Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: John's Gospel Studies|
Chapter: John 19
Passage: John 19:1-7
A. Find Out:
1. What happened to Jesus next? v.1
2. What did the soldiers do to Jesus? v.2,3
3. What did Pilate then tell the Jews again? v.4
4. How did the religious leaders respond? v.6a
5. But what was Pilate's response to them? v.6b
6. What did they say back to him? v.7
Pilate is shown here as a mixture. On the one hand he is shown to be a judge who will not go against the evidence and just bend to the wishes of the prosecutors, while on the other hand he is shown to be harsh and indifferent to the plight of an innocent man. Pilate had the opportunity to really bring justice into this situation. Instead he sat on the fence!
He has already declared Jesus to be innocent (18:38) yet he is still willing to have him flogged for no apparent reason, a flogging that would have left his back in shreds. The only reason that can be thought of is that Pilate wanted to be seen as one who meted out justice and had dealt with whatever minor wrong of which the Jews accused Jesus. So Jesus is beaten and mocked by the soldiers who are seeming to say, “We're the rulers here, so called king of the Jews. Whatever you might think yourself to be, you're nothing before us!”
Again Pilate declares Jesus innocent; there is nothing the authorities have told him that warrants him sentencing Jesus to death. But the Jews turn to their own laws. Look, they seem to say, our laws say this man should be put to death for blasphemy, but you won't let us do it so you must do it. They are clear on Jesus' claims!
1. Evil men succeed when good men remain quiet.
2. The quiet of good men starts to make them evil men as well!
A. Find Out:
1. How did Pilate respond to their charge of blasphemy? v.8
2. What did he ask and how did Jesus reply? v.9
3. What did Pilate then say and how did Jesus reply? v.10,11
4. What did the crowd shout and how did Pilate respond? v.12,13
5. What did Pilate ask and what did they reply? v.15
6. So how did Pilate respond eventually? v.16
At the mention that Jesus might be the Son of God Pilate, possibly because he is a superstitious heathen, becomes afraid. The Romans had their gods. Was this one of them come down? That prompts him to ask where Jesus had come from, but Jesus sensing the futility of his present reasoning doesn't even bother to give him an answer. Don't you realise the power I have, is Pilate's way of trying to make Jesus speak. You only have power because it's given you from one above you (Caesar and ultimately God) and (implied) power brings with it responsibility, and so the one who handed me over (Caiaphas) is guilty of greater sin, for he should have known better.
Amazingly Pilate goes along with this, probably realising the truth of what Jesus says, and so goes to release Jesus. However the Jews play their trump card: if you are a friend of Caesar's you'll do what we say. Jesus had just reminded Pilate about his power coming from Caesar and now the crowds play on this. The implication is, we'll tell Caesar if you don't crucify this man! Politics is a dirty business and Pilate doesn't want to have to go justifying himself to an unpredictable Caesar. Pilate gives in and Jesus is condemned to death!
1. Political expediency is the enemy of truth.
2. Political expediency is the brother of cowardice.
A. Find Out:
1. What did Jesus have to do? v.17
2. How was Jesus crucified? v.18
3. What did Pilate have written? v.19,20
4. Who protested in what way? v.21
5. What was Pilate's response? v.22
6. What also happened and why? v.23,24
The facts are simple: they crucified the sinless Son of God by hanging him from a cross for hours, probably having nailed him to it through his wrists and feet so that his hung there in excruciating pain, hardly able to breath, in the hot sun with the crowd taunting him. When we read this passage it leaves us wanting to hide away in a corner in shame because of what we, mankind, did to Jesus. Pilate put a sign above him for all to see displaying in contempt “King of the Jews”. The religious leaders objected and Pilate ignored the objection. The soldiers fulfilled prophecy by casting lots for Jesus' coat. Those are the facts of this passage. John is very sparing with his details, he simply wants to confirm the basic facts given by the other Gospels, they are left to fill in more details.
Remember what we have here: facts of history. This actually happened nearly two thousand years ago. It is these facts and these facts alone the make it possible for you to be accepted by God today, sinner that you are. God doesn't turn a blind eye, but as the judge of the world He looks and sees Jesus taking YOUR punishment on the Cross and therefore declares you freed; the punishment has been taken, there is no more to be said about your wrongs (sins). The way is open for you now to receive all the goodness of heaven because all your badness, guilt and shame was taken by Jesus on the Cross.
