On Thursday Jesus had his last meal… prayed in the garden… was arrested… was tried and convicted. Then on Friday at around 9:00 AM he was nailed to the cross. And he hung there… naked… for a total of six hours.
During the time he hung on the cross he struggled to breathe. The open wounds from being whipped and beaten rubbed against wood. He was ridiculed by people who walked past him. He was taunted by the Roman soldiers. He was cursed by the thieves. He was thirsty. He watched as people rolled dice for his garments.
While Jesus was on the cross he prayed, “Father forgiven them. They know not what they do.” He told one of the thieves, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” He told the Apostle John, “Take care of my mother as if she were your own.”
There were some unusual things that happened during and after Jesus’ crucifixion. Darkness fell across the entire globe for three hours, from the sixth to the ninth hour while He was on the cross (Mt 27:45; Mk 15:33). When He died, believers came out of their tombs… they were resurrected (Mt 27:52-53). The veil of the Temple was torn from top to bottom (Mk 15:38). Aside: The veil was not torn bottom to top, which would have been how men would do it, but top to bottom symbolizing that God granted access into His presence Himself.
What didn’t happen is as significant as what did. Jesus didn’t call down fire from heaven to destroy his enemies. He didn’t argue against those who mocked Him (“Just wait three days and then let’s talk…”). He didn’t curse the inequity of what happened to him. He didn’t rail against the Roman government. He didn’t condemn the thieves. And most significantly… Jesus didn’t come down off the cross, He stayed on it.
The last thing Jesus said on the cross was, “It is finished” (John 19:30) That meant… The sufferings ordained by God were over. The Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled. The ceremonial law was abolished. The price for sin was paid in full. His physical suffering was over. The plan of redemption was completed!
The only things left to take place on Friday was for him to be taken off the cross… his body cleaned… placed in a borrowed tomb… a large stone placed in front of it… and Roman guards posted to keep his body from being stolen.
Friday was over. Jesus was dead. It was over. But Sunday was coming…