John 19:1-42 - Outline of John (Book Notes menu page)
19:1. Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged [him].
19:2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put [it] on his head,
and they put on him a purple robe,
19:3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews!
and they smote him with their hands.
Pilate therefore...- Pilate thought he might appease the Jews with a little blood, and release Jesus.
cp. Mark 15:15; Luk 23:16
...scourged Him.- An innocent man (Joh 18:38) should not have been scourged.
But this was in fulfillment of prophecy. cp. Isa 50:6; 53:5
     "Under the Roman method of 'scourging,' the person was stripped and tied in a bending posture to a pillar, or stretched on a frame. The 'scourge' was made of leather thongs, weighted with sharp pieces of bone or lead, which tore the flesh of both the back and the breast (cp. Psa 22:17)." [WEVine]
It was not unusual for a scourging victim to die of the inflicted injuries and blood loss.
a crown... a purple robe... 'Hail, King...'-
Each of the elements of their mockery resonated with the Truth. Joh 18:37
thorns...- He took the curse upon Himself. cp. Gen 3:17,18; 2Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13
they smote Him with their hands.-
Roman soldiers were known to play a cruel game, where the blindfolded prisoner was struck repeatedly until he guessed which soldier had not struck with his fists. Some prisoners did not survive such abuse (cp. Luk 22:64). Yet, Jesus, who knows what is in man, knew their names. How did He respond? See Isa 53:7.
19:4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them,
Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.
19:5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe.
And [Pilate] saith unto them, Behold the man!
Behold the man...- He was beaten nearly beyond recognition. Isa 52:14; cp. Joh 1:29
I find no fault in him.- fault- GK= aitia, cause, crime, reason for punishment.
cp. 18:38; 1Pet 2:22-24
19:6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out,
saying, Crucify [him], crucify [him].
{Mat 27:24}
Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify [him]: for I find no fault in him.
19:7 The Jews answered him,
We have a law, and by our law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God.
I find no fault in him.- Pilate's assessment of Jesus had not changed. v.4,6
But the Jewish rulers would not be satisfied with His deep humiliation and devastating injuries.
by our law he ought to die.- cp. Joh 8:58,59; 10:30-33; Mat 26:65,66
According to Roman law, Jesus was not worthy of death.
The Jewish leaders finally resort to their underlying accusation of "blasphemy."
he made himself the Son of God.-
This phrase aggravates Pilate's superstitious fears. cp. Mat 27:19
But being ignorant of God's wisdom, his worldly wisdom will prove inadequate. cp. 1Cor 2:7,8
19:8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
19:9 And went again into the judgment hall,
and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou?
But Jesus gave him no answer.
{Isa 53:7}
19:10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me?
knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee,
and have power to release thee?
19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power [at all] against me,
except it were given thee from above:
therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
19:12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him:
Jesus spoke, but not in self-defense. Rather, as the Truth, He corrects Pilate's error:
  • Yes, Pilate you have been given authority to exercise justice, and will be held responsible. cp. Rom 13:1
  • No, Pilate you have no power to act "against me" (cp. Joh 10:17,18), except as allowed by God (Acts 4:27,28).
he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin-
- - Judas delivered Jesus to Caiaphas (Joh 18:3,12,13).
- - Caiaphas delivered Jesus to Pilate (18:28,29).
"Pilate was guilty of the sin of refusing justice to his innocent prisoner, but Caiaphas was guilty of the greater sin of the death of Christ, for he sinned against a Bible knowledge to which Pilate was a stranger." [GWms] cp. Rom 3:1-4
NOTE: Although the Jewish leadership was implicated in the death of the Messiah, it is a grave error to call the Jews "Christ killers" as the enemies of Israel have done ever since.
Remember that:
  1. The responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus is shared equally by Jews and Gentiles.
    It would not have occurred without the participation of both groups. Psa 2:1,2
  2. Jesus forgave those responsible, even as He was being crucified. Luke 23:34
  3. Every true Christian acknowledges his personal guilt in Christ's death, for we believe that "Christ died for our sins" (1Cor 15:3).
from thenceforth, Pilate sought to release him.-
  • because he knew Jesus was innocent, not because he believed in Him.
