The Gospels tell of Jesus' last days. After the Last Supper, Jesus went to a garden called Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, where he often went for prayer. On that night the disciples went with him. As his disciples slept around him the prayerful silence of the garden was broken by the arrival of Judas, leading a band of soldiers.
Jesus was arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin, or council of religious leaders. They found Jesus guilty of calling himself the Son of God. However, Roman law prevented them from putting him to death on the basis of their own laws. To ensure his death they brought him before Pontius Pilate, the Roman official,
and charged him not only with blasphemy but also with organizing a revolt against Rome. Despite his hesitancy Pilate gave in to the religious leaders and sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion.
Pontius Pilate ordered a sign nailed to Jesus' cross to mock him and the claim that was made that he was the King of the Jews. "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews," it said in Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. 0ohn 19:19-20) That is why many crosses today carry the initials "INRI," which is the abbreviation for the Latin version of this phrase.
As the soldiers and the mob taunted the dying Jesus, he prayed: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) Finally, after hours of unbearable pain, he cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46) Then he died. A Roman officer reported to Pilate that Jesus was dead. Christ's body was turned over to one of his followers, Joseph of Arimathea,
"By his bruises we are healed"
Crucifixion was the form of death reserved by the Romans for thieves and revolutionaries. Matthew, however, in his Gospel (Matthew 8:17), sees Jesus' sufferings as the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy that the Messiah would be a suffering servant:
He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
for burial. It was wrapped in a linen shroud and placed in a tomb that was sealed with a large rock.
Was this article helpful?