Jesus is King: The Cross

cross at sunrise on beach-side

As you know today is Good Friday, so you can probably figure out I will be teaching on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior. Before I go any further, I want you to ask yourself one question, what does Good Friday really mean to me?  As I go through this teaching, I will be using scriptures from all four of the Gospels to help us get a good perspective on Good Friday. I encourage you to also take time to read the full story from all four Gospels when you have time because there is so much in these scriptures.

Let’s take a look at Matthew 27:3-9 (NKJV) which says, “Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.”. Judas was the one disciple who betrayed Jesus, he was remorseful for what he did, he had a sense of guilt and then hung himself. As I go further into my teaching, I would like you to take this into perspective. When we come to Jesus for the first time, right before we repent, we have a sense of guilt that we have done wrong through our sins. But only because of Jesus we don’t have to live in guilt because our sins are washed in the blood of Jesus when we become born again. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV) says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”. Our sins are forgiven when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and confess our sins to Him. We also need to remember to forgive ourselves and truly receive the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Let’s now look at the next part of the crucifixion story in Mark 15:2-5 (NKJV) which says, “Then Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.” And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing.  Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!”  But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.”. One thing we must know is that Pilate did not really want to crucify Jesus Christ. He was shocked at Jesus’s silence to the accusations of the chief priests. Jesus could have tried to have given Pilate a satisfactory response to the accusations and could have been released, but Jesus just stayed silent. This shows the obedience Jesus had to His Father because Jesus knew He was to be crucified.

Mark 15:12-14 (NKJV) goes on to say, “Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!””. Pilate asked the crowd of the Jews what they wanted to be done to Jesus, and they yelled for Him to be crucified. Pilate tried reasoning with the Jews by asking what evil Jesus has done, and they only responded with crucify. This shows us that Pilate did not truly want to crucify Jesus, he was simply satisfying the people in the crowd with what they wanted to have done to Jesus.

Mark 15:16 (KJV) continues and says, “And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.”. I want you to notice the word band in this scripture, it is translated from the Greek equivalent of the Latin word ‘cohort’ which means 600 soldiers. When Mark wrote this in his Gospel it was not used technically, but to show there was a very large group of soldiers that mocked and beat Jesus. Mark 15:17-20 (NKJV) goes on to say, “And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.”. To put it simply Jesus went through a lot of torment from these soldiers, just imagine what your Lord and Savior went through here for your sins.

Now we have just seen Jesus’s trial and torment from the soldiers, now let’s look at Jesus on the cross in the Gospel of John. John 19:17-18 (NKJV) says, “And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,  where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.”. We will find that two other men are beside Jesus on the cross in Golgotha. Luke 23:32 (NKJV) tells us, “There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.”. So, we know there are two other criminals beside Jesus being crucified.  What types of crime did these two people commit? The answer is in Matthew 27:38 (NKJV), “Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.”. There were two other men crucified with Jesus because they were thieves. Jesus did not commit any crime; He simply gave His life for us and became sin for us so we can become saved. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”.

John 19:19-24 will go on to tell us about Jesus being given the title of ‘King of the Jews’ on His cross, and about the soldiers casting lots to divide His garments. I would like to skip to John 19:26-27 (NKJV) which says, “When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.”.  This is where Jesus entrusted the Apostle John as Mary’s son, some people believe that this scripture gives Mary a level of authority like God, which we know is a false teaching from hell. Jesus could have designated any of His brothers, but He chose one of His disciples. If you read John 7:5 you will find out Jesus’s brothers did not believe He was the Son of God. John 7:5 (NKJV) tells us, “For even His brothers did not believe in Him.”.

John 19:28-29 (NKJV) continues and says, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.”.  Jesus became thirsty and they gave Him sour vinegar on a sponge to sip on. This is portrayed in Psalms 22:15 (NKJV) which says, “My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.”.  Additionally Psalms 69:21(NKJV) says, “They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”. Jesus needed a drink so He could say His final words, this also shows the amount of suffering Jesus went through to die for our sins. John 19:30 (NKJV) says, “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”. Jesus told us ‘IT IS FINISHED’. The ultimate satisfice was finished. The prophet Isaiah talked about Jesus Christ a lot, you will find a lot of reference notes in the Gospels, that go back to Isaiah. Isaiah 53:12 (NKJV) tells us, “Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.”.

The end of the story for Good Friday takes us to the tomb, which John 19:42 (NKJV) tells us, “So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.”. There is so much more to the story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ from the accounts we have in all four Gospels. So I encourage you to take some time and read them out of all four of the Gospels and reflect on it, what I have taught only scratches the surface of what you will find in your time of study in God’s Word. At the beginning of this teaching, I asked you to think to yourself what does Good Friday mean to you? Does Good Friday just mean that you get a day off work or school? For those of you who have religious spirits, does Good Friday mean it is the last Friday you can’t eat meat on during Lent? Or does it mean that the Son of God paid the ultimate price for your sins so that you could have eternal life? When one becomes born again you should have a strong desire to sin no more and seek God on corrections as you go along your walk with God. Just because you say the sinner’s prayer does not mean you can go back out and sin all you want without a care in the world. Just because you said the sinner’s prayer at an altar call does not give you a free pass to stay out of the word of God. Matthew 16:24-26 (NKJV) says, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”. I again encourage you to take some time and read the accounts of Good Friday in all four of the Gospels and really reflect on what Good Friday means to you. This might be a good opportunity to rededicate your life to Christ or seek a more serious walk with Christ.