Those who are poor, rich, educated, uneducated, lazy, or productive. Those who worship their job, their money, their TV, perfection, achievement, or any other idols. Those who don’t go to church, or who go to church but are only going through the motions. Those who think they are undeserving of God’s forgiveness or who consider themselves too “good” to need it.
FOR YOU AND EVERY PERSON ON THIS EARTH, I SUFFERED AND DIED TO MAKE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD POSSIBLE THROUGH FORGIVENESS OF YOUR SIN. TO OFFER YOU ETERNAL LIFE. To offer you freedom from the trappings of the world. GOD LOVES YOU THAT MUCH.
What follows are the words of my disciple, John, who along with hundreds of other people, were witnesses to My suffering and death as the Son of God and the Son of Man. May John’s words in the nineteenth chapter of his gospel touch your heart and make you realize there is a hole in your heart and your life that only I can fill.
Preface to John 19
It is important to have read previous chapters. Bolded type in the copy of this chapter draws your attention to fulfillment of prophecies.
The whip used to flog Jesus had a lead tip. Can you imagine how painful this would be? Usually the upper body was bared by the whip while the person was tied to a pillar. The flogging alone could have killed him.
Jesus suffered and died to offer every one of us forgiveness of our sins and eternal life in heaven. No matter how “good” we are, we are still not perfect enough to be in the presence of God. Jesus paid the debt for our sin.
In order to be forgiven, we must first acknowledge that we need to be forgiven. We must admit to God that we are sinners.
Before Christ died for us, the blood of an animal would be the sacrifice for sin. Christ is the perfect lamb. Sinless. Without blemish. The perfect sacrifice.
1 Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. 2 The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. 3 “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.
4 Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!”
6 When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
“Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”
7 The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.”
8 When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. 9 He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. 10 “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” (Note that Jesus was in control throughout the trial. His prosecutors and Pilate were those really on trial.)
11 Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”
12 Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.”
(Note: Pilate tried to release Jesus but the leaders accused him of being “no friend of Caesar” (a rebel). Pilate could have lost his job or his life. Let it be a lesson to stand up for what is right even if it’s tough!)
13 When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). 14 It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!”
15 “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!”
“What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back.
16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus away. 17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18 There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 And Pilate posted a sign over him that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it.
21 Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’”
22 Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.”] So that is what they did.
25 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.
28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.
31 It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was the Passover). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.) 36 These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and “They will look on the one they pierced.”
The Burial of Jesus
38 Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. 39 With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. 40 Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. 41 The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. 42 And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
NOTES (from the Life Application Study Bible)
30 – It is finished = paid in full!
31 – It was against God’s rules to leave a dead body overnight and to work after sundown on Friday when the Sabbath began, so the leaders were in a rush for the death and burial.
31-35 – Blood and water indicate the sac around the heart and the heart itself were both pierced.
36-37 –Jesus was like the lambs slain for Passover – their bones could not be broken.