2023-12-23
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Lightstock

Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection are the most important events since the world’s creation. Through His death, God took those estranged from Him by sin and reconciled them by Christ’s earthly body through death to present them as holy in His eyes, free from accusation. Through Christ’s resurrection, God gave us new life and new hope. As with most things, the Bible doesn’t say how old Jesus was at His crucifixion, but we can figure it out with context clues.

The Bible story of Jesus’ crucifixion.

Jesus’ crucifixion is recorded in the Gospels, the New Testament books of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. The Bible story is the main summary of saving Jesus’ gospel. In Matthew, Jesus prophesied his death, telling His disciples that He was going to Jerusalem to struggle at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and law teachers. He also told them that He would be killed but would be raised to life on the third day. Jesus knew that His life was a sacrifice for man’s sins.

Many Jews saw Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah at the height of his ministry and miracles. Jewish leaders were afraid of Jesus because of his growing followers. With help from Judas Iscariot, Jesus was arrested and put on trial by Roman soldiers for claiming Himself as the king of the Jews. According to Roman law, the punishment for rebelling against the king was death by crucifixion.

Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, was hesitant about Jesus’ punishment. He found no wrong in Jesus but wanted to satisfy the people. Pilate washed his hands before the crowd to show that he wasn’t taking responsibility for Jesus’ bloodshed and handed Him over to be lashed and beaten. They gave Jesus vinegar to drink, but He refused. Jesus had a thorn crown put on His head and had to carry his cross down the path to the hill where He would be crucified. The location of Jesus’ crucifixion is known as Calvary, meaning “a place of the skull.” Jesus was nailed to the cross, and His arms were stretched wide. His hands and feet were nailed to the cross; the nails were so strong that Jesus hung there until His death and gave up the ghost.

Jesus was on the cross for close to six hours. The chief priests and elders mocked Jesus, asking why He couldn’t save himself if He could save others, detailed explicitly in Matthew 27:41-43. Crucifixion was the Roman Empire’s way of carrying out the death penalty for those guilty of a serious offense. It was typically reserved for foreigners, enslaved people, those guilty of vile crimes, and insurrectionists.

Crucifixion was designed to kill and dissuade others from criminal actions. Crucifixion victims were humiliated and often left to hang naked. The cross held a stigma, and according to Galatians 3:13, Jewish law said it brought a curse. The word “excruciating” means “out of crucifying,” so crucifixion was an agonizing way to die because it was a painful and prolonged means to death. Depending on the circumstance, some people could live for days after being nailed to a cross.

The events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion.

Jesus was being prepared for burial even before His betrayal. Matthew 26 tells us that a woman with an alabaster box poured a “very precious ointment” on Jesus’ head. The people with Him asked why she did it, seeing it as a waste. However, Jesus told them not to trouble her because she did it for His burial. Judas Iscariot went to one of the chief priests and asked about the reward for turning over Jesus. When the chief priest said it was 30 pieces of silver, Judas sought to betray Jesus.

Jesus told His disciples that one of them would betray Him during the Last Supper. The disciples asked who it would be. When Judas asked, “Lord, is it I?” Jesus said, “Thou hast said.” Jesus also told them it was best if the betrayer was never born. In Matthew 27, we find out that Judas hung himself after betraying Jesus. The Bible says that all His disciples eventually forsook Him and left, but some said they wouldn’t. Peter denied Jesus when asked about His association with Him.

How old was Jesus when He was crucified?

The Bible doesn’t explicitly say how old Jesus was when He was crucified and died. Furthermore, the Bible doesn’t provide Jesus’ birth or death date, making determining His age when He died challenging to figure out. Using the history recorded in the New Testament, specifically in Luke, and comparing it with Roman history, we know that Jesus was born between 6 and 4 B.C., close to when King Herod died.

Luke 3:1 says John the Baptist started preaching in the fifteenth year of Tiberius’ reign, around A.D. 28 or 29. This means that Jesus was baptized and began His ministry around A.D. 29 when he was about 33 years old. Based on the Passover feasts Jesus observed during His ministry, we can determine that He ministered for three and a half years, putting the end of His ministry in A.D. 33.

So we can assume that Jesus was crucified in A.D. 33., meaning that Jesus was about 33 to 39 years old when He was crucified. Remarkable events marked Jesus’ death. The sky went completely dark for three hours while Jesus hung on the cross. When He took His last breath, the temple curtain split, the earth shook, and the saint’s tombs opened, with their bodies rising from the dead.

Why was Jesus crucified?

Jesus was sent to earth by God to be the middleman for humanity. His job was to come to earth, preach His gospel, and face crucifixion, a challenging task even for Jesus. He spent so much time in prayer, seeking God’s will about His crucifixion. He knew that one of His disciples would betray Him. When Jesus was being arrested and betrayed, He stressed that He was laying down His life. Jesus’ crucifixion was part of God’s plan from when Jesus was born. Humanity’s sin required a sacrifice, so Jesus’ sinless life was lived and given up so we could have eternal life in heaven and salvation.

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