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John Chapter 19


The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham

John Chapter 19

(Words in red in the Scriptures are the words of Jesus)

Verse 1.  "Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him."

Pilate told his soldiers to tie Jesus to a post and hit His back with a whip many times.  The whipping was terrible and some did not live through it.

Verse 2.  "And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him;"

Jesus really is our King.  But they did not believe in Him, and jammed a “crown” of thorns down on His head, making Him bleed.  Purple was the color worn by kings.  They put a purple robe on Jesus’ shoulders to make fun of Him.

Verse 3.  "and they began to come up to Him and say, 'Hail, King of the Jews!' and to give Him slaps in the face.

The soldiers laughed at Jesus and began slapping His face.  The Roman soldiers shouted “Hail” to Jesus, which is the way a king was greeted.  Jesus really IS the King.  But they did not know.

Verse 4.  "Pilate came out again and said to them, 'Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.'"

Governor Pilate was having Jesus brought outside to stand in front of the angry mob.  Pilate was the highest Roman judge in that place.  He told the Jews: “Jesus is innocent.  He committed no crime.”

Verse 5.  "Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.  Pilate said to them, 'Behold, the Man!'"

Jesus was now outside the building, standing in front of angry people.  He was bleeding from the “crown” of thorns and wore the purple robe.  They had tried to make Him look ridiculous.  Pilate pointed at Jesus and said, “Here He is!”  He hoped they would laugh and let Him go.

Verse 6.  "So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, 'Crucify, crucify!'  Pilate said to them, 'Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, I find no guilt in Him.'"

The mob of Jewish leaders and officers were shouting at Pilate that they wanted him to “crucify” Jesus (have Him killed by nailing Him to a tree).  Pilate held up his hand at them and answered: “YOU do it – He’s an innocent man.”

Verse 7.  "The Jews answered him, 'We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.'"

The Jews had many laws.  To pretend to be the Son of God, when you’re not, is “blasphemy” (a lie about God).  But Jesus really IS the Son of God, and He’s innocent.  He had done no wrong.

Verse 8.  "Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid;"

Pilate was not a Christian, but he was a religious man.  Most people were at that time.  He wondered, “What if Jesus really IS the Son of God?  Governor Pilate was afraid.

Verse 9.  "and he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, 'Where are You from?' But Jesus gave him no answer."

Pilate went back into his house (the “Praetorium” – the house of the Roman Governor), and spoke to Jesus again.  Jesus might actually BE the Son of God, he thought, and began to ask more questions.  But Jesus did not answer him.

Verse 10.  "So Pilate said to Him, 'You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?'"

Pilate was really upset, now.  He didn’t want to kills Jesus, and he hoped Jesus would help him know what to do.  He reminded Jesus: “I have the power to kill You!”

Verse 11.  "Jesus answered, 'You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.'"

God the Father LET Pilate kill Jesus, for He would die for our sins.  God LETS us do many things.  When the Romans killed the Son of God it was terrible, but for the Jews who brought Him to be killed, it was even worse.

Verse 12.  "As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, 'If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.'"

Governor Pilate wanted to let Jesus go free!  He shouted at the Jewish leaders that Jesus was innocent!  But they answered: “We will TELL on you, if you don’t do this!”  They asked, “How can Jesus be a king, when the Caesar of Rome is the only king?”

Verse 13.  "Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha."

Governor Pilate had no answer (see verse 12) for the words they said had made him afraid.  Pilate was the human judge in the area we now call “Israel”.  He had his officers bring Jesus to the place of judgment, and Pilate would now either sentence Jesus to death or let Him go.

Verse 14.  "Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, 'Behold, your King!'"

The Jewish leaders were very religious and were getting ready for the Passover, a feast that thanked God for setting them free.  But they weren’t free – they were in sin and were about to do something terrible!  Pilate had his soldiers stand Jesus before the Jewish leaders.

Verse 15.  "So 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.'"

The Jewish leaders shouted at Pilate: “Kill Him (Jesus)!”  They wanted Jesus to be dead.  “Isn’t this your King?” Pilate asked.  Then they said the awful words: “We have no king but the Caesar of Rome!”  That was true.  God was not their King.

Verse 16.  "So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified."

Governor Pilate decided he could do nothing else, and told his officers to take Jesus and execute (kill) Him by crucifixion.  He would be nailed to a tree.

Verse 17.  "They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha."

The Roman soldiers took Jesus outside the City of Jerusalem and made Him carry a large, heavy, wooden cross, to a place called “Golgotha”.  It was a small hill that was shaped something like a human skull.

Verse 18.  "There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between."

The Roman soldiers threw Jesus down onto the heavy wooden cross, and nailed His hands and feet to the cross.  Two other men were crucified at the same time He was.  One was to His left and the other was on His right side.

Verse 19.  "Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, 'Jesus The Nazarene, The King Of The Jews.'"

They usually wrote down the crime the person had committed and nailed the paper to the top of the cross, above the head of the person who was crucified.  Pilate wrote the truth: Jesus was from Nazareth and He was the King of the Jews.  Jesus was innocent and there was no crime to write about.

Verse 20.  "Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek."

At the time of the Passover Feast, many of the Jews who lived in other countries, came to Jerusalem.  Pilate wanted all of them to understand what he wrote on Jesus’ cross, so he had it written in three languages.

Verse 21.  "So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, Do not write, 'The King of the Jews; but that He said, 'I am King of the Jews.'"

