The Phoenicians were the first to devise crucifixion. They had tried death by spear, by boiling in oil, impalement, stoning, strangulation, drowning, burning – and all had been found to be too quick. They wanted a means of punishing criminals slowly and inexorably, so man devised the cross. It was as slow as it was painful and some victims took two days to die in the burning sun .. Jim Bishop, The Day Christ Died

With the onset of Covid19, believers are breaking bread apart, engaged in social distancing taken to infinity (Christ removed from the tabernacle, altar stripped, statues covered), quarantined (Christ in the tomb; we alone without hope at home), yet remembering ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not’. ~ John 1:5

Jesus before Pilate…

A secondary consideration of crucifixion was nudity, adding shame to the victim. It also made him helpless before the thousands of insects of the air, while the carrion birds and the small animals held back until the crucified was dead. The Romans adopted the cross as a means of deterring crime, and they reduced it to an exact science with a set of rules to be followed … Jim Bishop, The Day Christ Died

Of all the movies ever made, it is arguable that the one with most impact upon people’s behavior and ‘change of life moment’ is, without any doubt at all, Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion of the Christ’. Knowing far better the panoply of prophecies fulfilled in this Holy week, and the myriad of parallels occurring that allow us to firmly know that Jesus was indeed the Messiah and redeemer of prophecy, talk to most people and they will wax lyrical on how the movie hit them hard. Not the violence of the beating from the Roman soldiers, but the stark reality and totality of it all.

When the prisoners were naked, a cloth was wound around their loins and between the thighs with the loose end tucked in at the back. Their clothes and sandals were set in a loose pile before each of the three. The time was a few minutes after noon. The sun was high and warm. Below the big bald rock, the leaves of the olive trees and the wildflowers shimmered in a soft breeze … Jim Bishop, The Day Christ Died

When we speak of Jesus’ humiliation we say that he did not use the divine power he always had, but laid it aside. In his humanity he was too weak to carry it, so he chose Simon for the honor. Not another Judas, but one who was redeemed by the cross. For what honor has he chosen each of us as we pray, Thy kingdom come?

The scourging…

Once begun, the matter was quick and efficient. The executioner probed the soft spot of Jesus’ wrists, and nailed them to the cross beam, which was then lifted up in place. He then placed right foot over left, bent the knees slightly, and hammered a single nail through both feet into the upright. The board describing the prisoner and crime was fixed in place. Jesus was crucified .. Jim Bishop, The Day Christ Died

Yours truly has faith that we will get through this storm stronger and wiser. Amazingly, this will be the first Easter ever (at least within our lifetimes) with no distractions, period: no Masters tournament to watch, no basketball, no baseball, no hockey, no English ‘Footy’, no theme parks to visit, no movies to go see, no shopping to do, nothing!

Now, at the end, Jesus again pulled himself up to the top of his cross. “Father,” he cried, “into your hands I commit my spirit!” One of the soldiers came around to the front of the cross to take another look. Then he went back and lay down on the rock. From Jesus’ lungs came a final cry: “It is finished!” The body sagged on the cross. Jesus willed himself to die .. Jim Bishop, The Day Christ Died

For those who embrace it, this can be the most meaningful observance of Holy Week they have ever experienced. For most, they won’t have the opportunity to go through the motions of the church service, instead they will need to delve into the scripture and teachings so they can create their own: you learn more by doing as opposed to simply following. The only thing we can control is how we experience our faith.

Father forgive them, they know not what they do … A forever forgiving Christ.

It required a degree of courage, indeed gallantry, to do what Joseph of Arimathea did that afternoon. Pilate was startled. He did not believe that Jesus was yet dead. He waited. Word came back that Jesus had died first, without having his legs broken. Pilate shrugged, bowed pleasantly giving Joseph permission to take the body down in conformity with Jewish custom … Jim Bishop, The Day Christ Died

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Cor 15: 55

It had been a very long day. Jesus did not die for the Jews. Or the Gentiles. He died for all mankind. Inside the sepulchre Jesus was not dead. If he was, then all men are dead; they creep irrevocably toward darkness. But this is not so. There were too many signs to the contrary. The two Marys sat with their backs to the stone, and did not even notice that the sun was shining! .. Jim Bishop, The Day Christ Died


The death and resurrection of this one man is at the very heart of the Christian faith. For Christians it is through Jesus’s death that people’s broken relationship with God is restored; the Atonement.

Let us not underestimate the power of repentance and prayer. As Christians we have the privilege to boldly enter into God’s throne of grace and mercy in time of need through our Savior and Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are encouraged to worry about nothing, but PRAY about everything (Phil 4:6) and we are guaranteed that the prayers of the righteous availeth much (James 5:16)


Do not miss Jim Bishop: The Day Christ Died

Also ‘Menagerie’, Conservative Treehouse: It Is Finished. Good Friday.


Face of Jesus by Richard Hook

Soli Deo Gloria!