Jesus on the cross timeline
Christ spent the entire previous night being tortured and mocked. His body was in such bad condition that he could no longer carry the cross all the way up the hill to Calvary. The soldiers conscripted a man standing in the crowd who was from out of town. According to Matthew 26 and 27, he has been called Simon of Cyrene. He carried the cross the rest of the way for Jesus just like we are today with the responsibility of representing Christ. The hours passed as Jesus hung on the cross.
From 9 o’clock to noon many things happened while Jesus was on the cross. He was nailed to the cross which was the most humiliating and disgraceful and cruelest means of death ever invented. Pilate ordered a sign to be placed on the cross that said, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Later the Jews came to Pilate asking him to change his sign to say that he declared himself the King of the Jews, but Pilate would not change it.
The first words from Jesus as he was attached to the cross was, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” At no time did Jesus strike out in vengeance against his accusers or the soldiers. Then they gambled over his clothes. Of particular interest to them was his tunic that was seamless. This was another fulfillment of prophecy. The religious leaders who were enemies of Christ mocked him. The easily influenced crowd mocked him after the example of the hypocritical leaders. The two thieves joined the others mocking him, but later one thief asked for repentance and what promised to be with Jesus in Paradise. While he suffered intensely, Jesus asked John to care for his mother as if she were his own mother.
Noon to 3 o’clock darkness fell on the day that was supposed to be brightest of all from the sun. Silence also fell on the crowd in horror. The intensity of Christ’s suffering increased as he approached death. During that darkness Jesus cried out in Aramaic asking why God had forsaken him. Jesus refused the vinegar drink that was offered to him. Then he cried out, “It is finished!” The veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom indicating that each individual’s way into the most holy place of God’s throne was then open to all. During the earthquake that occurred a soldier concluded that surely Jesus was the son of God. The cross became a decisive victory of Christ over Satan, and sin.
In 1986, The American Medical Association published an article titled “The Physical Death of Jesus Christ”. It details the entire process of Jesus’ trial to His death on the cross. In Luke 22, before Jesus is arrested, it is written that He was in great distress & sweating blood. Although rare, it is recognized as Hematidrosis, caused by high amounts of stress. At the time, the crucifixion was considered the worst death for the worst of criminals. But this is not all Jesus faced. He endured whipping so severe that it tore the flesh from His body. He was beaten so horrific that His face was torn & His beard ripped. A crown of thorns, 2-3 inches long cut deeply into His scalp. The leather whip used to flog Him had tiny iron balls & sharp bones. The balls caused internal injuries while the sharp bones ripped open His flesh. His skeletal muscles, veins, & bowels we’re exposed, causing major blood loss. Most men do not survive this kind of torture. After Jesus was severely flogged, He was forced to carry His own cross while people mocked & spat on Him. Crucifixion was a process meant to instill excruciating pain, creating a slow & agonizing death. Nails as long as 8 inches were driven into Jesus’ wrists & feet. The Roman soldiers knew the tendon in the wrists would tear & break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support Himself to breathe. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the courage. Jesus endured this reality for 3 hours! The Gospel of John writes that after Jesus’ death, a Roman soldier pierced His side with a spear & blood & water came out. Scientists explain that from hypovolemic shock, the rapid heartrate causes fluid to gather in the sack around the lungs & heart. The gathering of fluid in the membrane around the heart is called Pericardial effusion & the lungs, Pleural effusion. To the world, Christianity is as foolish as it can get. They believe it’s for the weak. But when you are confronted by the reality of the cross, it’s clearly not a pretty sight. It is brutal & horrific. This is the weight Jesus carried. The weight of the sins of the world, all so that we can live. God’s wrath is fully satisfied in Jesus. This is what it took. Repent & believe! Jesus is “God among us” in the flesh. Jesus is our Savior. Jesus loves you so much, He went through this spiritual and physical punishment for your sins and mine. Jesus is Lord, Almighty God, Everlasting Father.”