14)
54 As for the Captain and the soldiers who were with Him keeping guard over Jesus, when they witnessed the earthquake and the other occurrences they were filled with terror, and exclaimed, “Assuredly he was God’s Son.”
48 And all the crowds that had come together to this sight, after seeing all that had occurred, returned to the city beating their breasts.
49, 40b-41 But all His acquaintances, and the women who had been His followers after leaving Galilee, continued standing at a distance and looking on; among them being both Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of James the Little and of Joses, and Salome – all of whom in the Galilaean days had habitually been with Him and cared for Him, as well as many other women who had come up to Jerusalem with Him.
31 Meanwhile the Jews, because it was the day of Preparation for the Passover, and in order that the bodies might not remain on the crosses during the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was one of special solemnity), requested Pilate to have the legs of the dying men broken, and the bodies removed.
32-33 Accordingly the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and also of the other who had been crucified with Jesus. Then they came to Jesus Himself: but when they saw that He was already dead, they refrained from breaking His legs.
34 One of the soldiers, however, made a thrust at His side with a lance, and immediately blood and water flowed out.
35-37 This statement is the testimony of an eye-witness, and it is true. He knows that he is telling the truth – in order that you also may believe. For all this took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled which declares, “NOT ONE OF HIS BONES SHALL BE BROKEN.” And again another Scripture says, “THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED.”
Not all of the Pharisees rejected Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus’ body, and Nicodemus provided the materials necessary for burial. Together they did the best they could to prepare his body and give him a decent burial in the very short time they had before the beginning of the Sabbath. Several of the women who had supported Jesus during his ministry followed to see where he was buried.
42, 57 Towards sunset, as it was the Preparation – that is, the day preceding the Sabbath – towards sunset there came a wealthy inhabitant of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who himself also had become a disciple of Jesus.
51b, 52 and was awaiting the coming of the Kingdom of God. He had not concurred in the design or action of the Council, and now he went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
44-45 But Pilate could hardly believe that He was already dead. He called, however, for the Centurion and inquired whether He had been long dead; and having ascertained the fact he granted the body to Joseph.
38c-40 So he came and removed the body. Nicodemus too – he who at first had visited Jesus by night – came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, in weight about seventy or eighty pounds. Taking down the body they wrapped it in linen cloths along with the spices, in accordance with the Jewish mode of preparing for burial.
41 There was a garden at the place where Jesus had been crucified, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
54 It was the Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was near at hand.
42b Therefore, because the tomb was close at hand, they put Jesus there,
46c after which he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.
47 Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was put.
Random Walk in a Gallery of Religious
Art, Step 48: John 19:38-42, The Entombment of Christ, by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (8/5/15)
Matthew 27:62-66; Luke 23:56b; Mark 16:1, Saturday. The Sanhedrin works, but the women keep the Sabbath. (10/27/14)
Artists sometimes work themselves into the picture, and you can see in the larger image that Christ is being lowered into a coffin that is inscribed with the name Tiepolo. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s father’s name was Domenico, and that seems to be the name on the coffin, but I’m not sure. The date is 1770-something, which is apparently the date of the painting (Wikipedia says 1769-1770).
Joseph and Nicodemus had to bury Jesus somewhat hurriedly, because it was close to sundown. The Gospels are careful to point out that Jesus’ followers did not work on the Sabbath. Except for the little cherubs (which the scripture does not mention, by the way), this painting is done in a realistic style that lets us feel the weight of the body and shows us how Joseph and Nicodemus cooperated to entomb it. I don’t know who the other two guys are; probably Tiepolo figured that wealthy Pharisees wouldn’t go anywhere without servants.
"The Entombment of Christ" by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, from the Gamble family Bible, now in the private collection of Regina Hunter. Photography by Daryl Lee.
The Gospels make the point that the men and women who buried Jesus and who prepared to re-anoint his body were careful not to do any work on the Sabbath. In contrast, members of the Sanhedrin asked for a meeting with Pilate and arranged for a guard at the tomb. I’m pretty sure that would count as work, another example of the hypocrisy Jesus was always accusing them of.
62 On the next day, the day after the Preparation, the High Priests and the Pharisees came in a body to Pilate.
More of The Chronological Gospel
63-64 “Sir,” they said, “we recollect that during his lifetime that impostor pretended that after two days he was to rise to life again. So give orders for the sepulcher to be securely guarded till the third day, for fear his disciples should come by night and steal the body, and then tell the people that he has come back to life; and so the last imposture will be more serious than the first.”
65 “You can have a guard,” said Pilate: “go and make all safe, as best you can.”
66 So they went and made the sepulcher secure, sealing the stone besides setting the guard.
56b, 1 On the Sabbath [the women] rested in obedience to the Commandment. When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, in order to come and anoint His body.
Birth Announcements and Early Lives of Jesus and John the Baptist
Early Ministries of Jesus and John the Baptist
Jesus’ Early Ministry
Jesus’ Galilean Ministry
The Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Plain
John the Baptist
Signs and Parables
Miracles and Mission Trips
Bread of Life
Miracles and Meanings
Transfiguration and TeachingsTo Jerusalem for the Festival of Tabernacles
Some Results of Luke’s Research
More of Luke’s Research
On the Road Again
The Raising of Lazarus
Holy Week: Palm Sunday and Monday
Holy Week: Tuesday, Parables and Questions
Holy Week: Wednesday Part 1, Discussions
Holy Week: Wednesday Part 2, Be Ready!
Holy Week: Thursday Part 1,
Jesus' Celebration of the Passover
Holy Week: Thursday Part 2,
Jesus' Farewell Discourse
Holy Week: Friday Part 1,
Jesus' Arrest and Two Informal Trials
Holy Week: Friday Part 2,
Holy Week: Friday, Part 3, and Saturday, Jesus' Death and Burial
The Empty Tomb
Final Appearances of Jesus Prior to Pentecost
Copyright 2014, 2015, 2016 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. Scripture readings are from the Weymouth New Testament (1912); caps indicate quotations from the Old Testament. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.
Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the
author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the
Bible-study participants. Thanks to the
Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers
for their support and enthusiasm. All
errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
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