We have finished looking at the trials of Yeshua, one before the religious leaders of Israel and one before the Romans. Pilate said three times that Yeshua was innocent but because of Jewish pressure he condemns Yeshua to die. Pilate didn't know it, but he was fulfilling the will of Yahweh. The crucifixion of Christ was part of the sovereign plan of God. Yeshua Himself had announced His approaching Passion and Crucifixion at the end of His last day of teaching at the Temple in Jerusalem:
And Yeshua answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. John 12:23 ESV
This signals a change. Up till this point there has been a repeated theme in this Gospel that Yeshua's hour or time had not yet come. Yeshua first mentioned "His hour" to His mother at the wedding at Cana in John 2:4 saying: "My hour has not yet come." But at the conclusion of His three year ministry, His mission was coming to its climax:
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Yeshua knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. John 13:1 ESV
Yeshua's "hour" of glorification and His return to the Father's right hand was approaching. This "hour," determined by God the Father before the beginning of Creation, was about to be fulfilled. In our text it is being fulfilled.
In our last study we saw the chief priests of Israel saying:
They cried out, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." John 19:15 ESV
These Jewish leaders shouted out that they had no King, and by inference, no God, except the Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar who was acknowledged as the son of a god by the Roman people. Their statement, We have no king except Caesar, is a major breach of the Covenant! They are turning from Yahweh to Rome. The Jewish hierarchy had accused Yeshua of blaspheming, but now these men were themselves guilty of blasphemy.
So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Yeshua, John 19:16 ESV
As is his custom John does not repeat much of the information found in the Synoptic Gospels concerning Yeshua's Crucifixion and death.
"So he delivered him over to them to be crucified"—by now Pilate had given up on any idea of justice. His only desire was to pacify this crowd that had suddenly become so fired up, and if it meant the life of an innocent man, it was out of his hands. By the words "to them," John evidently meant that Pilate "handed" Yeshua "over" to the Roman soldiers to satisfy the demands of the Jews.
The word "delivered" here is from the Greek word paradidomi which means, "to turn someone over to judgment." Who handed Christ over to judgment? In the text here it is Pilate, but Pilate does this because it is the preordained plan of God. This was not man exerting authority over God, but God the Son giving Himself into the hands of sinful men to carry out the eternal counsels of the Godhead (Acts 4:24-28). It was God the Father who was handing over his beloved Son to judgment:
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32 ESV
The words "gave Him up" are the Greek paradidomi. Christ was handed over by the Father for our offenses. Pilate was the human instrument, but God was the divine cause.
We must always view the Passion and Crucifixion of our Lord as being under the sovereign control of Yahweh.
Remember what day it is, it's Passover, and it was the time at which the Passover lamb should be slain. And so here we have the chief priests of Jerusalem on one hand and Pilate the prefect of Judea or Rome on the other hand and they are uniting in delivering up God's Passover lamb. Here we come to the fulfillment of all of the teaching of the Tanakh concerning the Passover, as Paul later will say, "Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us." And so Rome and Jerusalem unite in offering up the Passover lamb, which is slain for the sins of God's elect.
In this text John omits any reference to the most brutal and sometimes lethal form of scourging, that the Roman soldiers would now have given to Yeshua. The crucifixion process would typically begin by a preliminary scourging. We saw back in verse 1 of this chapter that Pilate had Yeshua flogged before He was convicted hoping that it would be enough punishment to satisfy the Jews so he can set Yeshua free. Now after being sentenced to be crucified Yeshua received a second scourging, a much more violent one.
I want to read you a brief description of the scourging that our Lord endured from the book, The Crucifixion of Jesus. The Passion of Christ from a Medical Point of View:
"The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus' shoulders, back and legs. At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. Finally the skin on the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue." (C. Truman Davis, The Crucifixion of Yeshua. The Passion of Christ from a Medical Point of View, "Arizona Medicine 22, no. 3"[March 1965]: 185 as quoted in The Expositor's Bible Commentary Vol. 8, ed. by Frank Gaebelein  p. 775).