  • because he was convicted by the Truth, and tormented by his superstitions (v.7,8).
but the Jews cried out, saying,
If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend:
whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
{cp. Luk 23:2}
19:13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth,
and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
Pilate... in the judgment seat...- Decision time has come.
But it is Pilate, not Jesus, who is on trial. cp. Deu 1:17; 1Sam 15:24; Prov 29:25; Isa 51:12,13
He has been forced to decide between...
Jesus or Caesar?
Justice for a man without fault (v.4),
who is no threat to Caesar (Joh 18:36)
 or political expediency?
The Kingdom of Righteousness & Truth,
Joh 18:37; 1Tim 6:13-16
 or the kingdoms of this world?
19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour:
and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
19:15 But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him.
Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King?
The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
The Jewish leaders are confronted with a final choice concerning the identity of their King.-
cp. Gen 49:10; Jer 10:10; Zech 9:9; Luk 19:37-44; Joh 12:12-15
We have no king but Caesar.- Having rejected their Messiah,
they align themselves with 'the people of the prince that shall come' (ie., the descendants of the Roman empire, from which the future Antichrist will rise). cp. Dan 9:26; Joh 5:43
the preparation of the passover -
This phrase refers to all of the following:
  1. the day of Passover- Jesus died as the Passover Lamb on Passover.
  2. the day of preparation for the Week of Passover (the 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread),
    which began on the day following the day of Passover. cp. Luk 22:1,7; Ex 12:15,16; Lev 23:5-7
  3. the day of preparation for the Sabbath-
       cp. v.14,31,42; Mat 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luk 23:54
    If Passover occurred on a Friday, the following day would naturally be the sabbath. But this sabbath was a special (high) day (v.31). The day of Passover itself was regarded as a sabbath. But the following day, the first day of Unleavened Bread was a 'holy convocation' unto the Lord.
According to Hebrew custom, days begin and end at sunset. Therefore, the 'day of preparation' had already begun as Jesus and His disciples met for the Passover meal, on "the day... when the Passover must be killed" (Luk 22:7).
about the sixth hour - Around 6 am, Pilate was pushing to conclude the proceedings against Jesus,
as required by the Jewish leaders, to accommodate the Passover celebrations.
     John appears to use Roman time (counting 12 hours from midnight, or from noon, as we do today). cp. Joh 1:39 (where the tenth hour is probably 10 am) and Joh 4:6 (where the sixth hour is probably 6 pm)
     The other gospels appear to use Hebrew time (counting from sunrise, about 6 am by our clocks). By Hebrew reckoning, the sixth hour would be about noon.
     Putting the accounts together, it appears that Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified, somewhat later than 6 am. Jesus was crucified around 9 am (Mark 15:25). Darkness covered the scene from noon to 3 pm (Mat 27:45,46; Mark 15:33,34; Luk 23:44).
     "The 'preparation of the Passover' was the 24 hours, starting at 6 the evening before. Into that 24 hours were crowded the most tremendous events in time, or indeed in eternity." [in quotes from FBHole]
19:16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified.
And they took Jesus, and led [him] away.
cp. Isa 53:8, "He was taken from judgment..." ie., He was refused justice. [GWms]
19:17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called [the place] of a skull,
which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
19:18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him,
on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
{Isa 53:12}
See also the other gospel accounts: Mat 27:31-50; Mark 15:19-37; Luk 23:26-46
The Book Notes on Matthew ch.27 include additional details concerning His trial and crucifixion.
he bearing His cross...- cp. Gen 22:1-8
...the Lamb of God... bearing the wood for His sacrifice.
he...went forth..., the place...was near to the city. (v.17,20)-
He was crucified outside the city. cp. Lev 4:12; Heb 13:11-13
19:19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put [it] on the cross.
19:20 This title then read many of the Jews:
for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city:
and it was written in Hebrew, [and] Greek, [and] Latin.
19:21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate,
Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
19:22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
Pilate's words, though written with cynicism and animosity, declare the Truth.
