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Passion Week

The Death of Jesus

Scripture

Matthew 27:45-56
Mark 15:33-41
Luke 23:44-49
John 19:28-37

Similar Passage

The Crucifixion

Key Differences

John mentions that because the Sabbath was approaching, the Jews did not want the bodies to hang on the cross.  Crucifixion could sometimes take days as it was essentially a slow process of suffocation.  Breaking a person's legs would prevent them from pushing up to take a full breath and would thus speed their death.  When the soldiers reached Jesus, He was already dead and there was no need to break His legs.  This was in fulfillment of prophecy.

The spear in Jesus' side fulfilled prophecy as Jesus was pierced.  The water that ran with the blood was actually fluid that built up around the heart and lungs as a result of being unable to breathe.

Additional Commentary

Jesus is sentenced around the sixth hour, the same time that it grew dark.  By the Jewish time, this would have been around noon, the brightest part of the day.  The Jews begin counting their day at 6 AM or approximately sunrise.  The darkness lasts from noon until 3 PM when Jesus dies.  Secular historians noted the darkness that covered the land on this day, explaining it as an eclipse that fell over the land.

Jesus cried out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"  At this moment the sins of the world were laid upon Jesus and He was separated from God the Father for the first and only time in all of eternity.  This is not a cry of anguish because God has left Him to die, it is a cry of torment as Jesus is experiencing the hell of being separated from the Father.

Jesus cried out in a loud voice at the moment of His death.  His statement "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" shows us that Jesus gave up His life, it was not taken from Him. 

As the temple curtain is torn in two from top to bottom, the division between God and man is removed.  The Old Testament system of sacrifice is done away with and man does not need a high priest to act on his behalf any longer.  Jesus is now our high priest and we can approach God through Jesus, because of His sacrifice. 

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