Passion Week of Jesus Christ

The crucifixion of Jesus is accepted by many scholars as a true historical event. It is recorded in the writings of Paul and the Gospels. The Jewish priest and historian and the Roman senator and historian Tacitus also has recorded the incident.

This study is an attempt to arrange the incidents of the Passion Week chronologically.
The challenge for an accurate chronology is that no single gospel gives a complete account of the Passion Week.
The events during the week are selected and narrated by the gospel writers according to their perspective and purpose.
So, in order to get chorological timeline, one must take pieces from all four gospels.
The story of the Passion Week is about injustice, doubt, fear, pain and, ultimately the degrading death of Jesus on the cross. It is a description of God experiencing human sufferings in the same way as ordinary human beings.

Spiritually, the Passion is the perfect example of suffering, which is one of the pervasive themes of the Christian religion.
The sufferings and death of Jesus also speaks about the incarnation of God as human, obedience to God’s will, redemption of humanity from sin and finally the victory of Christ over death by resurrection.

The Passion story is told in the 4 Gospels of the New Testament of the Bible. We read it in Matthew chapter 26 and 27, Mark chapter 14 and 15, Luke chapter 22 and 23, and John chapter 18 and 19.
But we should remember that the Gospels are not primarily a historical record of what happened.
They were written between 40 and 70 years after the death of Jesus. All those who wrote them were not present at all the events they described.
Oral tradition was very strong in those days, as strong as eyewitness and history books. So stories were passed accurately from actual eyewitnesses. At the same time, it was possible that the narratives are reshaped as it was passed on, in order to suit the purposes of the person telling the story.
That is why the Gospels differ on describing some events.
But the ultimate purpose of the Gospels is not to provide historical record of events but to convey the spiritual truth of Jesus Christ.
The authors were not interested in synchronizing the events in the life of Jesus with the secular history of the age.

So Gospels are a combination of historical facts and theological reflection on the meaning and purpose of Christ's life and death.
The gospel writers also had the aim to prove that the Old Testament prophecies about the long expected Jewish Messiah are fulfilled in the life and death of Jesus Christ.
But the narrations of the Passion Week are simple without embellishing the story with additional details. This shows the influence and control of the Holy Spirit over the gospel writers.

When was Jesus crucified?

Let us start our study with the question, when was Jesus crucified?
Historians and Bible scholars profess different opinion about the year, the month, the day of the month of Nisan and the day of the week.
Since we have no intention here to resolve it, let us take a probable day and date.
Fortunately, the exact day or date of the crucifixion is not an article of faith and do not affect our redemption.

Day of the Week

Several times the Gospels mention that Jesus was crucified on the day before the Sabbath, the Jewish Day of Preparation that is on Friday. (Matthew 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14, 31, 42).
The death of Jesus happened on Friday, He was in the tomb on Saturday, and He rose from the grave on Sunday.
The Jews reckoned a part of day as a whole day and hence Jesus was resurrected on the third day.


Day of the Month of Nisan

The next question is: Did Jesus die on the Day of Passover, Nisan 14 or the day after Passover, Nisan 15.
It's pretty clear from the Synoptic Gospels that Jesus ate the actual Passover meal with his disciples on Thursday night .(Matthew 26:2, 17-19; Mark 14:1, 12, 14, 16; Luke 22:1, 7-8, 13, 15).
But John's Gospel in 19:14 seems to say that, Jesus was crucified on “the Preparation Day of the Passover”.

