Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus is Crucified

Matthew 27:11-61

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Absalom's Rebellion (2 Samuel 13-18)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      May I never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been sacrificed to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

Opening Prayer

After Gethsemane (Matthew 26)
    Where did Jesus go after his Last Supper to pray about his upcoming death?
      Matthew 26:36
    What happened to Jesus after he was arrested in Gethsemane?
      Matthew 26:57-60
    What happened in the courtyard while Jesus was being tried by the elders?
      Matthew 26:69-75

Jesus' Last Day (Matthew 27)
    Where did the church leaders take Jesus around 6:00 am (0 hour)?
      Matthew 27:1-2
    Did Jesus receive a speedy trial?
      Mark 15:25
    What significant event happened at 12:00 noon (6th hour)?
      Matthew 27:45
    Why did that happen?
      Amos 8:9
    What time did Jesus die?
      Matthew 27:46, 50
    What happened before the day officially ended at 6:00 pm (12th hour)?
      Matthew 27:57-60

The Silence of the Lamb (Matthew 27:11-14)
    What charge against Jesus had the elders selected?
      Matthew 27:11
    How did Jesus respond to the accusations before Pilate?
      Matthew 27:12-14
    Why didn't he defend himself?
      Isaiah 53:7
    Has your life been changed forever by the Silence of the Lamb?

Pilate's Verdict (Matthew 27:15-25)
    Why did Pilate offer the choice of releasing Jesus or Barabbas?
      Matthew 27:15-21
    What punishment did the church elders want for Jesus?
      Matthew 27:22
    Did Pilate feel this was proper punishment?
      Matthew 27:23
    Did Pilate fulfill his duty to uphold justice?
      Matthew 27:24-25

Jesus' Roman Crucifixion (Matthew 27:26-38)
    Cicero: the most cruel and hideous of punishments
    Only the worst crimes:
      Murder, rebels against Rome, delinquent slaves
    Roman citizens were never crucified
    Very slow and extremely painful death

    Prisoner first stripped and whipped at least 39 times with a flagrum
      Thongs of flagrum held lead balls and broken sheep bones to cut flesh
    Blood loss, pain & circulatory shock would result in near death
      Intended to shorten the time on the cross
    Matthew 27:26, 30
      Jesus also had anguish of Gethsemane & sleepless night

    Prisoner had to carry crossbeam (patibulum) to execution site
      About 6 feet long and 125 lbs
      Further exhausted prisoner & made show for spectators
    Matthew 27:31-33
      Golgotha - Hill shaped like a skull

    At the execution site, prisoner's wrists were nailed to the patibulum
      Median nerve damage was very painful
    Patibulum lifted & fit on top of stipes (permanent upright beam)
      Prisoner's feet nailed to stipes or to a foot rest (suppedaneum)
      Sign (titulus) attached to top of cross giving name and crime
    Prisoner's clothes were given to the presiding soldiers
      Matthew 27:35-38

    During crucifixion, nerve damage and muscle cramps caused great pain
    Thirst would become unbearable as the body dehydrated
      Prisoners given wine mixed with a mild sedative (myrrh)
    Matthew 27:34

Jesus' Roman Crucifixion (Matthew 27:57-60)
    Prisoner died by asphyxiation (not enough oxygen, too much carbon dioxide)
      Difficult to exhale while hanging on cross
    Legs of hardy prisoners were broken to speed death
      Prisoner unable to push himself up to help him breathe
    John 19:31-37

    Dead bodies were often left to decompose on the cross as a warning
      In Palestine, bodies were taken down and disposed of
      Deuteronomy 21:22-23
      Matthew 27:57-60

Psalm 22 (Matthew 27:39-49)
    Recited by Jews when catastrophes threatened

    What are the only words that Matthew records Jesus saying on the cross?
      Matthew 27:46
    How would the Jews that Matthew targeted with his gospel understand this?
      Psalm 22:1
    How did the spectators understand these words?
      Matthew 27:47-49

    How would the Messiah be treated according to Psalm 22?
      Psalm 22:6-8
    How are these verses fulfilled on the cross in Matthew's account?
      Matthew 27:39-40
      Matthew 27:41-43
      Matthew 27:44
    How does Matthew show this scorn & mockery preceding the crucifixion?
      Matthew 26:65-68
      Matthew 26:73-74
      Matthew 27:27-30

    What other prophesies in Psalm 22 were fulfilled with Jesus' crucifixion?
      Psalm 22:14
      Psalm 22:15
      Psalm 22:16
      Psalm 22:17-18

    What are some other direct prophesies from Psalms of Jesus' crucifixion?
      Psalm 69:21
      Psalm 38:11
      Matthew 27:55-56

Jesus Dies (Matthew 27:51-54)
    What happened the moment Jesus died?
      Matthew 27:51-53
    What impact did these events have on spectators?
      Matthew 27:54

    What was the purpose of the temple curtain?
      Hebrews 9:3, 7-8
    What was significant about the tearing of the temple curtain?
      Hebrews 10:19-20
    How does Jesus fill the role of the high priest?
      Hebrews 7:27
    How does Jesus' crucifixion outside the city point to the eternal city?
      Hebrews 13:11-14

    What was significant about the earthquake?
      Galatians 6:14
    What was significant about the raising of the saints?
      2 Timothy 1:10

Closing Prayer

Silence of The Lamb

A man had worked for a meat packing firm for many years. He had cut the throats of animals. He had heard the cattle bellow, the fowl squawk, the pigs squeal.

One day a farmer brought a lamb to be slaughtered. With business as usual, the man took his sharp knife and cut the lamb's throat. The lamb did not squawk, squall, or flounder like other livestock did. It did not bellow and then slump like the cattle.

The little lamb just silently stood before the man. With blood flowing from its throat, the lamb tottered toward its executioner, licked the blood from his hands, and began to totter from side to side. Then the lamb silently slumped and slipped into death.

The death of that lamb changed the life of the man forever. Within two weeks he quit the job never to return.

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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