"The Crucifixion of Jesus"
The Crucifixion of Jesus
For many Christians who visit Jerusalem, the highlight of their visit is their walk along the "Via Dolorosa," the route that Jesus took between his condemnation by Pilate and the "Place of the Skull" and burial.
Verse 17: "and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.
The Via Dolorosa pilgrimage has been followed since early Christianity, beginning as soon as it became safe to do so after Constantine legalized the religion (mid-4th century). Over the centuries, the route has changed several times. Today, the main route of the Via Dolorosa has 14 stations along the way.
Although the route has changed, for most pilgrims, the exact location of each event along the Via Dolorosa is of little importance. The pilgrimage has great meaning due to its proximity to the original events and the reflection upon them along the way. Crucifixion
It was normal for condemned criminals to carry the horizontal, or cross-beam part of their own cross to the place of crucifixion, but not the upright. To simply kill the person was not enough, humiliation was also a part of the punishment. The victim was usually stripped totally naked for both the procession and the execution.
The place of skull, or "Golgotha" was located outside the city wall, perhaps one thousand feet from Herod's palace. It was customary for the Romans and the Jews to carry out capital punishment outside the towns. The Romans liked the hill because it's visibility could be used as an example to the people
Verse 18: "There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.",
According to the "IVP Bible background Commentary" Several stakes, at most about ten feet high, stood in Golgotha ready to be reused whenever crucifixion occurred. On the top of the stake or slightly below the top was a groove into which the horizontal beam of the cross would be inserted after the prisoner had been fastened to it with ropes or nails. This is where Jesus was crucified.
Verses 19-20: "Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. "Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek.""
It was not unusual for the condemned man to have, or be forced to carry the title stating the reason for his crucifixion. The title above Jesus' cross written in the three most commonly spoke languages of that area, read "JESUS OF Nazareth, THE KING OF THE Jews." This was the title Pilate insisted upon, but since that was not a capital crime, the official charge was "High Treason against the emperor."
Verses 21-22: "So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but rather, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.'" 22Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written."
At this point Pilate no longer had to be concerned with mob unrest or of a complaint to the emperor 'Tiberius' by the Jews concerning Jesus. He clearly did not like the Jewish leaders and perhaps none of the Jews. This, in addition to the Jews blackmailing him into doing their dirty work in crucifying Jesus with no legal cause, caused Pilate to retaliate and in an act of revenge placed the title of (King of the Jews) on Jesus' cross, and later had a coin minted with the image of one of the most hated Roman leaders "Tiberius," bearing the augur's wand - which was a pagan symbol despised by the Jews.
If you remember, there was a city on the western shores of the "Sea of Galilee" named Tiberias after the leader "Tiberius." It was a large Greek oriented City in which the most religious Jews would not enter.
Verses 23-24: "When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24so they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be." This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
"They divided my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots."
So the soldiers did these things,"
But the tunic was seamless and woven in one piece - Many scholars think this was alluding to the priest's garment in Lev 21;10, others disagree. Either way the prophecy of PS 22:18, was fulfilled: "They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots."
Verse 25: "but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene."
So by His cross was His mother and her sister, Mary the wife of Clopas which is believed to be a brother to Joseph, as some would say (Jesus earthly dad), and Mary Magdalene who became a loyal follower of Jesus after He had cast numerous demons from her.
Verses 26-27: "When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" 27Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home."
The 'disciple whom he loved was clearly "John" the author of this Gospel. John never refers to himself directly, always in the third person. crucifixion
Jesus' statement in front of witness was binding, and placed His mother under His disciples provision and care following His death. For a disciple to be asked to care for his teacher's family was a great honor. It is thought that Mary would be in her mid to late forties, probably a widow, and living in a society where women earned very little money. Jesus, being the oldest, would have had the responsibility of caring for his mother, then later, his younger brothers.
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