More than one explanation is given for this seeming dissimilarity. Let me tell you one of them.
Two calendars were being used at the same time during the period.
One was the Galilean calendar which reckoned a day from sunrise to sunrise. The Pharisees followed this calendar.
The other, Judean calendar reckoned a day from sunset to unset.
The Synoptic Gospels followed the Galilean calendar, while John's gospels used the Judean calendar.
However, for the purpose of this study we are following the Galilean calendar.
So we take that Jesus was crucified on the Day of Passover, Nisan 14

Year of Jesus' Crucifixion

Now to the year of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Three officials were involved in Jesus' trial: Caiaphas, the High Priest (AD 18 to 37), Pilate, Prefect of Judea (AD 26 to 36), and Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Perea (4 BC to AD 39).
Considering their period of reign, we may assume that Jesus trial must have occurred between AD 26 and AD 36.
So the most likely dates are: Friday, Nisan 14 or April 3 of AD 33 or Friday, Nisan 14 or April 7 of AD 30.
Luke 3: 1 says that John the Baptist started his ministry in the fifteenth year of the Roman Empire, Tiberius.
Emperor Augustus died on 19 August 14 AD and Tiberius succeeded him. That means, John the Baptist started his ministry in AD 29.
According to this evidence, AD 33 is the year of Christ’s crucifixion, after a public ministry of three and half years.

The Christian gospels do not contain an exhaustive list of the events in the life of Jesus. 
As I said before, gospels are not historical documents. They have a context and audience in the first century. They were written as theological documents.
So they devoted about one-third of the gospels to seven days, namely the last week of the life of Jesus in Jerusalem, also known as the Passion Week.
This is a clear indication that the authors were not interested in synchronizing the events in the life of Jesus with the secular history of the age.

Still, the gospels provide some details regarding events which can be clearly dated.
Using a number of historical non-Christian documents, all modern historians agree that Jesus existed. They agree that his baptism and his crucifixion as historical events.
Thus the scholars assume that Jesus was born between 6 and 4 BC and that Jesus' preaching began around AD 27–29.
They calculate the death of Jesus as having taken place between AD 30 and 36.

Anyway, as I said before, the date of Christ’s crucifixion does not affect our redemption. Hence the above note is only for the purpose of information.

The Holy week

For Jews a week starts with Saturday. So the Passion Week should start on that day.
According to John 12:1, Jesus came to Bethany on the previous Saturday crucifixion. Bethany was about 2.4 km to the east of Jerusalem on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olive.
He might have stayed in in the house of Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.
There Mary, Lazarus’ sister, “took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair.” (John 12:3)
Judas Iscariot did not like this, but Jesus defended the woman saying that she did it for his burial.
Jesus might have continued to stay there on the next day that is Sunday. On that day a crowd came to see Jesus (John 12:9-11)

Monday is the day of the triumphal entry of Jesus, riding on a young donkey, as the King into Jerusalem and the Temple. (Matthew 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-44)
In Matthew 21:2, Jesus instructs His disciples to go into a nearby village, and there they would “find a donkey tied, and a colt with her.”
Mark and Luke both indicate that Christ rode the colt, adding that the colt had never before been ridden.
John, on the other hand, just says Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it and then quotes Zechariah 9:9.
To them, this was yet another fulfillment of an Old Testament sign that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.

But Jesus riding on a young donkey has a symbolical and mystical meaning.
In Oriental countries in Bible times, kings and rulers, at certain occasions, rode on the donkey. It was an accepted bearer of royalty.
1 Kings 1:33 mentions Solomon riding a donkey on the day he was recognized as the new king of Israel.
We read, King David Calls Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.
Then he orders that Solomon, his son should ride on David’s own mule to Gihon.
And there Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet would anoint him king over Israel. After that they would blew that horn and shout 'Long live King Solomon!'
Thus King Solomon would be anointed as the next king of Judea.

Jesus rode a donkey for two reasons.
The first one is a fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9.

Zechariah 9:9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.  (NKJV)

This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 21:1-11 when Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem.
This triumphal entry was done without any bloodshed on the side of the people.

Second, in the ancient Biblical world, a leader rode on a horse if he was coming in war and a donkey to signify peace.
Jesus was making his triumphant entry riding a lowly animal as a symbol of peace.
According to the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, the riding of a donkey was a sign of royalty. From the archives dug up in the Babylonian city of Mari, it was learned that the riding of a donkey for entry into a city was an act of kingship.

Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem while riding on a donkey was not just using a beast that was available. This was a well-considered part of God’s plan for a specific purpose. Although the use of the donkey was widespread in those times, Jesus’ riding on the donkey did not show Him to be a poor or common man.
He was a king entering into Jerusalem in proclaiming peace. 

