At this point in our Christology, we have arrived at the point where wrath and grace became forever entwined. The crucifixion of the Christ changed everything.
All 4 of the gospels report this event and yet each one has unique details. When put together, the 4 combine to provide many details about what happened when Love laid down his life willingly.
Here are some things to note:
- There are 7 recorded statements when Jesus was on the cross that reveal much about him (Father forgive them, for they know not what they do; today you will be with me in paradise; behold your son, behold your mother; my God, my God, why have you forsaken me; I thirst; it is finished; and Father, into your hands I commit my spirit).
- Jesus was beaten to the point of death by highly trained soldiers before even being crucified. This brutal beating is what caused him to die earlier than normal.
- Prophecies hundreds of years old speak to how he would die in language that was not common for the day. For example, when Psalm 22 said “they have pierced my hands and feet,” crucifixion was hundreds of years away from being invented.
- Jesus’ death was prophesied in the following ways: mourning for whom they have pierced (Zech. 12:10), pierced hands and feet, no broken bones, cast lots for clothing (Ps. 22:16-18), pierced for our transgressions (Isa. 53:5), the 30 pieces of silver for which to betray Jesus (Zech. 11:13), close friend who shared bread betrayed him (Ps. 41:9), and many more.
- The Gospel writers included details that sounded a little strange at the time, but modern medicine has discovered that their observations about Jesus’ words and actions explain what was happening to him medically (hematidrosis – blood coming from sweat pores, hypovolemic shock – loss of great amount of blood, median nerve – nerve they would drive nail through causing agonizing pain, excruciating – word that means “from the cross” because there wasn’t a word that could convey this type of pain, asphyxiation – way most crucified people would die because they couldn’t push up for air any longer, respiratory acidosis – lungs can’t get rid of all the carbon dioxide and causes extreme fatigue, cardiac arrest – it appears that Jesus felt the heart attack coming on, and pericardial effusion – is fluid that is around the heart, when men noticed that Jesus’ side poured water and blood separated conveys that he did have a heart attack).
- Jesus absorbed the wrath of God. The Pharisees, Romans, or the Devil himself were not responsible for the cross. Jesus took on the wrath of God (Isaiah 53; Heb. 12:1-2).
Hallelujah. It is finished.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.