Both Pilate and the Jewish leaders will be judged by the rejected One.
The Cross from various viewpoints - [adapted from McGee]
  • to God - - a propitiation. Rom 3:24-26
    The place of judgment upon sin becomes the place of mercy for the sinner.
  • to Jesus - - an act of obedience. Php 2:8
    - - His one sufficient sacrifice for sin. Heb 9:14,28; 10:10,12,14
  • to believers - - a substitution.
    The sinless One suffered in the place of the sinner. 1Pet 2:24; 2Cor 5:21
  • to Satan - - a temporary triumph. Gen 3:15 (the bruised heel)
    - - a permanent defeat. Gen 3:15 (the crushed head); Heb 2:14; Rom 16:20
  • to the world - - nothing but a brutal murder, an injustice to a man named Jesus.
19:23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus,
took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part;
and also [his] coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
19:24 They said therefore among themselves,
Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be:
that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith,
They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.
{Psa 22:18}
These things therefore the soldiers did.
The Gospel writers do not provide great detail regarding Jesus' sufferings on the cross.
God has covered it in darkness. What transpired there was a transaction between the Father and the Son... "a transaction for the sins of the world, which is beyond our comprehension." [in quotes, McGee]
Psalm 22 provides the clearest insight into the exercises of His soul on the cross.
The gospels record Seven Sayings of Jesus from the cross. John includes three.
All 7 can be found in Psalm 22. (See the Book Notes: Psalms of the Messiah on Psalm 22.)
The Seven Sayings, in chronological order of occurrence:
  1. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Luk 23:34
  2. "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." Luk 23:43
  3. "Woman, behold thy son..." Joh 19:26,27
  4. "My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?" Mat 27:46
  5. "I thirst..." Joh 19:28
  6. "It is finished." Joh 19:30
  7. "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." Luk 23:46
19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother,
and his mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother
{cp. Luk 2:34,35},
and the disciple standing by, whom he loved
{ie., John},
he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!
And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].
Woman, behold thy son.- These words have dual significance.
  • Jesus tenderly made arrangements for Mary's care.
    From now on, she was to regard John as her son. Previously, Jesus had been watching out for her, as Mary was among the women who had been traveling with Jesus (cp. Mat 27:55,56).
       Because Mary's other children (cp. Mark 6:3) were still in unbelief (Joh 7:3-5), Jesus regarded John as a much closer brother (Mat 12:48-50). As Mary's first born son, Jesus was responsible to provide for His mother, or to appoint a guardian for her in His absence. After His resurrection, his natural brothers did become believers, and gathered with their mother and the disciples following His ascension (Acts 1:14).
  • Jesus announced her new relationship to Him.
    Mary's motherly authority over her son had ended as He entered His ministry. cp. Joh 2:4
    Now, that His 'hour' had come, her relationship to Him, as 'mother to son,' had come to an end. No longer would she know Him after the flesh. From that time onward, she, like every believer, would know Him as the glorified Christ. cp. 2Cor 5:16
19:28 After this, Jesus
knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled,
saith, I thirst.
19:29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar,
and put [it] upon hyssop, and put [it] to his mouth.
19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said,
It is finished:
and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
I thirst.-
Soon after the soldiers had nailed Him to the cross, they offered Him a drink of vinegar (sour wine) and gall (perhaps myrrh) (Mat 27:33,34). Jesus had refused that drink and its stupefying effect. He must remain alert to do the work which the Father had committed to Him. Only after He knew that His work was accomplished would He allow some relief to His physical thirst.
vinegar - was not a great kindness, but was a fulfillment of prophecy. Psa 69:20-21
hyssop - a type of bush, associated with blood sacrifice. cp. Ex 12:22; cp. Mat 27:48
It is finished.- GK= tetelestai.
Ancient tax receipts have been found with this one word written across them, meaning:
     "Paid in full."
The verb is in the perfect tense, which implies a process which has reached its consummation and now exists in its finished state.
A proper translation is:
     "It has been finished, and stands complete."