Mark 11:11 says that, the triumphal procession entered the city, Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple.
Then He looked around at all things, but since “the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.”

On the next day, that is Tuesday, Jesus and His disciples journeyed from Bethany to Jerusalem.
On the way Jesus goes to a fig tree expecting some fruits in it. But He found none and He cursed it. (Matthew 21:18-19; Mark 11:12-14)
When He came to Jerusalem, He “went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.”  (Mark 11:15 ; Matthew 21:12-13; Luke 19:45-46)
And the scribes and chief priests understood that “all the people were astonished at His teaching.”
So they started the final plotting to kill Jesus. (Mark 11:18 - NKJV)
At evening Jesus went out of the city to Bethany again.

On Wednesday, Jesus and disciples went again to Jerusalem Temple.
On the way they saw the fig tree Jesus cursed on the other day. The tree was “dried up from the roots”. (Matthew 21:20-22; Mark 11:20-26)
In Matthew 21:23 we read that they reached the Temple. And there “the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him (Jesus)”. They asked Him, "By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?"
Usually, a rabbi must be disciple of another rabbi of the same rank. One should learn from a rabbi by living with him for at least three years. This is the same method Jesus also was following in discipleship. Jesus’ disciples also lived and travelled with Him for the last three years. By the end of this teaching and training session, the rabbi would ordain his disciples to live, teach and work as a rabbi.
The rabbi with an authority was a special group. This special authority was called Smicha in Hebrew meaning ordination. Only those who have received Smicha can give new interpretation to Moses’s Law and oral traditions.
But there is no evidence that Jesus was a disciple of any rabbi and He received Smicha. Still Jesus interpreted Laws.
Now the Jewish leaders are asking about the Smicha He has received.
But Jesus did not answer them properly. Instead He brought in John the Baptist to the scene. John also was not a disciple of any rabbi.
This controversy is followed by some parables.

The Jewish leaders had started to plot against Jesus. So they wanted to catch him in words.
Mark 12:13-17 say that some of the Pharisees and the Herodians came to Him to catch Him in His words.
They asked Him, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
But Jesus answered very cleverly that they should "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
Some more discussions were held with the religious leaders of the time.

Mark 13:1 says that they ss they went out of the Temple Jesus prophesied that, “Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
The event in the Temple is followed by His sermon on theM Olive. (Matthew 24:1-25:46; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-36)
And verse 3 says that Jesus, “sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple”. There the disciples asked Him three questions, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"
The first question was, when the city and Temple will be destroyed? And the second question was about the signs of His coming to execute these judgments upon the Jews and establish His own Kingdom. The third question was, when shall this world end? 
But Jesus is not answering these questions separately. He intermingles the answers about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and the end of the world. This method of combined description of two events was used by Jesus because they could be described in the same words.
This same method was used by Isaiah to speak about the return from the Babylonian captivity and the deliverance by the Messiah.

On this same day, Judas promised the Roman soldiers that he would betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

The last anointing of Jesus
Here I would like to mention another important incident during the Passion Week.
Both the Matthew 26:6–13 and Mark 14:3–9 records the last anointing on Jesus. It happened after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem and two days before the Passover, just before the crucifixion.
In the gospels it is recorded chronologically that Jesus was anointed with oil three times.
The first anointing of Jesus is recorded in Luke 7:36–50.
This event occurred in the house of Simon the Pharisee who lived somewhere in Galilee, probably Capernaum, Nain, or Cana. From the context, Capernaum appears most likely as Jesus had just healed the widow’s son in Nain. John the Baptist was still alive, so this event occurred at least two years before the Crucifixion.
The woman is noted as a sinner, possibly a euphemism for a prostitute, and is also unnamed.
The second account is in John 12:1–8. This event apparently occurred in the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha in Bethany.
It happened six days before the Passover, and a few days before the Triumphal Entry.
The woman who anointed Jesus’ feet was Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha.
The third anointing occurred in the house of Simon the Leper in Bethany. This is the only account where Jesus’ head (and not his feet) was anointed. An unnamed woman broke an alabaster box of fragrant oil and poured it on Jesus’ head and did not use her hair to do so.

