John 19

Pray Read the text.  It is worth noting that none of the 4 gospels give us a comprehensive view of what happened at Golgotha; I believe this is done to show us the depth and complexity of this historic event. That is, all 4 authors of the Gospel are telling us to dig deeper than into this event. 

I recommend reading this event in the other 4 gospels located in Matthew 27, Mark 15 and Luke 23.

19:1-11

19:1-3

Why did Pilate have Jesus beaten?

Pilate had no charge against Jesus. Pilate seemed to find Jesus innocent. It would seem that Pilate was trying to satisfy the Jews’ bloodlust. 

So why was Jesus beaten at all? Or why did God allow such suffering to come upon Jesus if it was only necessary for Jesus to die as a sacrifice to God?

It was common that Roman criminals would be beaten/flogged prior to their trail to try and get them to confess any other crimes committed. Thus, the flogging further establishes Jesus\’ innocence.

I think Paul speaks on this in Philippians 2:4-10, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the (1) form of God, (2) did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but (3) emptied himself, by (4) taking the form of a servant, (5) being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being  (6) found in human form, he (7) humbled himself by (8) becoming obedient to the (9) point of death, even (10) death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee stud bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,…” So, Jesus was beaten/flogged because He was being obedient to The Father, even in suffering. And His great suffering gained Him His great exaltation/honor. 

Or to put it another way: Hebrews 5:8, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. Christ was sinless.

\”Although he was the divine Son of God, he was really human, with all our temptations and appetites and physical weaknesses. There was hunger (Matthew 21:18) and anger and grief (Mark 3:5) and pain (Matthew 17:12). But his heart was perfectly in love with God, and he acted consistently with that love: “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). Therefore, when the Bible says that Jesus “learned obedience through what he suffered,” it doesn’t mean that he learned to stop disobeying. It means that with each new trial he learned in pracChrist Suffered and Died . . . 24 3 tice—and in pain—what it means to obey. When it says that he was “made perfect through suffering,” it doesn’t mean that he was gradually getting rid of defects. It means that he was gradually fulfilling the perfect righteousness that he had to have in order to save us. That’s what he said at his baptism. He didn’t need to be baptized because he was a sinner. Rather, he explained to John the Baptist, “Thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). The point is this: If the Son of God had gone from incarnation to the cross without a life of temptation and pain to test his righteousness and his love, he would not be a suitable Savior for fallen man. His suffering not only absorbed the wrath of God. It also fulfilled his true humanity and made him able to call us brothers and sisters (Hebrews 2:17).” (Piper, Passion of Jesus, pg. 24).

19:2

Why did Jesus wear a “crown of thorns”? 

Thorns were one of the consequences of the first sin in Genesis 3. This shows that Jesus took the full/complete curse of sin to redeem His people. 

What\’s the “purple robe” mean?

Purple is the color of royalty. This chapter is full of irony. The Romans used this purple robe to mock Jesus and His claims of Kingship when it should have been used to honor/adore Him because of His true Kingship. 

19:4

So after Pilate tried to get any kind of confession out of Him he brings Jesus out to show Him beaten and bloody to try and prove Jesus’ innocence. 

19:5

“Ecce homo” The irony. In a crown and robes of royalty but put to shame and humiliation rather than exaltation as it properly should be. 

“Behold the man” 

What\’s it mean to “behold” someone? 

To watch, witness or contemplate. 

What are we to behold Jesus as? Why is He worthy of beholding at all? 

As Lord and Savior. For what He has done and is about to do in this chapter. 

Behold the best man. Behold the King, Savior, Lord, Second Adam, Man as he should be, the Mediator, High Priest, Intercessor; and the list goes on of what we are to behold Him as.  

19:6

“saw Him” They saw Him. But did not behold Him. 

19:7

Again, irony. He didn’t make Himself the Son of God. But is the very Son of God. 

“a law” Referring to Lev 24:16. 

19:8

“more afraid” This is a very strange phrase for John to write in this scene and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. What do y’all think? 

Perhaps Pilate did think Jesus could have been more than man. And thus was afraid. 

19:9-11

In verse 9 why do y’all think Jesus was silence?

Perhaps, given verse 11, Jesus did not want/feel the need to answer since He knew this was all of God anyhow. 

So let\’s dig into 19:11 some more. 

“…unless given to you from above” So who gave Pilate the authority to release or crucify Him? 

God. 

And why would God grant such authority to Pilate over Jesus?

So that His will/plan of redemption would be fulfilled. God did not leave the plan of redemption to chance. 

“he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” 

So who delivered Jesus over to Pilate? 

The Jews. 18:30

Why did they have the “greater sin”? 

Jesus tells Pilate that he wouldn’t have authority to him unless it came from God THEREFORE he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin. I think Jesus is saying that because the Jews had more authority and responsibility from God because they knew God they, therefore, had a greater sin/because they failed in their great responsibility to honor the Christ they also have the greater sin when failing in their greater responsibility. 

19:12-17

19:12

“Caesar’s friend” It would seem that this was either a common phrase used at that time or a literal political title of some kind. Regardless, here, the Jews allied themselves with Caesar rather than Jesus for political and power gains. It would also seem that the Jews managed to scare Pilate into crucifying Jesus with the use of this particular political soft spot. 

19:13

Another example of irony. Pilate renders judgment on the One whom the Father Himself entrusted with all judgment (5:22). 

19:15

The Jews aligned themselves with a foreign occupation in their own land over their own true King. This, perhaps, should serve as a warning to us. No matter how much theology we know, how pure we think we are it is all revenant without a love and therefore loyalty to God alone.

19:17-22

19:17

“skull” The place probably derived its name from its appearance; though the precise location is uncertain today. 

John, continuing his attention to detail in his gospel notes in 19:41 a garden and a tomb near the place Jesus was buried. I find this to be one of the most interesting landscapes I’ve ever heard of. 

When you hear the word “skull” what do you think?

Death. Decay. Abandonment (Because of an unburied body). 

I wonder if the very name of the location where Jesus died and rose is to also tell the story of Jesus dying in raising. “skull” death, “tomb” burial, “garden” abundant life. 

19:18 

What do y’all know about these other two fellas to Jesus\’ side?

One made a confession of faith in Him and the others continued in his rebellion. 

19:22

Why do y’all think Pilate wrote this?

19:23-27

19:24

So was what happened to Jesus just a random series of events? 

No. Clearly not according to John. It wasn’t an accident but planned by God. 

19:25

It\’s worth noting that I’m operating under the assumption that “Mary Magdalene” here is the same “Mary” from John 11 and 12; though I could be totally wrong. 

Why do y’all think it was only Mary, Mother of Jesus, Magdalene, and Wife of Clopas and John that were at the cross?

We know the other disciples were scared and scattered. But why Mother of Jesus was there I’m not sure. 

Its also worth noting that in Luke 2:35 a prophet Simeon blessed Mary and Joseph and said to Mary, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”  This scene in John’s gospel is believed to be the fulfillment of that. 

19:26-27

So what do y’all think this means?

Jesus, being firstborn of the family, would have the responsibility of caring for his mother (seeing how his father died early in His life) but Jesus passes this responsibility to John and not another member of His family. 

Why do y’all think Jesus put John in charge of Mary’s care?

Because they were there and seemed to be the only ones who understood that Jesus\’ death was the goal of His ministry. They were more united in Spirit than blood. Or as the saying goes “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”

19:28-37

19:30

“It is finished” Meaning what? What’s completed?

His ministry. His work. 

The Greek word here has been found in the papyri being placed on recipes for taxes meaning “paid in full”. 

So can we take away from His work?

No.

Can we add to His work?

No. Its done. Our sin will not negate His work and our self-righteousness will not add to it. All that is necessary for salvation has been completed. 

19:31-33

Why would the soldiers break the legs of those hanging?

To have them suffocate and die faster. 

19:33-34

Notice, His body was broken but not His bones. In OT, if the bone of the animal sacrifice was broken then the sacrifice was void but their body would be broken. Thus, Jesus being the perfect lamb. 

“blood and water”

To mean that Jesus was indeed dead. Either the solider stabbed/pierced Jesus heart or the chest cavity was pierced at the bottom. Many have read into this text a symbolic meaning to having blood and water come out of Jesus side. Given all the symbology within the text I think they may be right to do so.

So, what could “blood and water” refer to?

Blood of the covenant and water of baptism-both necessary for salvation. 

If indeed, the blood and water came from Jesus\’ heart what meaning would that have?

Heart-source of all a person is. Blood of the covenant and water of baptism-both necessary for salvation. Thus, out of His heart, full of love for His people He provided the means of salvation. 

19:35-37

John’s first testimony. It is true; worthy of our trust. 

19:38-42

So why would Joseph choose to bury Jesus?

“Joseph” mentioned in all 4 gospels but only in relation to Jesus\’ burial. Mark claims he is a member of the Sanhedrin, he was rich according to Matthew and was seeking the kingdom of God according to Luke. Joseph public risked his reputation and even his life in asking for Jesus\’ body. Given this, it would seem that Joseph was a disciple of Jesus/came to faith in Him. 

19:40

This was done in honor of the body and person in accordance with Jewish custom. 

19:41

Notice the place where He was crucified there was a garden. What significant do y’all think this garden had?

In the Garden of Eden Death and the grace first received their power and now in a garden, they are conquered, disarmed and triumphed over. In a garden, Jesus began His passion, and from a garden, He would rise and being His exaltation. 

What do y’all think some potential applications of this chapter are?

The Gospel; in all its depth and simplicity. 

How would y’all define the Gospel?

Christ, live and died to satisfy the just wrath of God against my sin for me. 

So what are some effects/outcomes of Christ’s death?

Life in God, knowing God, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit indwelling, joy, ingrafted into Church etc. 

And given all this, how then should we live?

In love and gratitude to Him for doing all that we couldn’t do for us.  

#JohnBibleStudy

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