Story 39: Jesus’s Death

Story 39

Jesus’ Death

Matthew 27:32-56, Mark 15:21-47,
Luke 23:26-49, John 19:17-37



The Bridge: The Romans used the tortuous method execution by crucifixion as a means of exerting control over the population. It was one of the most painful and disgraceful methods of capital punishment. Yet, the most painful suffering of Jesus was what He experienced in bearing all of our sin.


The Story:

  • After His trial, Pilate had Jesus prepared for crucifixion by having Him scourged with a whip that had pieces of metal and bone weaved into its ends (Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15). After they whipped Him, the soldiers put a scarlet robe and a crown of thorns on Him and mocked Him saying “…Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him” (Matthew 27:29-31).
  • They made Him carry His cross toward a place called Golgotha, which means Place of the Skull. He was to be crucified there. His injuries were so severe that halfway there, a man named Simon was made to carry the heavy cross for Him (Matthew 27:31-33).
  • When they arrived on Golgotha, they nailed His feet and hands to the cross, and lifted Him up to hang on the cross. A sign was placed on His cross that said in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, “This is Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; John 19:20-22).
  • There were two thieves being crucified, one on each side of Him. One of the thieves said that he believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and Jesus told him that He would see him that very day in paradise, but the other thief did not believe (Matthew 27:44; Mark 15:32; Luke 23:39-42).
  • As He was bearing our sin on the cross, He cried out to God and said, “Father, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). After this, Jesus cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30). As He breathed His last breath, He said to His Father, “Into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46). To make sure He was dead, a soldier pierced Jesus’ side with a spear (John 19:34).
  • The sky went black, and the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies tore from top to bottom, indicating that the way had been open for sinful mankind to come to Holy God (Matthew 27:51-53; Mark 15:38-39). Jesus fulfilled the promise to be the sacrifice for the sins of all the people who would believe in Him (See Stories 3b, 7, 16, and 20).


Why did Jesus ask the Father why He had forsaken Him?


♫ A song like “The Old Rugged Cross” may help participants reflect on the meaning of the cross. (See “downloads” for lyrics and chords)