Summary: A sermon examining the events leading to and at Calvary.
THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE CROSS
Imagine the scene, the Sinless Son of God hangs on an old wooden cross, rusty spikes have been driven through His hands and feet. Blood pours from His precious brow where a cruel crown of thorns has been placed, the flesh on His back hangs like ribbons from the awful scourging He has endured. For hours He hangs there in indescribable agony, suffering for the sins of the world.
At high noon the earth becomes as dark as midnight, the separation that Jesus experiences at this point is far more excruciating than the physical pain He has faced thus far. In great anguish He cries "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?" His suffering continues for a while longer and when all things are accomplished He says "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.'
His work on earth is complete, He declares "It is finished". The precious Lamb of God breaths His last breath. Jesus dies... Then, an earthquake rumbles across the earth. From top to bottom the Veil of the Temple rips into. The enemies of Christ rejoice, Satan is filled with delight, and a few faithful followers weep and mourn.
I'm glad to tell you that this was not the end! Three days later, Jesus would rise from the grave. Though we rejoice in the hope that the Resurrection brings, we must never forget the agony of the Cross. I want us to take some time and examine what Jesus did at Calvary. As we do so, may we be reminded that all that He did, He did for us!
It is amazing how quickly things changed during the week of our Lord's Passion. On Sunday Jesus made His Triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. Large crowds gathered around Him and spread their clothes in the way before Him. Many people worshipped Him and some waved palm branches and cried "Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord"
On Monday, Jesus stood beholding Jerusalem and He wept for the people. Later He entered the Temple and turned over tables and cast out the moneychangers. That evening He left the city and spent the night in the town of Bethany.
When Tuesday arrived our Lord delivered the Olivet Discourse. He spoke to His Disciples about the coming persecution, Tribulation and other subjects concerning the end times. It was on this day that Judas Iscariot began to conspire with Sanhedrin to plan his evil betrayal.
The Gospels are silent concerning the Wednesday of Passion Week, but it is safe to assume that Satan was working overtime behind the scenes.
On Thursday, Jesus and the Disciples observed the Passover meal. After this meal, our Lord took on the form of a slave and girded Himself with a towel and washed the feet of His Disciples. Later they began their journey to the Garden of Gethsemane. Once there Jesus "became very heavy" and began to pray in great agony. After this time of prayer, Judas arrived with a band of soldiers and betrays Jesus with a kiss. Following this Jesus was arrested and taken to be questioned by Annas and then He was sent to the palace of the High Priest, Caiaphas.
Early on Friday Jesus was falsely tried by the members of the Sanhedrin. After appearing before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin Jesus was sent to the Roman Governor, Pontus Pilate. Now we arrive at the heart of today's message. It is Friday of Passion Week, a day we often refer to as "Good Friday". This is the day that the prophets had spoken of. This is the day that Jesus had taught about. This is the day that God had planned before the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8 describes Jesus as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.")
This is the day that the Lamb would be slain. This is the day that His blood would be shed. This is the day that the price of our redemption would be paid. This is the day that our salvation would be secured.
Today, I want us to take a trip to Calvary. I want to look at all four Gospel accounts of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and for us to be reminded of the great price that He paid so that we could be forgiven of our sins. To the best of my ability I hope to cover the events of that day in order and in doing so we will consider "The Chronology Of The Cross".
- Let's begin by examining what took place at approximately:
6 O'CLOCK A.M ON GOOD FRIDAY
Somewhere around 6:00 Jesus appeared before Pontus Pilate. Pilate asked Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" Jesus 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. (Mark 15:2-5)