"This brutal beating was prophesied a thousand years earlier in:
As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— Isaiah 52:14 ESV
This type of flogging was so severe that many were unconscious before this ordeal ended; some even died. If the criminal survived his scourging, he was forced to carry his own cross to the place of the crucifixion.
and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. John 19:17 ESV
"And he went out, bearing his own cross"—despite what some may say we're not certain as to the exact shape of the cross. One opinion is that it was a plain stake. We see this view in the Complete Jewish Bible that reads, "Carrying the stake Himself."
Another opinion is that it was a cross in the form of the figure X, the so-called St Andrew's Cross. Yet another suggests that it was in the shape of a T, known as St Anthony's Cross, while the fourth, the so-called Latin Cross, is the traditional idea we all have of a cross-shaped like this t. The predominant view is that the Latin Cross is the most likely shape.
Typically, the cross consisted of two parts: The cross-beam or horizontal member (Latin patibulum) on which the arms would be stretched out and attached, and, the vertical post or stake which would be sunk in the earth and remain in place at the execution site. The Greek word for cross is stauros, originally "an upright pointed stake or pale." Later the word stauros came to refer to any part of the cross, whether the upright or cross-piece.
"And he went out, bearing his own cross"—the literally Greek here is, "He was carrying the cross Himself." It was normal that the condemned man, in the middle of a square of four soldiers, should carry the crosspiece on which he was to be crucified to the place of execution. The accusation against him was written on a board carried ahead by a soldier, and the longest route to the execution site was taken so as to act as a warning to as many people as possible. The Romans wanted everyone to be stirred by this dark sight and be afraid of the power of Rome.
The church Fathers tend to see in this event the antitype to Isaac carrying wood to the place of sacrifice, almost his own sacrifice:
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. Genesis 22:6 ESV
Even some Jewish scholars thought the Isaac episode reminiscent of crucifixion: Isaac carried the wood "like one carries his stake on his shoulder" [Genesis Rabbah 56:3 on Gn. 22:6].
You see in that picture Isaac carrying the wood of his own execution pyre on his own back. Isaac is a picture of Christ. And then another picture of Christ appears: the ram caught in the thicket who becomes the substitute.
And so Yeshua begins to carry or drag the cross-beam from the Roman Praetorium, where He had been flogged, along the Via Dolorosa to His execution outside the walls. At a certain spot, as they walked along, it became obvious to the execution squad that Yeshua wasn't strong enough to carry the cross any further. Did He collapse, lying on the road with the cross on top of Him? The Bible nowhere tells us that He fell or why it was necessary for someone else to carry Yeshua's cross.
We can appreciate the fact that as a true man He was no longer strong enough to carry this heavy beam of wood as fast as they wanted Him to. Since it is already midmorning and the deed must be done before sundown, they grab Simon the Cyrenian to take up the burden of Christ. Mark tell us:
And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him. And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. Mark 15:20-21 ESV
Mark tells us that Simon was "compelled", which is from the Greek word aggareuo. This word is found only three times in the New Testament, and in all cases it means: "coercion."
Why did Simon have to comply? Roman soldiers had the legal right to make anyone carry something for a distance of one Roman mile, which is about 80 yards shorter than the English mile, and this legal right was what Yeshua was talking about when He preached,
And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Matthew 5:41 ESV
He spoke this during His sermon on loving enemies and turning the other cheek.
The road that Christ walked carrying the cross from the fortress Antonia to Golgotha, is traditionally called the Via Dolorosa. Via Dolorosa is Latin for "Way of Grief" or "Way of Suffering." Most of us are probably familiar with this term Via Dolorosa thanks to Sandi Patti's song by that title. Let me read you one of the verses:
"Down the Via Dolorosa called the way of suffering
Like a lamb came the Messiah, Christ the King,
But He chose to walk that road out of
His love for you and me.
Down the Via Dolorosa, all the way to Calvary."
The modern Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem was created in the 14th century by Franciscan monks. Traditionally, it is held to be the path that Yeshua walked on the way to His crucifixion. The modern tradition of the Via Dolorosa and the fourteen stations of the Cross is mostly unbiblical. I say "mostly unbiblical" because there are two incidents, according to Scripture, that actually happened on Yeshua's way to the Cross the rest are purely traditional.
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The first event that occurred on the way to Calvary was the commandeering of Simon of Cyrene, which we just looked at. The second incident is only mentioned by Luke:
And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Yeshua said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep 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 nursed!' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.' For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?" Luke 23:27-31 ESV
Yeshua turned to these mourning women with words that must have caught them off guard. He told them not to weep for Him, but for themselves and for their children. The tragedy to which Yeshua was referring was the future destruction of Jerusalem, which caused Yeshua to weep as He entered that city. Looking back, we know that the destruction was brought on the city and its inhabitants by Titus, the commander of the Roman army, which sacked the city and executed hundreds of thousands of Jews. In Yeshua's final hours of life, He again warns of the soon coming destruction of Jerusalem.
"To the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha"—some translations say "Aramaic" here, some say "Hebrew." Some Scholars try to tell us that Hebrew was a dead language at the time of Christ. I don't think so. When Paul addressed the mob in Jerusalem he did so in Hebrew (Acts 21:40).
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The identification as Golgotha is found in Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22 and here in John 19:17. The Greek word for skull is kranion . The name Calvary comes to us from the Latin calvaria, which also means "skull." The Rheims New Testament translation of the Latin Vulgate, calvariae locus, which is the Latin translation of the Greek kraniou topos, "place of the skull." Matthew 27:32 and Mark 15:21 explicitly state the site lies outside the city; John says it is near the city in verse 20.
At the time of Yeshua's crucifixion, Golgotha was located outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem. It was forbidden to contaminate the sanctity of the holy city by the presence of the dead. Therefore no one could be buried or executed inside the walls of Jerusalem, which was considered to be "the camp of God" (Leviticus 24:14-23).
Let's talk for a minute about Golgotha. Was it on a hill? The opening verse of the Hymn "The Old Rugged Cross" states: "On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross." Was Golgotha on a hill? Tradition of both hymns and paintings often depict the place of the crucifixion as on a hill top. But that would be contrary to Roman thinking. The Romans put temples, homes, places of honor on the tops of hills, not people condemned to die. There is no mention in the Gospels of Yeshua being crucified on a hill.
There is a lot of disagreement today about the site of Golgotha. Scriptures indicate that it was outside the city (Hebrews 13:12) but close to it (John 19:20), probably along some public thoroughfare (Matthew 27:39) as well as being visible from afar (Mark 15:40; Luke 23:49).
This photo was taken in the late 19th century. Some believe that "Golgotha" referred to a cliff face whose rock protrusions and indentations gave it the distinct appearance of a human skull. If Yeshua was crucified here His cross was at the bottom of this cliff, at ground level, not on top of it. The Romans crucified people on major roads, not on hard-to-reach hilltops, because they wanted the passersby to see the victims' gory end up close, not from afar.
There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Yeshua between them. John 19:18 ESV
"There they crucified him"—it's important to note here that crucifxion was not how the Jews executed people. Jewish scholar Alfred Edersheim says that there was a place in Jerusalem that was known as Beth-has-sekîlah. It was a place of execution. The Jews used it to execute people; it was an eleven-foot-deep precipice. The first witness against someone who'd been determined to be guilty pushed the person over the edge, down eleven feet to rocks below. If they didn't die by that, the second witness picked up the first rock and tried to drop it on their heart or their head. If the victim was not yet dead, then the rest of the people gathered there would keep throwing stones until his life or her life was snuffed out.
Yeshua made it clear that He was to die by being lifted up:
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, John 3:14 ESV
Yeshua talked about his death as being lifted up in John 8:28, 12:32 and 18:31-32. The Jews didn't lift somebody up when they executed them. This is why they had to get the Romans to do it for them. Yeshua had to be crucified.
"There they crucified him"—did you notice that the New Testament writers don't dwell on the physical suffering of the scourging and the Cross, because that isn't the focal point. We tend to make it that, but it certainly is not the focal point of the Gospel writers. Look at John's reference to it: "They crucified Him." One word, and that's it! None of the Gospel writers went into any detail at all. Of course I realize that one of the reasons for that is that crucifiction was common in their time. People knew only too well its horrors; they didn't need to be told about the implications of a man being crucified.
We, on the other hand, are not, so I would like to read you a medical description of the suffering of the cross from the book, The Crucifixion of Jesus. The Passion of Christ from a Medical Point of View:
"Simon is ordered to place the cross beam on the ground, and Jesus is quickly thrown backwards with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives the heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The cross beam is then lifted in place at the top of the vertical beam The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The Victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails and the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain—the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves.
"As he pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet. At this point, another phenomenon occurs. As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen
"Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is now almost over—the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level—the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues—the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air The body of Jesus is now in extremis, and He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues His mission of atonement has been completed. Finally He can allow His body to die." (C. Truman Da:vis, The Crucifixion of Yeshua. The Passion of Christ from a Medical Point of View, Arizona "Medicine 22, no. 3 March 1965": 186-87 as quoted in The Expositor's Bible Commentary Vol. 8, ed. by Frank Gaebelein ( pp. 779-80.)
A healthy man could live for several days on such a cross before he expired from hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and madness. It was a slow agonizing death. If the soldiers wanted to speed the process up, they broke the victim's legs to prevent ease of breathing.
As you can see Calvary meant a cruel, excruciating death. Even the term "excruciating" finds its roots in the Latin word excruciatus, meaning "out of the cross." Crucifixion and excruciation became synonymous during that era.
Klauaner, the Jewish writer, writing of crucifixion says, "Crucifixion is the most terrible and cruel death which man has ever devised for taking vengeance on his fellow-men." Cicero (106-43 B.C.), a Roman author, said about crucifixion: "Even the mere word, cross, must remain far not only from the lips of the citizens of Rome, but also from their thoughts, their eyes, their ears." He elsewhere conveys his opinion that crucifixion was the grossest, cruelest, or most hideous manner of execution. One of the privileges of being a Roman citizen was that you were exempted from the cruelty of crucifixion. They reserved it only for non-Roman citizens. Tactitus called it, "A torture only fit for slaves."
This tortuous execution was viewed by the Jews as a cursed form of death. Deuteronomy 21:23 states that "anyone who is hung on a pole is under God's curse." Documents discovered at Qumran reveal that many Jews of Yeshua's time applied this text to Roman crucifixion.
Crucifixion originated in Persia; and its origin came from the fact that the earth was considered to be sacred to Ormuzd the god, and the criminal was lifted up from it that he might not defile the earth, which was the god's property. From Persia crucifixion passed to Carthage in North Africa; and it was then from Carthage that Rome learned it, although the Romans kept it exclusively for rebels, runaway slaves, and the lowest type of criminal.
The cross is an instrument of death. We could liken it to any of the instruments of death used throughout the centuries. Whether you speak of the heavy axe of the executioner, the hangman's noose, the guillotine, the gas chamber, or the electric chair, you are speaking of only one thing-of death by execution.
But in our culture the cross is a religious symbol. Around the necks of hundreds of thousands in our society today are crosses of gold and silver. Many of them are beautifully decorated with precious stones-sapphires, rubies and diamonds. The people who wear them, in the majority, blissfully go on their way without even the vaguest understanding of the meaning of the true cross. The cross has merely become another item of jewelry. Yet, there were no jewels in the cross that executed our Lord Yeshua. Our culture has lost its understanding of the cross. What does the cross mean to you? Do you understand the reason for the cross and its necessity for the salvation of sinners? It is only in the cross of Yeshua that sinners can find refuge from the judgment of God.
There was no other way for the salvation of sinners; not by religious observance, not by moral living, not by professions, not by penance. The only way for the salvation of sinners was by Yeshua bearing His cross to Calvary to die as an atoning sacrifice.
