19th April 2019
George Methodist Church
8am with Communion
John 18:1 -19:42
Chronology of the events on Friday:
Crucifixion began at about 9 am (the third hour- Mark 15:25). Jesus died at the very moment the Passover lamb was to be slain at the Temple, the ninth hour on the 14th of Nisan (our Friday 3 PM). From the moment Jesus was laid in the tomb, until sunset, the Jews reckoned to be the first day in the grave, even though it was only a few hours. All of this took place on what was the preparation day – not only for the 7th day Sabbath, but also for the upcoming Feast of Unleavened Bread.
From Noon to 3 PM Roman time (6th-9th hour Jewish time) the sky is dark. This may have been a very literal fulfillment of Ex 12:6 where the Passover lamb was to be killed “between the evenings”.
Between 3-5 PM thousands of lambs are being slain for Passover at the same time Jesus dies.
John 19:31 Thieves legs broken because it was the preparation day and a Saturday was a “high day”
2 Mary’s watch Joseph and Nicodemus bury Jesus.
Let’s have a look at the event which took place according to John. It is interesting to see that the whole of this is recorded in all the Gospels. This is an account which fills the hearts and minds of the disciples and becomes the issue for the earliest discussions on Christ.
9.00 am in the morning. – The third hour.
1.They offer him wine mixed with myrrh – incense was mixed with wine to deaden the pain Proverbs 31:6 – Gift to Jesus at birth (Mt 2:11); applied to his body after death (John 19:39 –40).
- They strip him of his clothes and cast lots to see what each would get. The execution squad were given the rights to his clothes. Psalm 22:18 – “they divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” He is then Crucified – Nailed to the cross – hand out the nails.
- They wrote a notice over his head – “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” It was customary for the accused to have his crime written on a board and carried in front of the procession for all to see.
- The two robbers on the left and right – these could not have just been robbers but men who had committed high treason.
- Now you will see something interesting – Who knows what Mark 15:28 says? – this is not in any of the original documents. (Luke 22:37 = Is 53:12 (Numbered with the transgressors). Prophecy about the way he would die.
- Insults – It is always strange to me that even at death people can shout insults at the dying.
- The sixth hour – 12 noon- darkness. – Total eclipse of the sun as recorded in history on the 14th Nissan 33 AD. This lasted for three hours – unusual length of time, but this same thing occurred at the turn of the millennium. This was spoken by the prophets in Amos 8:9 “I will cause the sun to go down at noon.” And Jer 15:9 “The sun is gone down while it is still day.” This was a sign from heaven of the power of the moment and Christ’s battle with the powers of darkness.”
- The ninth hour – 3.00 pm – “My God my God why have you forsaken me” – Ps 22:1 Messianic psalm. If there were ever words to describe the reality of Christ’s humanity it is these words. We are reminded in this moment of the power of the act of crucifixion for us. They thought he called for Elijah – this is Elias in Hebrew, however, we know it was Eloi – My God, as recorded in all the Gospels. When Paul says – the life I now live is not my life, but the life which Christ lives in me; and my present bodily life is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and sacrificed himself for me” Gal 2:20 NEB, he has come to grips with the cry of Christ for the sake of humanity. This same cry comes to us today loud and clear and the WHY? Is the How of eternal Salvation. The WHY is the CROWN of the king of the JEWS and the universe. The WHY is the hammer that knocks the nails in forever. God the Father sacrifices this Jesus for the sake of us all. Peter says Acts 2:38 – “This Jesus who you crucified is both Lord and Christ”. WITH A LOUD CRY JESUS DIES. At that same time thousands of lambs are being sacrificed for Passover.
- Many of the things that occurred could be brought down to coincidence if we are complete sceptics, but I believe with all my heart in the Godincedences of the day – but this one goes further into the Jewish heart and Christian heart than anything else on earth. In the moment of death the greatest miracle of all happens. The curtain of the temple dividing the Holy Place from the Most Holy place (15 feet by 15 feet ) made of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim worked in by skilled craftsmen (Ex 26:31) was torn from top to bottom, making it clear that Christ had defeated death and made a way to the presence of the Father forever. This is the moment of freedom for the Christian church, the moment of the New Covenant that Jeremiah, Isaiah and Joel and others spoke about. It is the defining moment of obedience for Jesus Christ.
10 The Centurion recognises him as the SON OF GOD – the first gentile redeemed at the sight of the cross. He is the commander of the soldiers at the Cross.
- The woman followers watch from a distance –
they were waiting for the miraculous to happen to them. Maybe they would be taken up with him?
- They would need to get Jesus body down before sundown and the start of the Sabbath and Passover. A bold move in the change of camp happens with Joseph of Aramathea who is part of the Sanhedrin, the council that put Jesus on the Cross. He now crosses the benches so to speak and puts his own life on the line to offer Jesus his tomb – he was waiting for the Kingdom of God and has now seen it clearly in Christ. He takes Jesus off the cross and wraps him in the finest of linen, as a treasure in his hands. He buries him in his own tomb (sepulchre) not with kings but with the common people. He(Joseph) offered himself as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12:1) knowing that it could be the end for him physically but that it was the beginning for him spiritually. Deut 21