(Study Outline sourced from “The System Bible Study” – “The Book of Life” [Zondervan])
12. The First Three Hours On The Cross <Mk.15:24-32; Matt.27:35-44; Lk.23:33- 43; Jn.19:18-27>
Having arrived at the place called Calvary (Golgotha), described by John to be “near the city” (Jerusalem) , Mark records that the crucifixion began at “the third hour” (or at 9:00 AM).
Pilate had the customary sign prepared and fastened to the cross indicating the victim’s crime – “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” which was no doubt an intent to insult the Jewish leaders not understanding the truth in his statement that could not be altered because it is eternal – “KING OF THE JEWS”.
“Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”” ; considering the mocking comments of the Jewish leaders and soldiers demonstrated how little was their understanding of this event. “The King of the Jews” could not save Himself, neither could God The Father deliver Jesus from the cross, for to do so would have made the New Covenant null and void and all mankind would still be condemned to eternal death by the Old Covenant or the Law. For the Law condemned all sinners to death, and our Lord Jesus Christ, through His death on the cross, His resurrection (to follow) would redeem all mankind from the curse of the Law.
Luke records the interaction between the two criminals and the subsequent conversion of one of them .
John records two details that are not documented by the other writers. In reference to our Lord’s garments that were divided among the soldiers, the undergarment was not destroyed (torn) because it was too valuable; “This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.”Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”” . The other detail is that the provision for His mother’s care was given to John , and may have become the basis for the N.T. custom on the care of widows
13. Three Hours Of Darkness (Noon to 3:00 PM) Followed By Jesus’ Death (3:00 PM)
“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.” : Luke adding that the sun stopped shining (from noon until 3:00 PM by the Jewish method of time-keeping).
At about 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?”” and Jesus “…knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”” at which time he was given a sponge with vinegar . Jesus then cried loudly “”Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.”, also saying “It is finished.” .
Contrary to the belief of the Jews and Romans, and many others to date, our Lord Jesus Christ did not die the death of a criminal. He died triumphantly, completing the work that He came to do, conquering the Devil in all his attempts to defeat God’s purposes. His death was completely voluntary for no one took His life; “..he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” .