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Passion Week

The Crucifixion


Matthew 27:32-44
Mark 15:22-32
Luke 23:26-43
John 19:16-27

Similar Passage

The Death of Jesus

Key Differences

Matthew records that Jesus was given wine mixed with gall to drink but He refused it.  This may have been an anesthetic to help alleviate the pain but Jesus refused to take the easy way out.

While Jesus was crucified alongside two criminals, Luke records that one criminal was contrite and asked Jesus for forgiveness.  The true state of man is shown by one criminal who continued to hurl insults upon Jesus even while he was being executed.  The other criminal shows us that it is never too late to repent and ask for forgiveness.

John records that Pilate was responsible for placing the sign above Jesus' head that said "King of the Jews."  While Pilate cowardly buckled under the pressure from the Sanhedrin to execute a man he knew to be innocent, this is his one shot back at them when he refused to remove the sign despite their protests.

Additional Commentary

After all of the trials that Jesus went through, His crucifixion is almost anticlimactic.  Jesus begins by carrying His own cross but soon it is apparent that He does not have the strength to do so.  Simon the Cyrene is forced to carry the cross for Jesus.  Jesus' lack of strength is for good reason.  He had spent the previously night praying and had been awake for over a day.  Before handing down the sentence, Pilate had Jesus flogged in hopes of appeasing the Jews without having to execute and innocent man.  Jesus is already in bad condition before He is even nailed to the cross.

The soldiers cast lots for Jesus' clothing in accordance with prophecy.  The fact that Jesus' robe is not torn is also important.  When Jesus was before the Sanhedrin, the high priest tore his robe.  By doing so, he broke God's command and gave up his right as high priest.  Hebrews discusses how Jesus is our high priest.  He rightfully took the place that the high priest gave up and His right to it was not lost because his robe was not torn.

Several people follow Jesus to the cross including His mother and "the disciple whom he loved" John.  Jesus symbolically hands care of His mother to John and John took care of her the rest of her life.  This would indicate that Joseph had passed away some time before, but we don't know when.  There is a question as to why Jesus' brothers weren't told to care for Mary.  This can be explained in numerous ways.  1) Jesus' brothers were unavailable to take care of Mary, perhaps being nowhere near.  2) Mary actually spent more time with the disciples because she followed close to Jesus.  3) Jesus' brothers have not yet placed their faith in Him and so they are not mentioned by Jesus.

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