He... gave up the ghost {spirit}.- No man took His life from Him. Joh 10:17,18
Various words are used by the gospel writers, to show that He was in control of His death.-
  • v.30 - "gave up" {GK= paradidomai, to give over, to hand over.}
    (cp. this word in Gal 2:20; Eph 5:2,25. Christ gave up Himself for you and me.)
  • Mat 27:50 - "yielded up" {GK= aphiemi, sent away, dismissed.}
  • Luk 23:46 - "commend..." {GK= paratithemi, to give over, to entrust.}
    In Joh 10:11,17,18 a related word (GK= tithemi) is translated "giveth" or "lay it down."
  • Luk 23:46 - "gave up the ghost" {GK= ekpneo, breathed out, expired.}
19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation,
that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day,
(for that sabbath day was an high day,)
{see v.14 and related note}
besought Pilate that their legs might be broken,
and [that] they might be taken away.
19:32 Then came the soldiers,
and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already,
they brake not his legs:
19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side,
and forthwith came there out blood and water.
19:35 And he that saw [it] bare record, and his record is true:
and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled,
A bone of him shall not be broken.
19:37 And again another scripture saith,
They shall look on him whom they pierced.
that their legs might be broken...- Death by crucifixion came slowly (sometimes in a matter of days).
The victim struggled between excruciating pain and the need to raise himself to take a breath. Death came when the exhausted victim, no longer able to raise himself, suffocated. To speed the process, a victim's legs were broken, to inhibit the motion required for breathing.
blood and water.- John emphasizes that his observation is factual.
What is the significance? (The suggestions below are not conflicting, but rather are complementary.)
  1. Jesus may have died of a broken heart (Psa 69:9,20-21),
    as indicated by the peracardium full of blood and serum. [TBKC]
  2. Jesus was truly human (not a spirit entity that only appeared to be a man).
    John may have been purposely answering heresies which taught that Jesus was not fully man. [TBKC]
    Near the end of the apostolic era, John addressed false teaching which denied the deity of Jesus the Christ (1Joh 2:22-23), and/or denied that Jesus the Christ was truly human (1Joh 4:1-3). He answers both errors, in 1Joh 5:5-8, where he cites his eyewitness testimony (as recorded in v.34,35).
  3. Jesus, by the sacrifice of Himself, became the cure for sin and the source of our cleansing. cp. Zech 13:1.
    • The remission of sin is on the basis of blood (signifying the death of the flesh; Lev 17:11; Rom 3:23-25; Heb 9:22-28).
    • Cleansing from incidental sin is symbolized by the washing of water (Eph 5:26).
  4. Jesus was truly dead, before being placed in the tomb. Lev 17:11a
    (Therefore, His resurrection was from death, not from a swoon.)
  5. Jesus, even in His death, satisfied the scriptural prophecies regarding the Messiah.
that the scripture should be fulfilled... 'A bone... shall not be broken.'- (quoting Psa 34:20)
Jesus, as the final Passover Lamb, fulfilled this requirement, also. Ex 12:46; Num 9:12
another scripture saith... 'They shall look on Him whom they pierced.'- (quoting Zech 12:10).
Note that John did not say this scripture was fulfilled:
The piercing was fulfilled. The look is yet future. cp. Rev 1:7
19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea {cp. Mat 27:57; Mark 15:43; Luk 23:50,51},
being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews,
besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus:
and Pilate gave [him] leave
{ie., permission}.
He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
19:39 And there came also Nicodemus,
which at the first came to Jesus by night,
{cp. Joh 3:1,2; 7:50,51}
and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound [weight].
19:40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices,
as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden;
and in the garden a new sepulchre,
wherein was never man yet laid.
{cp. Mat 27:59,60; Isa 53:9}
19:42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation [day];
for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
because of the... preparation day...-
Because the day of the Passover sacrifice, on which Jesus was crucified, was regarded as a sabbath, and because the day following was a high sabbath, Jews were forbidden to do any work, except that which was absolutely necessary. Therefore, Joseph and Nicodemus buried Jesus hastily, intending that He be given a proper burial after the sabbath days had passed.
...He was buried... 1Cor 15:1-4

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