John 19:17-22, “And He went out bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There, they crucified Him, and with Him two others; one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription, and put it on the cross. It read, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the City, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. So the Chief Priests of the Jews said to Pilate, Do not write ‘The King Of The Jews,’ but rather, this man said I am the King of the Jews. Pilate answered, what I have written, I have written.’” (emphasis mine)
Pilate owed no allegiance to the religious leaders, and he even tried to get Jesus released, as Pilate knew He was not guilty of any crime deserving death. In Matthew 27:24, he ceremoniously washed his hands in front of the gathered crowd to let them know he did not approve of their actions, but he did nothing further to stop the execution. He was saying all consequences of their actions were totally on them. It will be interesting at his final judgment to see if that action actually absolved him from the guilt.
His inscription on Jesus’ cross could also have been a measure to put his wife’s mind at ease. In Matthew 27:29, his wife sent a message saying, “Have nothing to do with that Righteous Man; for I have suffered much because of Him today in a dream.” We are told nothing further about her.
Crucifixion was designed to be a most degrading, shameful and extremely painful method of execution, and the Romans used it extensively. If someone was Roman by birth, or granted Roman citizenship by someone of authority, they would not ever face this type of execution.
The exact location where Jesus’ crucifixion took place is not really known, other than it was outside the walls of Jerusalem. There is a church that was built in the fourth century that claims they are on the actual site, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; but the location has a problem. The church is inside the walls of Jerusalem, so the actual location is still unknown. As given above in John 19:20, “near the city.”
It’s believed the site would be next to a main, traveled road, as it was well visible to passersby. Also, in almost all artists’ depiction of Jesus on the Cross, they show a cloth wrapped around His groin area. Those crucified were not afforded such modesty, as they were crucified naked.
One other fulfilment of a Passover commandment was that none of Jesus’ bones were broken. This follows the first Passover given in Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12 that state the “lamb” must be eaten inside one house, and no bones were to be broken. Jesus was our “Sacrificial Passover Lamb.”
Jesus fulfilled the commandment about being a “spotless Lamb,” and, therefore, any shed blood would be worthy to cover all sin. It’s hard to imagine that our Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have witnessed every sin ever committed on this earth, and all the sins that will be committed to the very end of the Millennium. The thought of this is overwhelming, and it’s perfectly fitting that the Father would designate what He would accept as a pure and whole one-time sacrifice for all that sin. He knew that no human could ever offer a sacrifice of the magnitude that was required.
Jesus’ blood never mixed with any human blood, as He was placed in Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit. Nutrients and oxygen are passed from the mother to the fetus, but their blood never mixes. That’s the function of the placenta. Had even one drop of human blood mixed with His, the sacrifice would not have been acceptable.
One more point: even though the Jewish religious leaders believed they “won” by having Jesus crucified, they were only fulfilling prophecies that went all the way back to Isaiah 53 and even to Genesis 3:14-15. They were too arrogant and blinded by hate to see this was truly their Messiah that was on that cross. Further, they only accomplished what Jesus Himself “allowed.”
John 10:18, “No one takes it (His life) from Me; but I lay it down of My own accord. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I received from My Father.”
Matthew 26:53, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will send Me more than 12 legions of Angels?” (approximately 60,000 angels)
He could’ve stopped everything at any moment, but as a true and just part of the Godhead, He fulfilled what was required. And please note: it was for you and me so we could have a clear pathway to the Father (John 14:6).
Before giving the lyrics to a very inspirational song, I would like to repeat something that I have previously posted. In no manner shape or form do I worship the implement that was used in the death of My Savior. Any time I see a cross displayed, it brings to mind the One who was on a cross because of My Sin, and the sins of everyone who has lived, or ever will live on this earth.
To have paintings, carvings or any other form of a cross is not in itself a sin, unless the “object” is worshiped. My mind goes to My Savior, Redeemer, My Best Friend; and as Thomas exclaimed in John 20:28, “My Lord and My God!” As “The Old Rugged Cross” song says, “The emblem of suffering and shame.” I long for the day when I can bow at the feet of My Jesus, and thank Him personally for saving a sinner such as I. There will be no crosses there.
The song is “I Believe in a Hill Called Mt. Calvary.” It was written by the Gaither’s and released in 1997.
(c.) I believe in a hill called Mt. Calvary; I believe whatever the cost. And when time has surrendered, and the earth is no more, I’ll still cling to the old rugged cross.
(1) I believe that this life with its great mysteries, surely one day will come to an end. But faith will conquer the darkness and death, and will lead me at last to My friend.
(2) I believe that the Christ who was slain on the cross has the power to change lives today. For He changed me completely; a new life is mine. And that is why by the cross I will stay. (c.)
The best version is undoubtedly the one performed by the Gaither Vocal Band. It’s obvious the artists are truly inspired by the words, and relay them in a way that would cover a whole sermon. Not an ear-tickling message, but one that is straight from the Bible. We look forward to that time when this world will be conquered, and we are led “at last to My Friend.”
As a reminder, please consider the following: Romans 10:9-13; “Because if you confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved. For the scripture says everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of All; bestowing His riches (the most precious gift of all) on all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Yes, it says “everyone.” The past is not our critical issue, as all sins can be forgiven except one. Anyone who does not accept what the above scripture proclaims, and rejects the sacrifice that was made for them by Our Savior on that cross, will spend eternity in the hell fires designed for Satan and his angels. (Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 20:11-15.)
Jesus will not force anyone to accept Him, but will turn no one away who truly calls on Him for salvation. There is nothing else we can do to save ourselves. No amount of works can buy us a slot in Heaven. Any works we do as a Christian is to honor the Savior, period. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.” To pass up this most merciful offer is to commit oneself to an eternal existence of never-ending regret and punishment. Call on Him today!
B’Ahava Shalom (with Love and Peace)