Christ Crucified: Good Friday Notes

Today Christians around the earth celebrate “Good Friday” 

  • = darkest day in human history 
  • Jesus’ hung from noon until 3pm, and there was darkness, then He died 

1.    Crucifixion Historically 

  • Tertullian & symbol 
  • Excruciating = “from the cross” 
  • History
    • Hitler – Jews in Dachau
    • Nazis – Allied bayonets & knives legs/shoulder/throat/testicles
    • Khmer Rouge – Cambodia
    • Sudan – Africa 
    • Islamic extremists today 

Crucifixion = state sponsored terror 

·         Impaling 800 BC Persians? 

·         Alexander from impaling to crucifixion – terror & dread 

·         Romans perfected (soldiers had their own twisted torment) 

·         = Stipe (permanent post) & patibulum (crossbar). 

·         Up to 9 days

·         Public like beheadings (via de la rosa?) 

·         Height – eye level. A). Wild dogs/animals could reach them. B). Enemies look in eye. 

·         Women facing cross

·         Torment family. Alexander Jannaeus, Jewish high priest/prince, crucified 800 Pharisees & had wives/children slaughtered in front of them as they hung on crosses

=518 BC Darius I King Persia crucified 3000 Babylonians to warn enemies 

=332 BC Alexander the Great in Tyre crucified 2000 conquered enemies 

= 71 BC gladiator Spartacus died battle Alexander crucified 6000 foes along 120 miles 

=4 AD Jesus boy mass crucifixion of 2000 Jews for uprising against Rome 

CROSS = old hymn “an emblem of suffering & shame” 

1.    Jewish Josephus – “most wretched of deaths” 

2.    Roman Cicero – Romans not crucified or speak of “the cruelest & most terrible punishment” 

3.    Greek Plato – “The just man who is thought to be unjust will be scourged, racked, bound—will have his eyes burnt out; and, at last after suffering every kind of evil, he will be impaled (i.e., crucified)”

4.    God’s people Deut. 21:22–23 “if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree… a hanged man is cursed by God.”

5.    1-3rd cent. Painting worshipping man’s body donkeys head on cross, “Alexamenos worships his god.” 

= Bodies often thrown in abandoned, thrown in dump, or eaten by dogs 

–          There are some more recent examples of Crucifixion in places like Cambodia, Africa, etc.




–          There’s an outlier fringe group in the Philippines that reenacts every year

  1. Crucifixion Medically


  • flogged w/flagrum or cat-o-nine tails
    • Leather straps 
    • Stones or metal balls to tenderize flesh 
    • Glass, metal, or bones hooks 
    • Skin, muscle, tendon, bones, lungs bruised 
    • Deep tissue damage – death setting in 
    • Shock, blood loss, heart strained 
    • Rib fly off body 

= shotgun blast @ close range 

  • Isaiah = disfigured beyond resemblance 

Victims placed on cross several ways. 

-Seneca “Some hang upside down; others drive stakes through the genitals; still others extend arms on the patibulum”

-Josephus when Romans mass-crucified Jewish rebels in Jewish War, they “out of rage & hatred amused themselves by nailing their prisoners in different postures”…”


  • 1930’s German Barbay ?????? (conf. History Channel 2 hr doc “Crucifixion”) =nails through hand tears


  1. Option 1. Tied w/ropes & nailed 
  2. Option 2. Tied through wrist portion of hand 

FEET – probably stacked like art 

Cause of Death?

Could die of 1. Shock 2. Heart Failure 3. Dehydration 4. Asphyxiation 

“On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ” by William D. Edwards was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association 1986 

3.    Crucifixion Biblically

  • History’s #1 Person = Jesus Christ
  • History’s #2 Event – death, burial, resurrection 

1 Cor 15:1–4 (ancient creed) “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…”

  • Young healthy 33 spoke of death
  • Passover & Last Supper His blood New Covenant 
  • Judas betrayed 
  • Garden of Gethsemane 
  • Sweating blood – “hematidrosis”
  • Arrested walked a few miles
  • Sleepless night false trials with false witnesses
  • Blindfolded beaten
  • Stripped nearly naked   
  • Crown thorns – “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”
  • Carry cross miles – few 100 lbs (Simon of Cyrene) 
  • Collapsed, chest trauma
    • Chest contusion & aneurysm, lungs filling carbon monoxide 
    • Like head on car crash w/o air bags or seatbelt 
  • Pulled bear, spit, cursed 
  • Nailed nerve centers (5-7 inch e.g. railroad spikes) 
  • Hands above head – hard to breath 
  • The farther you are stretched out the sooner you die 
  • Death could take from hours to days 
  • No retaliation 
  • Curse, urinate on them, spit upon them, incontinent


#1. Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing

#2. Luke 23:43 I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise

#3. John 19:26-27 Dear woman, here is your son…Here is your mother

#4. John 19:28 I am thirsty (sponge) 

#5. Matthew 27:46 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Ps. 22:1)

#6. John 19:30 It is finished (loud voice)

#7. Luke 23:46 Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.  

  • 3 hours, legs not broken (Ps. 34:20; Jn. 19:36)
  • Declared dead by soldier 
  • Spear – blood/water = broken heart 
  • Temple curtain
  • Darkness 
  • Buried Joseph Arimathea

OT & Lev. Day of Atonement

2 young healthy goats

  1. Substitute 
  2. Scapegoat 

Atonement – at – one – meant = Godman God/Man

Rom 3:25 God presented him [Jesus] as a sacrifice of atonement

1 Jn 2:1-2  if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 

1 Jn 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 

Heb 2:17 he [Jesus] had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 

=Jesus God & Man to reconcile God and Man 

4.    Crucifixion Personally 

How is the cross “good news” on “Good Friday”? 


Isa. 53:5 “he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities…”

Rom. 4:25 “[He] was delivered up for our trespasses . . .” 

Rom. 5:8  “Christ died for us.” 

1Cor. 15:3 “Christ died for our sins . . .” 

1 Pet. 3:18 “Christ…suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous…”

  1. Substitution for sinners  
  • Omission & Commission
  • Thought, Word, Deed, Motive
  • Condition & Action 
  • Lawbreaking – Autonomy – Pride 
  • Great problem = you 
  • Greatest enemy = you 
  1. Non-XN=Great Exchange (Sunday is Easter, resurrection!) #1 Person history 
  2. XN – Matthew 16:24 Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Full research on the physical death of Jesus Christ click here. For more recommending reading on the crucification and resurrection of Christ click here.