Jesus and disciples had the Last Supper on Thursday. (Matthew 26:20-30; Mark 14:17-26; Luke 22:14-30)
In Matthew 26:17, the disciples went to Jesus asking, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?"
And Jesus answered them to go to a certain man in the city and tell him, “I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples."
Passover feast was celebrated every year by the Jews, and Jesus as a Rabbi with 12 disciples with Him must have celebrated the Jewish Passover feast, at least twice before the Last Supper.
Jesus and His disciples were celebrating the last authorized Passover on this earth.

The Last Supper was a covenant meal that sealed the New Testament covenant.
Usually according to the custom, the covenant meal was shared after killing an animal. The meat served in the meal is the cooked flesh of the animal that is killed.
But here Jesus and disciples had the covenant meal before the lamb was slain. That means the customs of a blood covenant was observed in the New Testament, but the traditional order was not always kept.
The Last Supper looked back to the Passover meal that Israelites had before they left Egypt (Exodus 12). It looks forward to the Wedding feast of the Lamb described in the book of Revelation (Revelation 19:7).
Jesus as the higher authority, proclaimed a new covenant of grace, repentance and faith. Jesus declared the Kingdom of God. Jesus declared publicly in the synagogue that the Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah is fulfilled in Him. His disciples and many believed in Him and said Amen to the declaration of the Kingdom. Thus the kingdom came within them. (Luke 17:21). The king gave His disciples the authority, "to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19 - NKJV)
But since it is a blood covenant, the lamb must be killed and the participants should eat from the flesh of the killed animal.
The sequence of the events is not kept in the New Testament, but the tradition of a covenant is kept.

So Jesus had the Last Supper with His disciples.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body. Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.” (Matthew 26:26, 27)
That is, the bread was a symbol of the flesh of the killed animal and the wine was the blood of the animal.
Jesus continued to say that, the wine they drank was His blood of the new covenant.
They had the covenant meal before the animal is really killed.

Before they had the last Passover meal, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. (John 13:4).
John is the only gospel writer to record this incident.
The roads in Israel at the time were filthy and dusty. The foot of a long traveler would be covered with mud and dust. So before entering a house or before a communal meal, their feet were washed by a servant in the house.
Here it seems that none washed the feet of Jesus and His disciples.
So Jesus ventured to wash the feet of His disciples.
According to custom of the time, Jesus was doing the work of the lowliest of servants. The disciples must have been stunned at this act of humility. Here the master is washing the feet of the disciples.

During the Last Supper Jesus spoke about the betrayal and the betrayer.
John 13:21 tells us that Jesus came to that supper already deeply troubled in his spirit because he knew Judas would soon betray him. 
During the supper, Jesus clearly identifies Judas as the betrayer.
Matthew 26: 25 says, “Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Rabbi, is it I?" He said to him, "You have said it."
John 13: 26, 27 says that Jesus dipped the bread in wine and gave it to Judas Iscariot. And after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. This was a public sign that Judas would betray the master. But the disciples could not understand it properly.

After the Last Supper they sung a Halel hymn and went to mount olive. Halel hymns were the “Passover Psalms” which are Psalms 113 to 118. These six Psalms were always sung at every paschal solemnity. They sung these songs on account of the five great benefits referred to in it. Usually Psalms 113-114 were sung during the meal and Psalms 115-118 were sung at the close of the meal.

After the halel hymn, they went to Mount Olive. This was Jesus’ third visit to the place during the Passion Week. They went to the Garden of Gethsemane located on the western slope of the Mount of Olives.  
There Jesus prayed in agony contemplating the sufferings waiting for Him.
Jesus prayed three times in the Garden of Gethsemane while His disciples fell asleep. He woke them up each time because they were supposed to keep watch.

