Passages to Read
For a full account of the events of this day, see Matthew 27:1–61, Mark 15:1–47, Luke 23:1–56, and John 18:28–19:42.
The trial of Jesus began in the early morning hours. The Sanhedrin was meeting before dawn one last time in order to confirm that Jesus should die. Under Jewish law, a person cannot be sentenced to death in a night session. Old Testament prophecy was about to be fulfilled that day as this meeting concluded. Isaiah 53:5 shared, “He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed.”
The Jewish leaders wanted to put Jesus to death, and ultimately Pilate granted their wish that He be crucified. Crucifixion was a form of torture given only to those who have committed serious crimes. It was a warning and reminder to anyone that would dare commit this same crime; the fate they, too, would suffer. Much of the debate to crucify Jesus, by the religious leaders and ultimately Pilate’s decision, would be driven by a shortsighted view of power. Their focus of control pales to the Kingdom that Jesus represents that is grounded in absolute truth and love.
In reading about the events that take place on Good Friday, we learn of the pain that Jesus endured for all of us. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke focus on the humiliation and physical pain that Jesus endured for each of us, while John writes about spiritual reality and glory that is brought through the crucifixion. John reminds us in his gospel that despite all the pain Jesus went through this day, the glory brought to the Father was greater. The writer of Hebrews reminds us of this in 12:2 pointing out that Christ “endured the cross” so that a greater eternal reality might be realized.
Prayer and Reflection Point
Jesus felt every thorn, every blow, and every nail driven into His body. The exhaustion, pain, sadness, and loneliness He must have felt on that cross should be remembered when we feel that others do not understand our own pain or doubt in this world. Jesus understands. He went through all this so that you and I might have eternal life with Him, and that we could call on Him knowing that He bore the full weight of this world. Pray and give thanks to Him for what He endured for all of us. Pray for those that come to your mind that desperately need Him. Pray for those that you could invite to church this Sunday or to watch online.
Family Application and Map Check Point
Read Mark 15:21-32 and locate Golgotha on the map today and pray with your family giving thanks to Jesus for giving His life for us! Talk about some of the main things the people did to Jesus on the Cross and ask why Jesus would go through all of it. Talk to your child about why we should be thankful that He died on the cross for us.
Holy Week Timeline
• Soldiers delivered Jesus to Annas (John 18:12-14).
• Caiaphas questioned Jesus (John 18:19-24).
• The Sanhedrin put Jesus on trial (Luke 22:66-71).
• Peter denied Christ (Matthew 26:69-75).
• Judas Iscariot hung himself (Matthew 27:3-10).
• Pilate heard Jesus and His accusers and sent Jesus to Herod (Luke 23:1-12).
• The crowd chose to free Barabbas (Matthew 27:15-23).
• Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified (John 19:1-16).
• Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry His cross (Mark 15:21).
• The soldiers crucified Jesus (Luke 23:32-38).
• Jesus died (Matthew 27:45-56).
• Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus buried Jesus’ body in the tomb (John 19:38-42