The Jewish leaders got what they wanted: Jesus would be killed.  Now they were still trying to give orders to Roman Governor Pilate.  They asked him to change the words written on the paper nailed to Jesus’ cross.

Verse 22.  "Pilate answered, 'What I have written I have written.'"

Pilate should have done this sooner. He was fed up with all of this and refused to do anything more.  He would not change the words on Jesus’ cross.  “No”, he told them.

Verse 23.  "Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece."

Jesus was now nailed to the cross, and so were the two men on each side, who were thieves.  In Psalm 22:18, written 1000 years before this happened, it was said, “they divide My garments among them”, which they were doing right at that moment.

Verse 24.  "So they said to one another, 'Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be'; this was to fulfill the Scripture: 'They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.'"

Jesus had a nice outer coat, called a “tunic”.  The soldiers now played a gambling game to win His tunic.  In Psalm 22:18, it said they would “cast lots for My clothing”.

Verse 25.  "Therefore the soldiers did these things. But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene."

Not only men, but women had also followed Jesus.  Several of the women were named “Mary”.  Many years before, when Jesus was a baby, God’s prophet had said that Jesus’ mother would have pain in her heart because of her Son (Luke 2:35).  She was VERY upset and was feeling great pain, right at that moment.

Verse 26.  "When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!'"

“The disciple (student) whom He loved” was a “best friend” of Jesus, while He was on earth.  It is thought the friend was John, who wrote this Book of John.  Even though Jesus was in great pain, He spoke, telling His mother, Mary, that she should let John help her.

Verse 27.  "Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' From that hour the disciple took her into his own household."

It was hard for Jesus to speak, because He was in pain from the cross, but He told John to take care of Mary, Jesus’ mother.  After this, John immediately took Mary into his home and cared for her.

Verse 28.  "After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, 'I am thirsty.'"

David had said that in dying for us, Jesus would be thirsty (His mouth would be dry - Psalm 22:15 and Psalm 69:3).  Jesus was thirsty, just as it had been said, long ago.

Verse 29.  "A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth."

They gave Him sour wine (vinegar – this was foretold in Psalm 69:21), by dipping a sponge into it and holding it up to Him at the end of a stick of wood (hyssop).

Verse 30.  "Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said,
'It is finished!' And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit."

Jesus knew that His work was done.  He had taken our sins on Himself and the job was over.  With that, He bowed His head, and gave up His life, His spirit.  It was Jesus, not the Romans or the Jews, who decided when and how He would die.

Verse 31.  "Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away."

The religious Jews were still trying to prepare themselves for the Passover Feast.  They didn’t want to see the dying men on the crosses anymore, and asked Governor Pilate to have them killed.  If their legs were broken, they would die, because they couldn’t push upward with their legs anymore, which meant they couldn’t breathe.

Verse 32.  "So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him;"

The two thieves on either side of Jesus were still alive, and so the Roman soldiers hit their legs with large hammers, breaking their bones.  They could not breathe anymore and soon died.  One of the thieves went to be with God, and the other simply died.

Verse 33.  "but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs."

In Psalm 34:20, David said of the righteous (only Jesus is truly righteous), “He guards all His bones; not one of them is broken”.  The soldiers broke the bones of the two thieves, but Jesus’ bones were not broken.

Verse 34.  "But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out."

John the Apostle, who was there and saw all that happened, talked about this “blood and water” in another place: “This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood” (1 John 5:6).  Jesus gave everything for you and me.

Verse 35.  "And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe."

The church has said from the beginning that John the Apostle, brother of James, son of Zebedee, wrote the Book of John.  He saw all this happen.  He told the truth.  John knew it was true, and he wrote this book so that you will believe his words and receive Jesus as your Savior.

Verse 36.  "For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, 'Not a bone of Him shall be broken.'"

The Scripture John is speaking about, is Psalm 34:20.  Jesus was righteous – He was the innocent One who died for us all.  It was said of Him that His bones would not be broken, and that’s what happened.

Verse 37.  "And again another Scripture says, 'They shall look on Him whom they pierced.'"

These were words that were said by Zechariah the Prophet (Zechariah 12:10), that people would look upon the dying Jesus.  And in His death, the Holy Spirit would be given.  And that was true.  In just a short time, Jesus would come ALIVE, and His Spirit would be given to the people of God.

Verse 38.  "After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body."

Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man, and it was prophesied that Jesus would be “with the rich at His death” (Isaiah 53:9).  Joseph asked Governor Pilate to let him take the body of Jesus for burial.  Pilate said “Yes” and Joseph took the body away.

Verse 39.  "Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight."

In John Chapter 3, we saw Nicodemus, who had questions and came to Jesus at night.  Jesus had told this religious man, “You must be born again” (John 3:7).  Nicodemus believed in Jesus Christ and brought spices that would be for a rich man, to put with His body.  100 pounds was the amount that would be given to a king.

Verse 40.  "So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews."

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had Jesus wrapped in expensive linen cloth, which was filled with spices called myrrh and aloes.  Those spices had a strong scent that would cover the odor of death.

Verse 41.  "Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid."

The burial places in that land were often used many times.  This was a new tomb, which had been cut out of the rock for Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:60).  He was giving what would be his own grave to Jesus.  He really loved the Lord.

Verse 42.  "Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there."

The Passover Feast was very important to them, but so was the Lord Jesus.  Because of the Passover, they hurried to get Him into a nearby grave, and yet they took the time to do it, because they loved Him.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

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