Good Friday is the day that Jesus was executed by the Romans. We know the story of how he dragged the cross down the Via Delarosa and up Calvary Hill in Jerusalem and was nailed to it. Some feel so deeply about this that they, at some level, feel the pain.
Others are simply baffled. They are baffled because they know the Roman and Jewish culture of the time — and the story simply doesn’t make sense. Let’s look at this: According to the Christian story Jesus and his twelve disciples walked the hills and forests of Judaea turning water into wine, raising the dead, and preaching his interpretation of the Jewish Bible. Since, according to the story, so many of the Jews became followers of this Rabbi, that the Romans were worried. They felt that he was preaching treason. At the same time, the leaders of the Temple – Caiaphas and the others were worried because, in their mind, Jesus, who was implying that he was related to God, was preaching blasphemy.
Finally, when he came to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, the Romans decided that they would grab him. Unfortunately, they had no idea what he looked like! From here, the story really gets weird.
According to the Bible, Jesus came into town on his donkey with the people throwing flowers and generally being very happy to see him. Now, the Jerusalem of 2000 years ago was a very small city. When he entered, the Roman intelligence service should have had a VERY good look at him. Unfortunately, they seemed to have missed him, so they bribed one of the followers, Judas, to make the identification. That, he did for thirty pieces of silver.
Jesus was then taken to Pontius Pilate the Roman Prefect of Judaea. Now, if Pilate thought that Jesus was a serious threat to Rome, he (Pilate) would have put Jesus on trial. If he were found guilty of sedition he would have been crucified. Pilate apparently decided that he was not a problem and turned him over to the Jewish court. At this point the specter of crucifixion should have been removed. The Jews NEVER crucified. Their method of capitol punishment was stoning to death. That is specified in the Bible (Leviticus 24:13-16).
According to the story, the court convened on Passover. This was VERY unlikely. The Rabbis in the court would have been celebrating one of the holiest of the Jewish holidays — not passing judgement over a blasphemer! The holy days always came first! They simply would have put him in jail for a few days. In any case, they found him guilty. Blasphemy is punishable by death — but, again, the Jews NEVER used crucifixion. Their method of punishment was to stone someone to death.
Somehow, Jesus gets crucified — this turn of events doesn’t seem likely. Along with him are two pickpockets. That makes no sense, either! The Romans only used the punishment of crucifixion for someone who has been seriously messing with Rome, e.g., a spy, or someone who has been preaching treason. They would never crucify a common pickpocket.
So here we have two pickpockets and one delusional Rabbi being crucified. There’s more: Jesus and his two new friends were crucified at the top of Calvary Hill. That is not how the Romans did things. They would set up a cross at the city dump — the lowest point in the area, not the highest. When the enemy of Rome would be crucified, it would sometimes take as long as three days to die. After the death, over a period of weeks, the flesh and muscle would be eaten away by birds and insects. Eventually, the bones would fall into the dump. Truly a horrible way to go — just what the Romans wanted.
In Jesus’s case, he seems to have died in 6-hours and was then taken away to be buried. In real life, you wouldn’t dare claim the body of someone who was crucified. If you did, you immediately fell under suspicion of Rome — and you probably would be next to be crucified.
There are more inconsistencies: The tomb that Jesus’ body was taken to was within in the city wall. In ancient times , the city fathers never allow someone to be buried in the city. Eventually, any cemetery in the city would expand to fill the city walls. It is really expensive to keep expanding those 20-foot-thick city walls. Dead people were buried outside the city. The city walls were built to protect LIVE people, not DEAD ones!. Even today there is a large cemetery outside of the Jerusalem city walls — which existed long before the time of Jesus. THAT is probably where Jesus would have been buried.
Clearly, the persons or people who wrote this story had no knowledge of Roman or Jewish culture. Enjoy the holiday, remember, Jesus will be rising in a couple of days. All will be well.
Note from me:
This narration is based on the facts as best as I know them. They are not consistent with Wiki. In this particular case Wiki seems to have used the bible for the Easter story. You don’t use the bible to prove the bible! This story is consistant with a number of books written by reputable authors. Certainly no one is forcing you to believe something that you would prefer not to believe. Only, I hope the reader understands that your narration of the events of 2000 years ago MIGHT be wrong — just as mine might be wrong. It is probably OK to drum into a child’s head that 1+1=2, after all, there is plenty of proof of that. But it is certainly not OK to drum into his/her little head that there was a 2000 year old man who had a virgin birth, walked on water, raised the dead, turned water into wine, disregarded his violent death and simply flew up to heaven — at least until you have some proof. A book that has been written by man long after the supposed fact, then censored by men, and then re-written, and then re-written again and again does not constitute proof. At best, it constitutes fiction.