to be confirmed by Pilate, the Roman procurator. And at first Pilate was recalcitrant to the Jews' demands; he was not able to find in Jesus any cause of death. John 18:28–38, and parallels. In his perplexity, Pilate sent the prisoner to be examined by Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, who was at the time in Jerusalem. Luke 23:6–12. But this hearing also was without decisive result.
At last Pilate yielded, against his better judgment, to the importunity of the Jewish leaders and the mad shouts of the crowds, who had turned now against the One whom formerly they had honored. Matt. 27:15–30, and parallels. Pilate delivered Jesus up to the will of the Jews. Before the execution, however, the Prisoner was cruelly scourged and mocked by the Roman soldiers. Then when a last effort of Pilate had failed to placate the wrath of Jesus' enemies, John 19:4–16, our Lord was finally taken out of the city to be crucified. Luke 23:26–33, and parallels.
The Prisoner at first was compelled to bear the cross on which he was to be put to death, but when his strength gave way a certain Simon of Cyrene was pressed into service. A crowd of people from Jerusalem followed the Prisoner, and especially a number of women who lamented. At last the place of execution was reached. It was called "Golgotha," or according to the Latin translation of the name, "Calvary." There they crucified our Lord. Matt. 27:33–56, and parallels.
With him were crucified two thieves, of whom one repented at the last hour, and received salvation. A number of sayings which Jesus uttered on the cross are recorded in the Gospels. At the moment of death, he cried, "It is finished." John 19:30. The meaning of that saying is plain. The work for which our Lord came into the world at last was done. The Lord of glory had died to wash away the sins of all believers. The just penalty of sin had been borne by the One who knew no sin.
QUESTIONS ON LESSON XII
- Summarize the teaching of Jesus on the last evening before the crucifixion.
- What happened in Gethsemane?
- Describe the trial of Jesus before the sanhedrin and before Pilate.
- Why did the Jewish leaders put Jesus to death? Why did Jesus consent to die?
- Give an account of the crucifixion of our Lord.