On Good Friday it is always good to ask what happened at Christ’s death so many years ago?
Firstly, the Bible teaches us that once Jesus was condemned to die by the Jewish and Roman authorities, he was mocked and beaten by the Roman soldiers. In Matthew’s gospel we read: ‘Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him’ (Matthew 27:27-31).
After the flogging, the Bible reports that the soldiers crucified Jesus publicly with two other criminals: ‘Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others– one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS’ (John 19:17-19).
And Christ’s humiliation didn’t end there. People continued to mock him while he hung on the cross. Mark wrote: ‘Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. (Mark 15:29-32)
The Bible also tells us that Jesus went through great spiritual anguish on the cross as God’s wrath was poured out on him: ‘At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? “– which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:33-34)
Then when Jesus had come to the end of his spiritual torment, Jesus passed away. Luke records: ‘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).
So what happened on that day? The Bible is clear that many things happened to Jesus on that day. But what relevance does that day have to you this Good Friday?
The Bible teaches us that if you trust in Christ’s death, he was punished on that day for you. Paul says: ‘God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8).
So were you involved that day when Jesus died? Were your sins put upon him by faith so that you no longer fear God’s wrath for your rebellion?