Day 6 — Good Friday:
And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God.”
Matthew 27:35-37, 41-44, 45-46, 50-51, 54
After an anguished night of prayer ending with his betrayal and arrest, Friday morning Jesus was led through a series of trials before Annas, Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, Pilate, and Herod. Together, with the gathering mob, they each in their own way contributed to the final death sentence—“Crucify him!” Beaten and humiliated, Jesus was tortured by a battalion of Roman soldiers in a mock coronation. On this “King of the Jews” they placed a scarlet robe and a crown of thorns before leading him away to be executed.
Crucifixion was a slow and agonizing death, often taking days. But Jesus’s death took only about six hours (roughly 9am to 3pm). In part, his quick death was likely due to the prior scourging he received from the Romans; ultimately though, Jesus “yielded up his spirit” when he accomplished his mission. The King was never out of control—even of his own death—and he committed his spirit back to the Father when he could say, “It is finished.”
As one of the most pivotal moments in history, Jesus’s death was accompanied by several supernatural phenomena. During the second half of his time on the cross (12pm to 3pm) there was darkness, a sign of divine judgement (Ex 10:21-23; Isa 13:10-11). There was also a violent earthquake. And while earthquakes were not uncommon, the timing of this earthquake filled an onlooking centurion (and those with him) with awe, and they concluded Jesus was indeed the Son of God. Most beneficially, the curtain in the temple that separated the Holy of Holies was opened. The curtain—60 feet high by 30 feet wide—that barred anyone from entering the presence of God except the high priest on the Day of Atonement, was torn from top to bottom—symbolically opened by God as the death of Jesus now granted access to anyone who believes.
Catch up on our 7-day Easter Devotional series: