The Trauma

John 19:31-34, 36-37

 

In John 19:31, it is revealed that the time of preparation had come. Because of this time, the Jews asked Pilate to break their legs so that they would die quickly. Therefore, their bodies be removed and buried the same day. They did not want these individuals’ crucified bodies to remain upon the crosses overnight–especially during their holy day of Passover. In the Old Testament, it is forbidden for a body to hang on a tree or cross overnight. See Deut. 21:22-23.

Now we need to discuss the piercing of Jesus. First, the cruelty of the piercing. The soldiers could not resist an act of brutality upon the body of Christ. This was only a continuation of their meanness toward Christ. Jesus was pierced in the side possibly with a spear. Second, the consequences of the piercing. Blood and water came out of Jesus’ side as prophesied in Psalm 22:16-17. Third, the error from the piercing. Those who say that Jesus only fainted, and He had been revived in the grave are liars. They are rejecting the truth of the gospel. Such unbelief is dangerous.

Calvary was not an accident in which God lost control to the cleverness of man. God was in control of everything concerning this event. Man was obedient to God’s plan.

 

The Final Sayings

Although Jesus uttered seven sayings on the cross, John records three. The first one is about transferring the care of Mary. She is His mother, and she is placed in the care of the Apostle John. It is important to understand that the first three sayings of Jesus deal with the needs of others. Most people would have a problem being concerned about others. He did what He could do to alleviate their problems. “The best balm for pain and sorrow is to minister to others.” (Strauss)

“He saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! “John 19:26

The angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce that she would be the one to bear the Messiah. He told her she was “highly favored.” Luke 1:28  This did not exempt her from earthly suffering. The fact is that the more highly favored an individual is in heaven, the more one may suffer on earth because Satan hates those individuals. Jesus is sovereign over Mary. The fact that Jesus calls her “woman” shows her place compared to Christ.

This shows the service in the transfer of care for Mary. It is a good illustration of Christian service. Jesus reveals the selected for service. Christ had four half-brothers and at least two-half-sisters. Note Matthew 13:55-56. Why isn’t Mary placed in their care? The answer comes from the fact that they are not devoted to Christ like the Apostle John is. They believed after the resurrection. Note John 7:5 and Acts 1:14. Jesus selects those who are devoted to Him for service. He knew that John would be devoted to her. He knew John would submit to this commission. What was also taken into account was the sacrifice for service. Caring for Mary would take great sacrifice. This care would include extra expenses and care. You and I must learn to sacrifice in our devotion to Him.

The third, fifth and sixth of the seven sayings of Christ on the cross are recorded by John. “Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst” John 19:28. Christ was also concerned about the fulfillment of Scripture. We must show this same dedication to obedience to the Scriptures. We need to look for a few minutes to the cause for the thirst.

1. Physical suffering. The suffering on the cross would create much thirst. Jesus may not have had a drink of water since He was in the Upper Room.

2. Spiritual suffering. This is the primary meaning of the saying, “I thirst.” Christ was experiencing the suffering for sin as He took the place of the sinner.

In John 19:30, Jesus says words of finality–“It is finished.” Although this saying is very brief, it holds profound meaning. This speaks of Christ’s suffering on earth. It is all over now. Note what Arthur W. Pink says about this. “What tongue or pen can describe the sufferings of the Savior?” This is something that we never are able to fully grasp. This statement speaks of the finished work of Christ concerning the work of salvation on the cross. Salvation requires that there be a blood sacrifice for the sin of the individual. The Old Testament speaks of many sacrifices, but they did not possess the power to remove the sin(s). Note Hebrews 10:11-12, 14. It was the sacrifice of all sacrifices. It fulfilled all the types of offerings and sacrifices of the Old Testament.

It speaks of victory over Satan. His opposition did not make the final sacrifice void. Satan failed to stop Jesus’ perfect sacrifice. Christ conquered victoriously. Jesus had completed His service. His assignment was complete.

 

The Title

The next thing we look at is the title above Jesus’ head. This is revealed in John 19:19. The title reads as follows:

 

JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. Every victim that is crucified gets a list of their crimes nailed to their cross. This title was right. Pilate writes the truth even though the Jews do not believe it. It is a title that is readable to all those who come from Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. It is written in three languages: Hebrew, Greek and Latin. These are the three main languages of the crowds.

 

The Jews reject this title. Note John 19:21-22. There is the fact of unbelief. They tell Pilate not to write that Jesus is the king of the Jews. There is the fact of the Jews’ unyielding to the rejection. John 19:22. Pilate’s stand is strong here. It is too late. Now we will discuss the tradition at the crucifixion.

 

John 19:23-24

The fact that the soldiers began to divide Jesus’ garments shows the poverty of the times. There is no recognition of the value of these garments. The parting of these garments are shameful to those being crucified. What this means is that Jesus was stripped of His garments. Religious artists wisely cover Jesus with a loin cloth. Note the words in verse 24:

 

“That the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.”

 

Compare this verse with Psalm 22:18. The fulfillment of Scripture reminds us that Calvary is not an accident. It is the well-planned event by God.

 

 

The Crucifixion

John 19:13-14 Pilate is still attempting to release Jesus instead of Barabbas. In response to the Jews’ reaction concerning Jesus, Pilate presents Jesus to the crowd. The Jews do not claim Jesus as their king. They say that Caesar is their king. Notice John 19:15 where Pilate asks them if they want Jesus to be crucified. Their answer is yes. Pilate’s cowardly acts fail to persuade the Jews to accept the release of Christ. The Jewish crowd is hypocritical. They profess great loyalty to the hated Caesar. Because of their cry, Jesus is delivered to the soldiers to be crucified.

John 19:17-37

None of the gospels gives full details of the crucifixion. For this reason, they have to be compiled. From this point, we are given a full account of this event. There are details that are unique to John.

The place of the crucifixion was outside of Jerusalem. The name of the area is known as the place of the skull. In Hebrew, it is called Golgotha. Golgotha and Calvary are both related to the skull. Note Luke 23:33. The rock formations at this place give the appearance of a skull. Jesus bore His cross to this place. It is heavy and painful because His back is bloody. The other gospels mention a man who carries the cross for Jesus because He becomes so weak.

Jesus is placed between two thieves. John 19:18. It is unknown whether they went through a trial. This fact is prophesied in the Old Testament. Note Isaiah 53:12. Calvary is no accident. It is an event planned by God.

The Crucifixion

John 19:13-14 Pilate is still attempting to release Jesus instead of Barabbas. In response to the Jews’ reaction concerning Jesus, Pilate presents Jesus to the crowd. The Jews do not claim Jesus as their king. They say that Caesar is their king. Notice John 19:15 where Pilate asks them if they want Jesus to be crucified. Their answer is yes. Pilate’s cowardly acts fail to persuade the Jews to accept the release of Christ. The Jewish crowd is hypocritical. They profess great loyalty to the hated Caesar. Because of their cry, Jesus is delivered to the soldiers to be crucified.

John 19:17-37

None of the gospels gives full details of the crucifixion. For this reason, they have to be compiled. From this point, we are given a full account of this event. There are details that are unique to John.

The place of the crucifixion was outside of Jerusalem. The name of the area is known as the place of the skull. In Hebrew, it is called Golgotha. Golgotha and Calvary are both related to the skull. Note Luke 23:33. The rock formations at this place give the appearance of a skull. Jesus bore His cross to this place. It is heavy and painful because His back is bloody. The other gospels mention a man who carries the cross for Jesus because He becomes so weak.

Jesus is placed between two thieves. John 19:18. It is unknown whether they went through a trial. This fact is prophesied in the Old Testament. Note Isaiah 53:12. Calvary is no accident. It is an event planned by God.

The Predicament of Pilate

As we see from the text, Pilate became concerned about the punishment of Christ. The concern finds its foundation in the inspiration as located in John 19:7-8. Pilate was scared about Jesus’ identity. He held a fearful feeling that Christ might be somebody more than what He appeared to be. Pilate saw Jesus in a body that was bloodied, bruised and beaten. Pilate’s fear would be justified in time. Notice that Pilate asked Jesus where He came from. What was the lesson that Pilate should have learned here? When you mistreat Deity, you will get no answers from Deity. If you do not honor God, do not expect help from God. [Analytical Bible Expositor, John, John 19-A. The Court for Christ – 3. The Concern by the Court John 19:7, page 278] To dishonor God is to experience unanswered prayer.

Another problem that Pilate had was his inability in his concern. Note John 19:10-11. Pilate was told that whatever power he had came from God. He did not have the ability to condemn. Pilate did the will of the Father. God was in charge!

The conduct of Pilate was that of a coward. He lacked the courage to do what was right even if it meant going against popular opinion. Pilate had an underlying desire: he sought to release Jesus. John 19:12 Jesus’ influence on Pilate gave him the desire to set Jesus free. It should be noted that his desire was not that strong though. It failed in the face of Jewish opposition.

The Problem for the desire–The Jews. Pilate faced immediate opposition when he attempted to free Jesus.

The Politics for the desire–The Jews used politics to cower Pilate into crucifying Christ. His desire to please Caesar was greater than his desire to release Jesus. Next, we see the display of Christ. Note John 19:13-14. The “king issue” is thrown back at the Jews. Jesus was seen by Pilate as their king, and he was right. The Jews did not want Jesus at all. The display of Christ was a poor substitute for what Pilate should have done, which was release Jesus. Of course, as students of the Word, we know that God’s Divine plan had to be fulfilled.

 

Pilate’s Efforts to Free Jesus

John 19:1-5

The eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of John’s Gospel deal with the trials of Jesus of Nazareth beginning with his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. They culminate in His crucifixion as recorded in John 19:16-30. The first part of John 19 is not a trial. There has been no record of a trial since Pilate’s initial verdict of acquittal as noted in verse 38 of the preceding chapter. Jesus is still in the hands of Pilate. The trial ended earlier when Pilate said, “I find in him no fault at all.”

(1) Pilate sent Jesus to Herod hoping that he would solve his dilemma.

(2) Pilate attempted to release Jesus instead of Barabbas in honor of the Jewish custom.

(3) Pilate caused Jesus to be beaten, hoping this meant to evoke pity from the leaders and mob.

None of these strategies worked. The reaction to these attempts shows the nature of the human heart and its sin. It also shows God’s plan for the redemption of the world through Jesus’ crucifixion.