In Luke 22: 44 we read, “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
This was written by the physician Luke, a well-educated man and a careful observer by profession. Luke is also the only gospel writer to mention this physiological phenomena. This speaks of the intense spiritual agony Jesus was suffering.

In medical science this physiological condition is called, hematohidrosis. The bleeding usually stops on its own, and it's not serious, although it can make you dehydrated.
This happens because tiny blood vessels in the skin break open. The blood inside them may get squeezed out through sweat glands, or there might be unusual little pockets within the structure of your skin. These could collect the blood and let it leak into follicles (where the hair grows) or on to the skin's surface.
Sometimes it seems to be caused by extreme distress or fear, such as facing death, torture, or severe ongoing abuse.

So Jesus was overcame by the horror of what He was to experience in the crucifixion the following day.
His sweat was “like drops of blood” (Luke 22:44). And God sent an angel from heaven to strengthen Him (Luke 22:43).

After Jesus prayed, Judas Iscariot arrived with a multitude of soldiers and servants from High Priests, Pharisees, scribes and elders to arrest Jesus.
Judas identified Jesus by the prearranged signal of a kiss. Trying to protect Jesus, Peter drew a sword and attacked a man named Malchus, the servant of the High Priest, cutting off his ear.
Jesus rebuked Peter and healed the man’s ear, displaying the miraculous power of God (Luke 22:51). Nevertheless, the mob arrested Jesus and took Him to face trial, while the disciples scattered in fear for their lives.

Let us wait here a minute to think why Judas had to identify Jesus with a kiss?
Jesus ministered as a Jewish rabbi while He was on the earth. His disciples have been with Him for the last three years, long enough to complete their training as the disciples of the rabbi. That means, they can be ordained as successive rabbis.
It was the practice of the Jewish discipleship that they should become like the master in everything. The disciples are chosen from different families, from different employment and different mindset. They should become one with the rabbi during the training period.
The disciples change themselves to think, talk and behave like the master. They eat and drink what and how the master does. They dress like the master and look in everything like the master.
They become one with the master.
It was difficult to distinguish the master from the disciples.
So Judas had to identify Jesus with a sign. He chose to betray his master with a kiss.

In the same night, Jesus was tried by Annas and Caiaphas. (Matthew 26:57-75; Mark 14:53-72; Luke 22:54-65: John 18:13-27)
John 18:12-14, say that, Jesus was first taken to Annas. Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas and the former high priest. Caiaphas was the high priest at that time. He ruled longer than any high priest in New Testament times. 
Caiaphas was seeking Annas' approval to try and convict Jesus.

Jesus was tried at Caiaphas’s house, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. (Matthew 26: 57; Luke 22:54)
They composed the Sanhedrin. Sanhedrin was a Jewish council with supreme authority in civil and ecclesiastical affairs. They could try a convict and sentence with death, but they could not execute death punishment without the consent of the Roman authorities.
The Sanhedrin assembled in the night might have been an informal council, with available members. The formal Sanhedrin was assembled at Friday morning.

Before the Sanhedrin Jesus declares that He is the Son of God. He quotes from Daniel 7:13 and identifies himself with the Son of Man “coming on the clouds of heaven.” Jesus is claiming that He is the Messiah, the Christ.
This was blasphemy for them and they sentenced Him, "He is deserving of death." (Matthew 26: 66)
And some of them spat on Him, blindfolded Him, and struck Him with the palms of their hands.

Now, Peter was watching all these from the courtyard of the building. There he denied there times, to be a disciple or to have any connection with Jesus. And suddenly the rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered His master and he repented and wept.

Please note that the time mentioned here after is our time.

On Friday morning, Jesus was brought before the formal council of the Sanhedrin for the final trial and sentence. (Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66)
Peter's last denial might have happened not far from three o'clock, or near the break of day.
As soon as it was light, the Sanhedrin assembled.
And it says that the sun rose in Judea, during that season of the year, around five o'clock in the morning.

After accusing Jesus of blasphemy and sentencing him for death, the Sanhedrin sent Him to Pontius Pilate at Praetorium, for the execution of the punishment. The time may be around 6 AM.

Here Matthew digress to tell us what happened to Iscariot Judas, the betrayer of Jesus. Only Matthew records the tragic end of his life. We read it in Matthew 27: 3-10
When Judas saw Jesus arrested, bound, tried, and condemned, he felt remorseful. He might have expected Jesus to save himself. So he went to the chief priests and elders and gave back thirty pieces of silver, declaring that "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." Then he departed the temple and killed himself by hanging.

 During the first trial by Pilate, he asked Jesus an important question.

Matthew 27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" So Jesus said to him, "It is as you say." (NKJV)
(Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3; John 18:33).

Jesus’s answer “You say rightly that I am a king” is the last declaration by Him about His kingship. (John 18:37).
Still Pilate declared that, "I find no fault in Him at all.” (John 18:38)

Luke records and incident that interrupted that the trial of Jesus by Pilate. This episode is described only in the Gospel of Luke 23:7–15.
When the religious leaders and the crowd heard Pilate declaring Jesus innocent, they accused Him with more crimes. Very purposefully they said, "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place." (Luke 23:5)
When Pilate understood that Jesus is from Galilee, he decided to shift the responsibility to the governor of Galilee, Herod Antipas.
Herod was in Jerusalem at that time.
Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, was born before 20 BC. Antipas was dismissed and exiled to Gaul in the summer of AD 39 following a lengthy conspiracy involving Caligula and Agrippa I, the grandson of his father. This episode indicates that Jesus' death took place before AD 39.

During the trial by Herod Antipas, Jesus refused to answer any questions.
So by 7 AM, Herod returns Jesus to Pilate without fining a fault with Him.
It was a custom of the Roman government to release a prisoner free on a religious holiday.
So Pilate offered to release Jesus. But the crowd demanded to release Barabbas.

Mark 15:7 says that Barabbas and some others were in prison for a certain rebellion in the city. Barabbas might have killed a Roman soldier during the rebellion.
The rebellion might have taken place in Judea that is under the governance of Pilate. It might have been a rebellion against the Roman rule in the area.
Probably, it was a rebellion by the Jewish group, Zealots.
Zealots were religious fanatics who relied on weapons and violent rebellion to chase away the Roman Empire from Galilee, Judea and the whole Jewish area. Their ultimate aim was to establish the Kingdom of God according the Davidic covenant.
Jesus also spoke about the Kingdom of God, but His kingdom was not of this world and His method was not violent rebellion.

According to the early biblical scholars, the full name of Barabbas might have been Jesus Barabbas. Jesus was a common first name during the time.
So, the crowd was presented with a choice between two persons with the same name.
And the accused crime against both, Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Barabbas was the same, traitor against the Roman Empire.
The priests and the crowd demanded the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus.

Here John records another incident in John 19: 1- 12, that happened before the final verdict.
Pilate ordered to torment Jesus. Pilate is not convinced that Jesus is guilty of a capital crime and so he wanted to flog Him and release Him.
The Roman soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. They mocked Him saying "Hail, King of the Jews!" and struck Him with their hands.
After that Pilate brought out Jesus wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe and said to the crowd: "I find no fault in Him."
Pilate was trying to release Him, but the Jewish crowd cried out, saying, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar."
This might have made Pilate afraid. If news spread that he protected a rebel against Caesar, he would be dismissed and even punished by the Emperor.

Luke says that Pilate repeatedly asked three times to the crowd, what he should do with Jesus. Pilate found no offence in Jesus against the Roman Empire. He wanted to release Jesus free. But he was afraid of the crowd that a rebellion may break out among them.

Pilate wanted to be free from the crime of crucifying an innocent person. So according to the custom of the time, “he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it." (Matthew 27: 24)

Although the Gospels paint Pilate as a weak man who ignores justice rather than stand against the crowd, other sources say that he was tough and authoritarian, and unlikely to have been pushed around by anyone.
History says that the decision of Pilate to crucify Jesus was a historical blunder for the Romans. Pilate was eventually ordered back to Rome and tried for the cruel way he treated the people under his government.
There is a Christian tradition that Pilate and his wife eventually converted to Christianity.

