On that first Good Friday, three crucifixions were to be carried out. Crucifixion was the Roman form of execution. The criminal was to be made a public spectacle and die a horrible death in front of their accusers. It was on one of these three crosses that our Lord Jesus suffered and died.
The Symbolism of Each Cross: vv. 26-33
As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28Jesus turned and said to them, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For the time will come when you will say, Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed! 30Then they will say to the mountains, Fall on us! and to the hills, Cover us! 31For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?
32Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminalsÑone on his right, the other on his left.
1. The cross on the left symbolized rejection . Romans 3:23
2. The cross on the right symbolized repentance . Acts 3:17-19
3. The cross in the middle symbolized redemption . Romans 6:23
The Three-Fold Suffering of Christ:
A. Physical suffering. Mark 8:31
B. Emotional suffering. Mark 15:34
C. Spiritual suffering. Romans 5:8-11
The Basis for Each Cross: vv. 34-43
Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.
36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37and said, If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.
38There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!
40But the other criminal rebuked him. Don’t you fear God, he said, since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.
42Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
43Jesus answered him, I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.
1. One man died in sin . v. 39
2. One man died to sin . vv. 40-42
3. One man died for sin . v. 43
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7).
The Accomplishments of Christ on the Cross: vv. 44-46
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Jesus called out with a loud voice, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. When he had said this, he breathed his last.
1. Prophecy was fulfilled . Isaiah 53:12
2. Sin was defeated . Hebrews 9:26
3. Love was demonstrated . John 3:16
4. Hope was assured . 1 John 3:3