Verses to read:
Luke 22, Luke 23
John 18, John 19
Early on Friday morning, Jesus was questioned again and affirmed that he was the Son of God (Luke 22:66-71).
Roman Governor’s Palace
Jesus was taken from Caiaphas’ house to the palace of Pilate, the Roman governor (John 18:28). Finding no cause to charge Jesus with a crime, Pilate tried to release him (Luke 23:4) but the Jewish people demanded that Jesus be crucified. Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, who ridiculed and mocked Jesus before sending him back to Pilate (Luke 23:11). Pilate brought Jesus out of the palace before the crowd of people.
Beaten, wearing a crown of thorns and a purple robe, Jesus was sentenced to be crucified (John 18:14-16).
Carrying the beam of his own cross until Simon of Cyrene was enlisted to help, Jesus was led through the streets of Jerusalem as people jeered and shouted at him. Reaching Golgotha (meaning “the place of the skull” in Aramaic), Jesus was nailed to a wooden cross (Mark 15:21-24).
The soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ clothing (Matthew 27:35) and a sign reading “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (John 19:19) was placed above him.
Jesus spoke to the thieves who were crucified on either side of him, promising to the one who expressed faith, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:40-43).
Several women stood near the cross. Jesus asked his disciple John to take his mother Mary into his home and care for her (John 19:25-27).
Darkness covered Jerusalem from noon until 3pm (Mark 15:33). Around 3pm, Jesus said that he was thirsty and was given wine vinegar (John 19:28-29) before crying out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).
Knowing Scripture had been fulfilled, Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:28-30). He bowed his head and gave up his spirit. At that moment, the earth quaked and the curtain of the temple was split in two (Matthew 27:51).
Because Sabbath (sunset on Friday evening) was quickly approaching, Pilate ordered Jesus’ legs to be broken because the Jewish leaders did not want Jesus left on the cross. The soldiers found that Jesus was already dead so they did not break his legs. Instead, they pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, which brought a flow of blood and water (John 19:31-37).
A wealthy man named Joseph boldly went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Granted permission, Joseph and Nicodemus took the body, prepared it for burial and placed Jesus into an unused tomb carved out of stone and rolled a large rock in front of the entrance (John 19:38-42).
Reflection: On Good Friday, we remember the sacrifice of Jesus to endure torture and death on a cross. How might we express gratitude to Jesus?
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