The Crucifixion Of Jesus
The Rejection Experienced By Jesus On The Cross
We believe that the worst aspect of the Crucifixion was NOT the excruciating pain. It was the total rejection that Jesus felt. Jesus was rejected by absolutely everybody, including His Father in Heaven.
We read in Isaiah 53:3, "He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,"
Jesus was rejected by:
- His family who thought He was "out of His mind" - See Mark 3:21.
- By everyone at his local synagogue- see Mark 6.3.
- Jesus' disciples In Gethsemane were completely indifferent and fell asleep three times. They were completely indifferent to Jesus' problems, whilst He was literally sweating blood.
- Judas betrayed Jesus to the Romans with…a kiss…for money…. after stealing from Jesus for three years.
- The religious authorities of the day rejected His ministry, as He was Cross-examined before Annas.
- Jesus replied that He had always spoken openly in the Temple, and wherever Jews met.
- Roman soldiers then punched Jesus in His face.
- Annas then had tied Jesus up, and had Him taken to the high priest, Caiphas.
- The representatives of the church, who were supposed to be worshipping the living God, were treating Him like a common criminal.
- Caiaphas asked Jesus, "Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!"
- Jesus truthfully replied, "I am" (the Name of God).
- Caiaphas then rent his clothes, and the Sanhedrin demanded Jesus' execution by the Romans.
- Jesus was condemned and humiliated, despite telling the truth.
- Then the Sanhedrin spat in His face, beat Him, and struck Him after blindfolding Him, saying, "Prophecy to us, Christ. Who is the one who struck You?" (See Matthew 26:67)
- In the courtyard Peter cursed and swore at Jesus (see Matthew 26: 74)
- Then they Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium (see John 18:28). Jesus was led to the slaughter by the Sanhedrin, representing the organised Jewish religion.
- It is recorded in John 18:28, "But they themselves (the Sanhedrin) did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover."
- This was the worst type of religious hypocrisy. They were prepared to lead Jesus to His certain death, but would not "defile themselves".
- The crowds chose Barabbas rather than Jesus to be released.
- Barabbas was a known terrorist and murderer, but the crowd preferred him to Jesus, who had ministered to them for 3.5 years.
- Jesus was totally rejected by the crowds of people that He had served.
- When Pontius Pilate asked the crowds what to do with Jesus they cried out, "Crucify Him".
- Jesus had done nothing wrong at all. He had preached, healed the sick and raised the dead for 3 years.
- Pilate said "I can find no fault with this Man." He then washed his hands of Him, indicating he absolved himself of responsibility.
- Roman law had rejected Jesus, and the trial was illegal, since Pontius Pilate, by his own admission, could find nothing wrong that Jesus had done .
- Jesus was then mocked by the Roman soldiers, dressed in a crown of thorns, a robe, and hit on the head and about the face with reeds, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews".
- Jesus was scourged very severely.
- Following the scourging, He was too weak to carry the Patibulum.
- Jesus was then crucified naked before the entire crowds at Jerusalem, and before His own mother, on a public highway.
- Most of the Jews in Israel were present because of the Passover.
- At the Crucifixion Jesus was mocked by the Jewish leaders, and by the crowds.
- Both thieves swore at and taunted Jesus, although the second thief later repented.
- Finally Jesus was rejected by God the Father. Jesus said, "My God, My God, why have you rejected Me"
- In His life Jesus was rejected by everyone, including:
- His family
- His friends
- His disciples
- Those He healed (who did not come back to say thank you)
- His home synagogue
- The Sanhedrin
- The religious establishment
- The crowds
- The Roman authorities
- The Roman legal system
- The Roman soldiers
- The thieves on the Cross
- God the Father
It is recorded in Philippians 2:5-11, "He (Jesus) humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the Cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Jesus endured unspeakable horror and rejection, and God raised Him up to the highest possible place. Jesus conquered rejection by obedience to God, and God raised Jesus to the highest possible place.