What Do We Know about the Crucifixion of Jesus?

His accusers flogged Him and made another man carry His cross. They crucified Jesus on the cross between two thieves. What more do we know about the crucifixion of Jesus?

Dr. Sandra Hamer Smith
What Do We Know about the Crucifixion of Jesus?

We know that God sent His son Jesus to earth to provide a pathway to salvation for Gentiles. Gentiles are those who are not of Jewish background. God had already given Hebrews access because of the Abrahamic covenant. Jesus became the Lamb so that humanity would have access to God’s forgiveness. We know Jesus was convicted of blasphemy because He declared that He was the Son of God. His accusers flogged Him and made another man carry His cross. They crucified Jesus on the cross between two thieves. What more do we know about the crucifixion of Jesus?

What Is the Crucifixion of Jesus?

The crucifixion of Jesus is the slaying of the lamb for humanity. Jesus’s death made atonement with God for man. Before Christ came to earth, man-made sacrifices of calves or lambs to God for the atonement of sin. Since the fall of man, God had devised a plan for those who were not initially a part of the Abrahamic covenant to be grafted in for forgiveness of sin. This grafting is made possible because of the blood that was shed at Calvary. Jesus’ death was necessary and the only way the rest of us would not be lost.

What Happened During the Crucifixion of Jesus?

If you have read the Bible and seen the movie Passion of the Christ, you know a few things about the crucifixion. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, as was prophesied. Complete details of events leading up to the crucifixion are listed in Matthew 26 and Matthew 27Crucifixion details are also listed in Luke 23 and John 18 and John 19.

Before Pilate turned Jesus over to be crucified, the crowd mocked him. Pilate had scourged Jesus. The soldiers put a crown of thorns upon His head and a purple robe on Him hailing Him King of the Jews. Pilate said that he found no fault in Jesus. There was a custom to release a prisoner during the Passover. The crowd did not want Jesus released. They chose instead Barabbas a robber. From the Bible details, it appears that Pilate made several attempts to have his hands clean of the matter. He asked them in many ways what they would have him to do with Jesus.

The religious leaders of that day were adamant about wanting Jesus to be crucified. Chief priests and officers wanted Jesus to die. They wanted Him to die because Jesus said He was the son of God. They found this very offensive and did not want to believe the truth.

They led him to Golgotha while another man dragged the cross that he would die on. They gave Jesus vinegar to drink. After tasting of it, Jesus would not drink it. Soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ clothes. Explicit details of the crucifixion are not listed in scripture. We do know about the crucifixion process.  During this process, Jesus was nailed to the cross with His arms stretched wide. His hands were nailed to the cross and his feet were nailed. The nails were so strong that Jesus hung there until He died and gave up the ghost.

Why Was Jesus Crucified?

Jesus was sent to earth by God so that He would be the go-between for humanity. His purpose was to come to earth, preach the Gospel for 33 years, and be crucified. This was a hard task even for Jesus. He spent much time in prayer seeking God’s will concerning this event. “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” Events leading up to the crucifixion have Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus. Jesus had already prophesied that one of them would betray Him.

While Jesus was being arrested and betrayed by one of his disciples, He stressed the fact that He was laying down His life. He said, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels. But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”

The Bible says that all His disciples forsook Him and fled. Many had declared that they would not leave. Peter denied Jesus three times when asked about Him and his association with Jesus. It is important to note that Jesus was arrested by the religious leaders of the day.

The chief priests and elders asked Jesus did He not say that He is able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days. They asked Him if He was the Son of God. Jesus’ answer so angered them. “Thou has said: nevertheless, I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.” One high priest tore his clothes and said this was blasphemy.

Even before His betrayal, Jesus is being prepared for burial. In Mathew 26, a woman having an alabaster box pours “very precious ointment” on His head. Those assembled with Him questioned why she did it and saw it as a waste. Jesus asked them not to trouble her because she did it for His burial. Judas Iscariot went unto one of the chief priests and asked what they would give him to turn over Jesus. They told him 30 pieces of silver. From that moment, he sought to betray Jesus.

During the last supper, Jesus tells his disciples that one of you shall betray me. The disciples asked, “Lord is it I.” When Judas asks Lord is it I, Jesus replied, “Thou hast said.” Jesus also tells them it was best if the betrayer had never been born. We find later that Judas hangs himself after betraying Jesus.

After Jesus gave up the ghost, “the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake. Graves were opened, bodies of saints arose and appeared to many. Those watching the events then believed that He was the Son of God.”

Where Can You Find Crucifixion in the Bible?

I find most references to the crucifixion in Matthew 26 and Matthew 27. We also see accounts of the crucifixion in Luke 23 and John 18 and John 19. Some recollections are different from book to book of the Bible. All accounts reveal that Jesus was mocked and ridiculed and called the King of the Jews. Others tempted Him to use His godly power to come down from the cross if He be the Son of God.

Three Things Christians Should Know About the Crucifixion

First, Jesus died for us. He died so that we might live. Secondly, it would be virtually impossible for us to live up to God’s standards. We know that the Word says that God’s commandments are not grievous. Thirdly, a good percentage of Christians are not Jewish. We do know that God has a special relationship with the children of Israel because of His covenant with Abraham and Jacob. Jesus came to provide access to those who are not of the Abrahamic covenant.

We must spend our time witnessing. We do not know when Jesus will be sent back to collect the church. The Bible says that He will come as a thief in the night. Jesus does not even know when He is coming back. Only God knows that. It is up to us to be ready and to tell others about the plan of salvation.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/leolintang

Dr. Sandra SmithDr. Sandra Hamer Smith is a Christian and wife to Sylvester Smith. She has one stepson, Greg. Smith lives and resides in Memphis, Tennessee. The University of Memphis alumnae has been in education for about 20 years after receiving the call to teach. Dr. Smith primarily teaches language arts. Prior to education, she worked in local and national television news for 13 years including positions as an overnight news anchor, reporter, and assignments editor at two local network affiliate stations. Smith was also a freelance correspondent for BET news. Dr. Smith has freelanced for the Tri-State Defender newspaper and Contempora magazine.  She is the author of the self-published novel GLORY…THE HAIR.  Smith is also a playwright and poet. The Tennessee native is a member of Temple of Deliverance COGIC, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, Omicron Delta Kappa, The Golden Key International Honour Society, and Kappa Delta Pi.


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Originally published February 01, 2021.