By 8 AM Pilate made his final verdict on Jesus. He ordered the crucifixion of Jesus. And the Jewish priests and the crowd took Jesus and led Him away. (Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; Luke 23:23-24; John 19:16)
Jesus, bearing His cross, was led to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, for crucifixion.
On the way the Roman soldiers found a man, Simon a Cyrenian and forced him to bear the cross after Jesus.

Cyrene was place in the northern coast of the African continent. Simon might have been a black African descent. Many Greeks and Jews also lived in that place. So there is a probability that he may be one among them also.

Luke 23:27 - 32 records one more incident that took place on the way.
A big crown including women were following Jesus to Golgotha. They were weeping loud. On the way Jesus stopped and turned to them saying: "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”
Jesus also prophesied about the coming persecution on the Jews.
“…the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!' Then they will begin 'to say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us! For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”

By 9 AM, Jesus, the crowd and the Roman soldiers reach Golgotha.
Mark 15: 25 says that it was the third hour when they crucified him. The third hour in Jewish time would have been our 9 a.m.

The crucifixion took place at a location called Calvary or Golgotha.
Jesus is stripped and nailed to the Cross. (Matthew 27:31-60; Mark 15:20-46; Luke 23:26-54; John 19:16-42)
Soldiers drove stake-like nails through Jesus' wrists and ankles, fixing him to the cross.
Two criminals are crucified alongside him.
An inscription was placed over his head that read, "The King of the Jews."
Jesus hung on the cross for approximately six hours until he took his final breath.
What happened during the 6 hours of agony is very important in gospel history.

Pilate wrote the crime of the crucified and put it on the cross. And the writing was: Jesus of Nazareth, The King of The Jews.
Jesus spoke His seven last sayings from the cross. The first three sayings were for the people. Jesus turned the attention to Himself only at the fourth statement.

According to Luke 23: 34, at this hour Jesus spoke His first saying on the cross: “Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."
Then the Roman soldiers divided the clothes of Jesus and took one part for each of them. But for the seamless tunic, they cast lots for Jesus' clothing. This fulfilled the prophesy recorded in Psalms 22: 18 “They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”

By 10 AM Jesus was insulted and mocked by the priests, scribes, elders, crowd and even by the thieves on the cross. (Matthew 27:39-40; Mark 15:31; Luke 23:36-37)
By 11 AM one of the thieves on the cross repents and proclaims his faith in the kingship of Jesus.
Luke 23: 42 says that he said "Lord, remember me when you come into Your kingdom."
Jesus answered him, “I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
Then Jesus spoke to His mother Mary and His disciple John, "Woman, behold your son!" and to His disciple John, "Behold your mother!" (John 19:26 & 27)

By sixth hour to ninth hour the whole land was covered by darkness. That means, according to our calendar, by 12 noon to 3 PM darkness came over the whole land. (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44).
By 1 PM Jesus cried out to the Father in Heaven. He said with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 - NKJV)
Then John 19:28 & 29 records Jesus saying "I thirst!".
John further says that, Jesus knew that everything was now finished and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I thirst!"

After 2 PM Jesus said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)
Then He said his last words: "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' Having said this, He breathed His last. (Luke 23: 46)
By 3 PM, Jesus died on the cross.

Events Following Jesus' Death

Jesus’ death was followed by certain notable events.
Matthew records it in chapter 27: 51 - 52
The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split. The graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
The raised saints came out of the graves after the resurrection of Jesus and they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Then the soldiers came and pierced the heart of Jesus.
By evening, a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph and Nicodemus came and removed the body of Jesus and buried Him.

On Saturday, the Sabbath day, the body was kept in the tomb.

On Sunday early morning, Jesus rose from the tomb and appeared to Mary. (Matthew 28:1-7; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-9)
Thus Jesus rose on the third day just as He said He would.

May I conclude here. Thanks for reading. May God  bless you.

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