Good Friday is about the death of Jesus Christ.
But how do you know that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ took place? That Jesus really died?
Firstly four different eyewitness accounts are given of Jesus’ death in the Bible.
Matthew and John were two of Jesus’ disciples and both wrote books of the Bible named after themselves that contain eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ death. After recording the crucifixion, Matthew says: ‘With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. (Mark 15:37). Meanwhile John says: ‘…Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit’ (John 19:30). John also testifies that ‘one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water’ (John 19:34). This testimony is consistent with modern medicine’s knowledge of heart failure like that experienced on the cross: there was an accumulation of fluid in the membrane around the heart so water flowed out the wound.
Mark’s gospel was written by Mark who was a disciple of Peter. Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples who witnessed Christ’s death. So Peter is behind Mark’s words when Mark says: ‘With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last’ (Mark 15:37).
And finally, Luke was an early Christian and sought to be a careful historian of the events of Christ’s life. Luke himself says: ‘I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning’ (Luke 1:3). Thus we know it is from eyewitness accounts that Luke writes about Jesus’ death: ‘Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last’ (Luke 23:46).
But we also have testimony from people outside the Bible that Jesus was crucified.
The Roman historian Tacitus (born 52-54 A.D.) wrote: ‘Christus…was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius.’
The Jewish historian Josephus (born 37 A.D.) wrote that ‘Pilate…had condemned him [Jesus] to the cross.’
So do you recognise that Jesus really did die? Will you trust that he died the death of crucifixion for your sins?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.