All of our guilt before God as sinners was transferred to Yeshua so that He might bear the judgment of God for us. Just as the high priest would lay his hands upon a lamb to transfer his guilt and the guilt of the people to the lamb before it was sacrificed as an atonement for sin, even so Yeshua received the transfer of our guilt as He atoned for our sin:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24 ESV
Please notice "He bore our sins" this is substitution, He died for us. In God the Father's eyes, as Yeshua became our substitute, He was "smitten of God and afflicted," so that Isaiah could prophecy concerning Him:
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4 ESV
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 ESV
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53:10 ESV
Once our iniquity had fallen upon Yeshua, the justice of God demanded that He bear the full weight of divine judgment against sinners. The language of the whole Bible in regard to sacrifices and particularly in regard to Christ's death is that it is substitutionary. The animals that were offered sacrificially upon the altar in ancient Israel's temple had no sin of their own. They were substitutes that pointed to the only sufficient Substitute, Yeshua. It was necessary for a sacrifice to bear the judgment of God's justice so that He might be just in giving life to the sinner. Paul puts it this way:
and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Yeshua, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Yeshua. Romans 3:24-26 ESV
"As a gift by His grace"—"gift" is from the Greek word dorean, which means: "for nothing, gratuitously, or gift-wise." The word "grace" is the Greek word charis which means: "unmerited favor, or kindness shown to one who is utterly undeserving." In the phrase "as a gift by His grace", the idea of "free" is redoubled to show that our justification is all of God.
The word "redemption" here is apolutrosis, which means: "a releasing effected by payment of ransom." It means: "deliverance at a cost" or "release by payment of a price." In redemption, someone's release or deliverance is accomplished at the cost of a ransom payment.
To understand propitiation is to understand the Gospel, and without it, you have no Gospel. The Greek word used here is hilasterion, which means: "the removal of wrath by the offering of a sacrifice." It is the turning of God's wrath away from the sinner by a sacrifice made to satisfy God.
To be righteous, and to declare as righteous those who are guilty seems like an unrighteous decision. God's righteousness would dictate: pour out your wrath on guilty sinners—that would be righteous. But if God is going to justify the ungodly, then someone, namely Jesus Christ, had to bear the wrath of God to show that God is just. That's why the word "propitiation" in verse 25 is so important. Christ bore the wrath of God for our sins, and turned it away from us.
The amazing message of the Gospel of Yeshua is that it was my sins and your sins that brought our great Substitute to the cross. There the justice of God was settled for eternity! We cannot add one ounce of energy to our salvation. We cannot make any contribution to our redemption through the efforts of our hands. The full measure of God's demand for justice was met in Yeshua at the cross. Apart from His substitutionary work on the cross, we must face all of the wrath and judgment of God toward sinners.
Our only hope before a just God, whose character of justice would be the same even if He had never created man or angels, is the righteousness of Yeshua. When Yeshua was crucified, a double transaction of righteousness occurred through our Substitute. The righteous judgment of God was satisfied through the bloody death of Christ. Now all the guilt that you have before God has been washed away in His death. God's demand for judgment was met in the Person of His Son. But you still need to be clothed in righteousness to stand before God. You cannot meet Him clothed by your own feeble efforts of righteousness. So Yeshua has become the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Rom. 10:4). His righteousness has been imputed to those who are in Christ. He obeyed the Law on our behalf so that all of the righteousness that He accrued by His perfect, sufficient obedience, has now been placed to our accounts. We have a right standing with God, because we stand in the righteousness of Yeshua! No wonder Paul could write:
And because of him you are in Christ Yeshua, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 ESV
Because of "the Cross of Christ," our lives can have hope. Because of "the Cross of Christ," we can experience forgiveness. Because of "the Cross of Christ," our lives can find real meaning. Because of "the Cross of Christ," we can be made whole. In "the Cross" there is healing. In "the Cross" there is deliverance. In "the Cross" there is power. What does "the Cross" mean to you? How does your gratitude for what Christ has done for you impact your daily living?
There is so much theology, so much that daily touches our lives in the three words that John uses, "They crucified Him."
Let's finish this verse, "and with him two others, one on either side, and Yeshua between them"—Matthew and Mark call these two men robbers, Luke calls them criminals. Luke tells us the whole story about these two criminals. Matthew and Mark, both tell us that at the beginning, both mocked and ridiculed the Lord Yeshua. All the Gospels stress that Yeshua was in the middle between two robbers. It identified Him as one of them and that is a fulfillment of prophecy.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12 ESV
Isaiah, writing a thousand years before Christ, painting the picture of the death of the Messiah to come says, "He was numbered with the transgressors." Fulfilled prophecy is one of the strongest proofs that this book was written by God. There are over 300 prophecies that were literally fulfilled in Yeshua of Nazareth. Yahweh designed fulfilled prophecy to be an open demonstration of the divine origin of the Scriptures.