Jesus Death on the Cross

  Jesus Death on the Cross

What was the timeline of Jesus' death on the cross?

The timeline of Jesus’ death on the cross can be broken into 3 categories – words, events, and statements:

Words:
  • "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." Jesus prays for the executioners who do not understand or believe that Jesus is God.

  • "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus (quoting a line from the Jewish scriptures) cries out at a moment in time when He is not just physically punished, but spiritually separated from God, His Father. God separates Himself from Jesus because all of the evils of mankind are placed on Jesus. This spiritual separation is the heaviest sacrifice which Jesus pays of behalf of mankind, so that mankind does not need to suffer spiritual separation from God.

  • "It is finished." Once Jesus felt He had borne the penalty for the evils of mankind, He declared his mission as accomplished. This relates to Jesus' earlier mission statement to sacrifice Himself for others: "The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Jesus quoted by Matthew 20:28).

  • "Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise." These words, spoken to a thief also being executed with Jesus, indicates Jesus' belief that Jesus would continue to live in paradise (heaven) and that Jesus can choose who will be there with Him.

  • "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." Jesus believes His spirit, not body, now goes to heaven with God.
Events:
Earthquake (recorded in Matthew 27:52).

Skies Darken (recorded in Matthew 27:45 and Luke 23:44).

Temple veil splits in half (recorded in Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:44). This event signified that there is no more division between man and God. In the Jewish temple, a veil blocked the area known as the "holy of holies." It was recognized as a place where God might be present. Only once a year was the chief priest able to enter the area to offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people. The symbolism of the veil being torn in two is that with Jesus paying the penalty for mankind's sins, sacrifices were no longer necessary, and everyone can enter the presence of God.

Spear thrust into Jesus' side (recorded in John 19:34). Roman soldier confirms Jesus is dead.

Statements by witnessing Roman soldier:
“Certainly this was a righteous man!" (recorded in Luke 23:47). Jesus' innocence is recognized.

"Truly this was the Son of God." (recorded in Matthew 27:54 and Mark 15:38). Jesus' prominence is recognized.

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