THE GOSPELS 113
Matt.27, Mk.15, Lk.23, Jno.19
Every Bible student is familiar with the details of the crucifixion. However, there are certain aspects of this incredible scene which need to be examined more closely. This will increase our
understanding of the wonder and majesty of what God is doing here for the salvation of those who put their trust in Him.
First, I want to note that Pilate put a sign over the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews”. The Jews protested, and asked Pilate to make it say, “He said He was King of the
Jews”. Pilate’s answer was, “What I have written, I have written”. Obviously, to Pilate, Jesus was the King…the greatest of all the Jews he had ever met. The presence of Jesus was impressive,
even to a pagan ruler.
Then, there was the incident in which Jesus looked down from the Cross and saw His mother standing there with John. He turned her care over to John. Jesus was a caring and dutiful son. However,
His Diety was not due to her, but to His Father, Who is in Heaven. It is a mistake to attribute deity to, and to worship, any human being. The first commandment was, “Thou shalt worship the Lord
thy God and Him only shalt thou serve”! One of the greatest mistakes made in modern religious circles, is to place men in positions to be worshipped. As Peter said to Cornelius, who bowed to him,
“I am just a man”. Jesus made it clear that His earthly family, mother and brothers, were of less importance than His family of faith. When they came to visit Him, and He was told that His mother
and brothers were waiting for Him outside, He said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” He then indicated that His true family was made up of those who were His family by faith. Paul calls all
Christians to whom He writes, “Saints”, but none are to be worshipped except God. Even the angel on the Isle of Patmos, told John not to bow down to him, that only God was to be worshipped.
Next we look at the statement of Jesus when He said, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” I think this statement really emphasizes the fact that Jesus, in order to really have us identify
with Him, truly became human, while He was on earth. This is a truly human statement, in a moment of great despair. However, it was soon followed by a shout of triumph, when He uttered the word,
which is translated, “It is finished”. The word in the original is “Tetilestai”. This word was a victor’s shout, uttered when the race was over and he had won.
Finally, let us note the statement that “the Veil of the Temple was rent and the graves were opened”. Whether this literally happened, or if it is a metaphoric statement, is not clear. In any
case, we do know that the Veil of the Temple covered the Holy of Holies, behind which God was hidden to all but the High Priest. Now, with the death of Christ on the Cross, there was no more
“veil” covering God. Through faith in Christ, He is available to all. As the Hebrew writer says, “We may approach the throne of God with confidence”. Also, man is no longer bound to the grave
by death, for with the forgiveness given in the sacrifice of Christ, those who accept Him are given life eternal. The grave is no longer victor, being opened by His blood.
These are just a few of the incredible things which ensued as a result of the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. The mind of man will never be able to encompass the reason why such a sacrifice was
necessary. This wondrous fact is hidden in the mind of Our loving Father, until it is revealed when we “know as we are known”.