||How Did The Saviour Die? His Torture After Pilate condemned
Jesus to death, he let his soldiers abuse and humiliate Him. They began by
scourging him. Much could be said about the lashing He received. History
teaches us that the Romans possibly used a nine-thong whip with embedded
stones to tear and rip their prisoners' flesh. "And so Pilate, willing to
content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when
he had scourged him, to be crucified" (Mark 15:15). But this lashing was a
part of the price He would pay for humanity. Isaiah, in his magnificent
prophecy about the Saviour's suffering, wrote: "But he was wounded for our
transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our
peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
From the public whipping, the soldiers manhandled the wounded, bleeding
Jesus into the judgment hall. There they prepared to crucify Him while
they mocked and beat Him some more. "And the soldiers led him away into
the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. And
they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it
about his head, And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they
smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their
knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the
purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to
crucify him" (Mark 15:16-20). The soldiers unwittingly fulfilled the
prophecy of Isaiah by battering his face and head: "As many were astonied
at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more
than the sons of men:" (Isaiah 52:14). By this time, His human flesh is
torn and wounded. The gashes and blood lost make walking torturous.
Perhaps as a further sign of their power, the Romans forced a bystander to
carry the wooden cross to the site of the execution. "And they compel one
Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of
Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross" (Mark 15:21). The execution site,
outside the city walls of Jerusalem, was a hill that looked somewhat like
a skull. "And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being
interpreted, The place of a skull" (Mark 15:22). There they offered him a
drink, possibly to numb His pain. But their motive was not compassion.
Probably, they hoped that by relieving His pain He would last longer and
make a better spectacle. "And they gave him to drink wine mingled with
myrrh: but he received it not" (Mark 15:23). Jesus refused the wine. Then
they crucified Him. "And it was the third hour, and they crucified him"
(Mark 15:25). The Roman empire used a brutal and cruel form of execution
called crucifixion. Unlike lethal injection or even the electric chair
which were designed to be relatively quick and painless, the cross was
designed to be long and torturous. Apparently, the Romans felt that a
grueling public display would deter others from doing whatever caused the
condemned to die like that. His Cross What is crucifixion? A prisoner is
nailed arms outstretched to a timber, probably with ropes tied around the
arm so they cannot rip themselves free from the cross. That timber is
nailed as a cross-beam to a post that holds the prisoner in the air. The
prisoners legs are nailed to this post. This cross holds the prisoner up
for all to see. While hanging there, wounded and bleeding, the prisoner
cannot breath unless they push against their nailed feet to lift their
ribcage. As the prisoner's strength fails, the prisoner slowly suffocates.
This process could take several days. All the while, everyone who passes
by sees a graphic illustration of what it means to be condemned by the
Roman empire. They gambled for His clothing as He hung dying. "And when
they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them,
what every man should take" (Mark 15:24). This directly fulfilled the
prophecy in Psalm 22:18, "They part my garments among them, and cast lots
upon my vesture." As He hung there, two other prisoners were dying nearby,
fulfilling prophecy in Isaiah 53:12. People mocked and insulted Him. "And
with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the
other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he
was numbered with the transgressors. And they that passed by railed on
him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple,
and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the
scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of
Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they
that were crucified with him reviled him" (Mark 15:27-32). But, He did not
come to save Himself. He came to die to pay for sin. Just like the
Passover lamb, Jesus is the Lamb of God. His Death For six hours, He hung.
Roughly from 9am to 3pm. At about noon, the sky was unnaturally darkened.
God thus signaled that Jesus now bore our sins. God could no longer look
on His Son. "And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the
whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a
loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being
interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them
that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one
ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave
him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to
take him down" (Mark 15:33-36). At the moment of Christ's death, God the
Father could no longer look at His Son because Jesus bore our sins. "For
he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made
the righteousness of God in him" (II Corinthians 5:21). "My God, my God,
why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from
the words of my roaring?" (Psalm 22:1). "They gave me also gall for my
meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink" (Psalm 69:21). And
then, knowing that all Scripture was fulfilled and the mission was
accomplished. He surrendered His life. "After this, Jesus knowing that all
things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled,
saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they
filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his
mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is
finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost" (John 15:28-30).
The mission was accomplished! The payment for sin was made! Oh, what
horrible suffering our Saviour endured for us. But what a glorious
result-the perfect sacrifice was now offered! His Burial Immediately a
spiritual change was made. The veil, which kept the holiest area of the
temple separate, was torn by God from its top to the bottom. This
indicated that we no longer access God through priests and rituals, but by
faith in Jesus Christ. "And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from
the top to the bottom" (Mark 15:37). The centurion who had supervised and
assisted the crucifixion of Jesus stopped and said: "And when the
centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and
gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God" (Mark
15:39). It must have been a terrifying and awe-inspiring sight to see the
Saviour of humanity die for our sins. The next day was a Jewish holy day.
It was a Jewish tradition to bury the dead before a holy day, and they did
not want bodies hanging on crosses to sour the mood. So, to speed the
death of those still suffering, they petitioned the Romans to break the
prisoners' legs. Again, they unwittingly fulfilled prophecy, this time
from Psalm 34:20 and Zechariah 12:10. "The Jews therefore, because it was
the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the
sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that
their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came
the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was
crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead
already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear
pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he
that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he
saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the
scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And
again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced"
(John 19:31-37). Because He was dead. Pilate allowed His disciples to take
Him down and bury Him. "And now when the even was come, because it was the
preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an
honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and
went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate
marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he
asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the
centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took
him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which
was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre"
(Mark 19:42-46). This too was a fulfillment of prophecy. It appears that
Joseph of Arimathaea was a wealthy man, and Isaiah foretold that Messiah
would be buried with the rich. "And he made his grave with the wicked, and
with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was
any deceit in his mouth" (Isaiah 53:9). The grave was in a vault, a cave
in the hillside, in a garden not far from the crucifixion. But, His
enemies would not be satisfied that He was dead. They also wanted to be
sure no one could tamper with His body. The next morning, they asked
Pilate for soldiers to stand guard and make sure no one bothered the
grave. "Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the
chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we
remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days
I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until
the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and
say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be
worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way,
make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure,
sealing the stone, and setting a watch" (Matthew 27:62-66). And so they
remind us, that He had promised to rise again. "Jesus answered and said
unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up"
(John 2:19). The first day, His crucifixion, had passed. The second day,
the watch was set. One more day and night. What do you suppose happened?
Lesson #13 Review
1. How was His scourging a fulfillment of prophecy?
2.How was the rest of His beating a fulfillment of prophecy?
3.Why do you suppose Jesus refused the mind-numbing mixture offered to
4.How does Psalm 22:16 foretell Jesusí suffering on the cross?
5.Why was the sky darkened while Jesus hung on the cross?
6.Why didnít Jesus come down from the cross (Matt. 26:53-54)?
7.Why did the Jews want soldiers to guard Jesusí tomb?