1-1-2 The Chronology of the Crucifixion

Matthew 27 (A.V.)

Mark 15 (A.V. / N.I.V.)

Luke 23 (A.V. / R.S.V.)

John 19 (A.V. / R.V.)

Commentary on chronology

" When he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified" (v.26)

He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over (s.w. delivered up) to be crucified (v.15)

But Jesus he delivered up to their will


Then therefore he delivered him unto them to be crucified.



Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers (v.27)

The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers (v.16)

They took Jesus therefore


And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe

They put a purple robe on him,


And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head,

then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.


and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

And they began to call out to him, " Hail, king of the Jews!" . Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spat upon him.


" They began" - did something make them stop?

The spitting and smiting on the head seem to have been part of the same process.

Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him.


This was a repetition of the earlier 'bowing of the knee' recorded in Matthew.

And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him

And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him.


and led him away to crucify him.

Then they led him out to crucify him.


and he went out, bearing the cross for himself,


And as they came out

And as they led him away,


they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.

they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.


And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, " Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!'. Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us'; and to the hills, 'Cover us'. For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?" .

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.


And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).

And when they came to the place which is called The Skull,

unto the place called The place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha:


He didn't carry His cross all the way to Golgotha; He went out of the guard room with His face set towards Golgotha, as it had been so visibly set on Jerusalem a few weeks before.

Note the emphasis on " unto" , " to" , " the place" . They arrived. They stopped there. This was it.

they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh,

but he did not take it.


And they crucified him,

And when they had crucified him,

there they crucified him,

where they crucified him,


and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.

and with him two others, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.


John is saying the same thing twice- to emphasize Christ's enthronement between criminals.

And Pilate wrote a title also, and put it on the cross. And there was written, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title therefore read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and in Latin, and in Greek. The chief priests of the Jews therefore said to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but, that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written, I have written.


The victim had to wear the title to be placed on His cross around His neck as He carried His cross. It is unlikely that the placard was put on the cross after it had already been erected. It seems reasonable to conclude that the placard was taken from the Lord's neck and nailed to the cross before it was lifted upright. Therefore John's chronology is to be followed.

And Jesus said, " Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" .


and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.

And they cast lots to divide his garments.

The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore one to another, let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.


And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.


And sitting down they watched him there;

And the people stood by, watching;


and set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.


At the same time, two robbers were crucified with him, one at his right hand, and the other at his left

(Diaglott; the Greek translated " then" in AV implies 'at the same time' ).

And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.


Matthew acknowledges that he is backtracking. He and Mark record this out of sequence. It seems that the thieves were impaled at the same time, but Matthew and Mark put all the focus upon Jesus.

But there was standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home.


This incident could be placed early on in the crucifixion. " But..." connects it with the dividing of the clothes, probably because Mary had made them. If we are to understand that John took Mary away from the cross to his own home (although this is not actually required by the text), he would have needed time to do this and then return in order to see the end (Jn. 19:35). However, it is also possible that the Lord said these words just prior to His final words; " After this, Jesus knowing that all things are now finished..." . It was as if He only bade good-bye to His mother at the very end.

And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself.

And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself,


and come down from the cross.


If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.


Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes,

but the rulers scoffed at him, saying,


Mt. & Mk. record the same incident. The priests said among themselves (Mk.); Matthew implies they said it to Him. They spoke in mock whispers, huddled in their group, but loud enough for Him to hear.

He saved others; himself he cannot save.

He saved others; himself he cannot save.

" He saved others;


let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, His Chosen One!" .


If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.


He trusted in God: let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.


The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, and saying, " If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" .


There was also an inscription over him, " This is the King of the Jews" .


This is out of sequence; the inscription was placed at the actual impalement (see note above). Luke seems to imply that the mocking was because of this placard; it must have been a very unusual crime to die for, contrasting sharply with the usual reasons for death which were displayed on crosses.

The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

And they that were crucified with him reviled him.


And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself, and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.


He had just said this, in unison with the other thief. Now he says it again with more vehemence.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.


And the sun was darkened, and the vail of the temple was rent in the midst.


Mk. 15:38 implies that the veil was rent completely when Christ died; therefore this was only an initial tear. If this interpretation is correct, why did it occur at the sixth hour? Was it because at this point the Lord Jesus reached a certain stage of victory? Alternatively, " the veil of the temple was rent in the midst" should be connected with the following verse 46, concerning the death of Christ. This would mean that the veil was rent just before Christ actually expired, as if God foresaw that the victory actually had been achieved, and therefore tore down the veil of partition between Him and men a few seconds before the actual death.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?


Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth Elias.

And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.


After this Jesus, knowing that all things are now finished, that the scripture might be fulfilled (Gk. finished, not fulfilled), saith, I thirst.


I insert this at this point because it seems that after having quoted the first verse of Ps. 22, the Lord wanted moisture in order to finish quoting the Psalm aloud. They think He calls for Elias (confusing 'Eliyahu' with 'Eloi Eloi'), He says " I thirst" , they bring vinegar; but Matthew says that immediately after He said " Eloi Eloi" they ran to get vinegar. Therefore the " I thirst" must have been said immediately after " Eloi Eloi" , in the same sentence almost.

And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone: let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.

There was set there a vessel full of vinegar: so they put a sponge full of the vinegar upon hyssop, and brought it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said,


And Jesus cried with a loud voice,

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said,

It is finished:

and he bowed his head


Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice,

yielded up the spirit. " Then Jesus crying out again with a loud voice, expired" (Diaglott).

and gave up the spirit.

Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:

and having said thus,

he gave up the spirit.

and gave up the spirit.


" Again" - after " It is finished" . The Diaglott of Mt. 27:50 suggests that this cry was the giving up of the spirit.

And behold the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;

And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.


See notes above re. Luke's record of this.

and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.


This is a clear example of how the record of the crucifixion is not strictly chronological.

Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the spirit, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.


And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.


And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.

There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him:) and many other women, which came up with him unto Jerusalem

And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.


The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the Sabbath (for the day of that Sabbath was a high day), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him: but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: howbeit one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and straightway there came out blood and water. And he that hath seen hath borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye also may believe. For these things came to pass, that the scripture might be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.


" The cross" singular- again, the emphasis is focused on the cross of Christ.

When the even was come, there

came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:

Now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the Kingdom of God,

And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (the same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the Kingdom of God.

And after these things

Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews,


he went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.

came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.

asked of Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus:


And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.


Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

and Pilate gave him leave.


And when Joseph had taken the body,

he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen,

and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen,

and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.

And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.

He came therefore, and took away his body.

And there came also Nicodemus, he who at the first came to him by night, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight.

So they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' Preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.


And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.


Note the emphasis that the women came with Him from Galilee.

And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.


And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.

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