1. Jesus died - in extreme pain - to take my punishment!
2. I owe him everything.
A. Find Out:
1. Who were standing nearby? v.25
2. Who also did Jesus see there? v.26a
3. What 2 statements did Jesus make with what result? v.26b,27
4. As he hung there what else did he say? v.28
5. So then what happened? v.29
6. After he had drunk, what did Jesus do? v.30
John again leaves out many of the details given in the Synoptic Gospels, he doesn't need to repeat them, they are well known already. Instead he gives the barest of details. First he picks up a detail the others had missed because it involved him. He (referred to as ‘the disciple whom he loved') was standing near the Cross with several of the women who had been especially close to Jesus. Even as he is hanging there, Jesus looks down and through his pain he gives a cryptic instruction to John to take his place and look after Mary for him. Jesus shows care even in the midst of agony.
John then picks up on the detail two of the others had mentioned, that of Jesus being offered vinegar (or sour wine that the soldiers used) on the Cross. John shows that this was given in response to Jesus' apparent plea, yet that it was in fact to ensure that even the most minute detail of prophecy was fulfilled (see Psa 69:21). And then he gave up or relinquished his spirit and died. John is clear that this was an act of the will, for he has decreed that all had been done as was planned from the beginning (see Rev 13:8) in the utterance, “It is finished”. In complete control at every moment, Jesus acts out every detail of the divine plan and then departs!
1. Even on the Cross Jesus was in complete control. Incredible!
2. Even on the Cross Jesus shows care and concern. Wonderful!
A. Find Out:
1. What day was just coming? v.31a
2. So what did the Jews want to happen? v.31b
3. What did the soldiers find when they went to do it? v.32,33
4. So what did they do instead to Jesus? v.34
5. What does John say about all this? v.35
6. How did he view these events? v.36,37
Roman soldiers were part of one of the most harsh disciplinary regimes in history. When they were given a job to do they did it, or paid the consequences! They knew death when they saw it and when they came to Jesus, he was dead! Their reason for having to check was quite clear: the Jewish authorities were concerned that the next day, Saturday, was special Sabbath, the start of the week of celebration, and this would be spoiled by the sight of these men still hanging outside the city. Their execution would have to be ended quickly. The way it was done was to break the legs of the person on the cross. It has been suggested that this would bring death through two possible ways. First the shear shock of the pain could cause heart shock, and second the stretched hanging body on the cross would make breathing impossible and death by suffocation would immediately follow.
As the soldiers come to Jesus they realise he is dead already but one of them (to make sure?) thrusts his spear up into Jesus' side and all the liquid surrounding the heart gushed out. John is saying to us that Jesus gave up his life and then the soldiers guaranteed the death in this manner. John sees this as a clear fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old Testament that Jewish scholars had pondered over for so long, as pictured in the Passover lamb. This was THE lamb being offered.
A. Find Out:
1. Who asked Pilate for Jesus' body? v.38
2. Who also came with him? v.39a
3. What had he brought with him? v.39b
4. What did they do with Jesus' body? v.40
5. What was there nearby? v.41
6. Why did they put Jesus there? v.42
We have already quoted the dictum, “Bad men succeed when good men stay silent”, and we are now left wondering what would have happened if these two good men had spoken out earlier. Joseph and Nicodemus are both members of the ruling religious council, both were followers of Jesus, both remained silent and both allowed the bad men's counsel to prevail. As it happens, it WAS God's will for Jesus to be put to death but that is no excuse for remaining silent. Yet now the two of them come out into the open and ask for the body and take and bury it. Their actions would have come to the ears of the other authorities but now that doesn't matter. These two good but silent men are past worrying about what others think, they must be stricken with guilt and shame and remorse. We sometimes need to go through such a crisis before we will stop worrying about what others will think!
Time was running out on the day and the Sabbath was coming so they hastily put the body into Joseph's own tomb, embalm it as was the custom and seal the tomb. Prophecy has been fulfilled yet again. Every step of the way the decreed purpose of God is being worked out just as He said it would be. Amazing!
1. Do we need a crisis before we will speak up for good?
2. God will take even our wrongs (silence) for His purposes.
In this fourth group of 6 studies we have seen :
These chapters reveal the shame of mankind! We are part of mankind!
1. Hard hearted men ignore the truth
2. Evil men succeed when good men stay quiet
3. Political expediency is wrong!
4. Good men may eventually come and do good, despite piblic opinion
Thank the Lord that he willingly went to the Cross to take your punishment. Thank him for his grace that enabled him to go through that crisis. Ask him for that same grace for your days.
PART 5 : "Resurrection"
In this last and final Part watch for the evidence that declares Jesus Christ as unique in the history of mankind: his resurrection after death. Read the details, be quite clear, he died! Read the testimonies, be quite clear he rose from the dead! In some ways these are the most important chapters in the whole Bible, showing as they do the death of the Saviour of the world, and his resurrection triumph. Watch also how Jesus goes to lengths to meet his various close followers and re-establish them and set them on their future course. Poignant chapters!