The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ John 19:17-24 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

This passage deals with crucifixion of Jesus Christ when He is led from the judgment hall up to Calvary. We will follow this sequence up until three hours into the actual crucifixion before the darkness comes. As with the most recent lessons we will again cross reference in order to reconcile these Gospels so that we can see the harmony. This lesson will once again show that the Gospels are supplemental to each other and not contradictory. The verses we will be referencing from the other Gospels are Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21 and Luke 23:26.

In John we read that Jesus was led away bearing His cross to Golgotha.  But then in Matthew, Mark and Luke we read that Simon, a Cyrenian, was made to bear His cross. Some scholars have pointed to this as a contradiction.  However, John only deals with the time of Jesus initially being led from the city. The other gospels refer to a later time following his initial departure from the judgment hall. John simply skips most of the details surrounding the crucifixion, but we can read some of those details in the other three Gospels. Mark 23:30 even has Jesus issuing a prophecy along the way that is repeated in Revelation 6:16.

The next thing that happened in this sequence is that when they arrived at Golgotha they gave Jesus vinegar to drink mingled with gall.  Jesus tasted this but did not drink it (Matt. 27:34) fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy (Psalm 69:21).  Gall is bitter and made from wormwood and was probably administered as an anesthetic.  Mark records this differently referring instead to wine and myrrh (Mark 15:23).  While the Old Testament refers to the “vinegar of wine” and the “grapes of gall” (Numbers 6:3, Deut. 32:32) there is no similarity between gall and myrrh. However, notice that Mark says, “he received it not.”  We understand that Jesus was offered something to drink more than once and these are not references specifically to the same event. In Mark, Jesus did not go so far as to even taste what was offered. Additionally in Mark 15:36 we see that the soldiers repeated the offer to Jesus with a “spunge full of vinegar” while he was up on the cross. The previous offer was made before He was raised upon the cross.

Next we read that Pilate placed a sign above Jesus that read JESUS OF NAZARETH KING OF THE JEWS (John 19:19).  However, we see a slightly different wording in the other Gospels. Matthew 27:37 says, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS while Mark 15:26 records it as THE KING OF THE JEWS. Finally Luke 23:38 says THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.  Putting these all together, it read THIS IS JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. Therefore, if we treat the accounts as supplemental rather than contradictory and combine the various bits of information from the different sources we get a clearer picture of what was taking place.

In John we then read that the soldiers divided Jesus’ garments in four parts among themselves except for His seamless coat (John 19:23). They cast lots to see which of them would receive the coat intact, which fulfilled OT prophecy (Psalm 22:18). In Matthew 27:36 the soldiers sat down and watched Him on the cross fulfilling Psalm 22:17. There are many other scriptures from Psalm 22 that are fulfilled in the crucifixion. By cross referencing between them we can gather the separate pieces of information and put them together like a puzzle in order to get a more complete picture.