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John Chapter 19:1-20 

Memory verses for this week:   Isa 26:3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.  

Introduction:   In our last study, we saw Jesus going through a trial which was effectively a mockery.  So many rules and laws were broken, and we closed finding Pilate trying to release Jesus, but the mob cried out for Jesus to be crucified.   Pilate was forced to condemn Christ to death.  But he did not want to do this.   He could find no fault in Christ (because there was none), but the religious leaders had so driven the crowd to seek Christ’s death that they cried out to release Barabbas rather than Jesus. 

I.                     The Crown of Thorns 

In this chapter we see a great miscarriage of justice.  Rome was noted through out the world for its justice.  On every Roman official’s desk, there was the little figure of the two-faced god, Janus.  One face looked forward and the other face looked backward.  While this was a false god, it reminded every judge in Rome to look at both sides of the question.  It is of interest to note that our calendar’s first month, January, was named after Janus reminding us to look back at the old year and forward to the new year.  Rome ruled the world for nearly one thousand years.  When the Romans took over a people, they promised them good roads, law and order, protection, and peace—but life would be under a dictatorship.  Rome ruled with an iron hand.  In Roman courts the innocent got justice, and the guilty got justice—not mercy, but justice.  The interesting thing that makes this such an anomaly is that the trial of Jesus was one of the greatest miscarriages of justice ever recorded.  * 

John 19:1  Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.

John 19:2  And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,

John 19:3  And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. 

I’m sure many of you have seen pictures of Jesus hanging on the cross, depicting his death as someone envisioned it.   But the one thing that can not be conveyed by these pictures is the horrible beating that our Lord took. He was beaten to the point that caused him to even loose his look as a man.  (See verse 5)  If Jesus was innocent, he should have been released.  If guilty, he should have been crucified.   But where did this scourging come in?    

* From “Thru the Bible Series.. John”  by J. Vernon McGee

Pilate scourges Christ, then the soldiers plat a mock crown, one of thorns and pushed those thorns into our dear Lord’s head.  And to make a greater mockery of Him, they put on a purple robe, one that would depict royalty, and called out, “Hail, King of the Jews” as they beat him unmercifully.    Jesus was not viewed as the true king of the Jews, but He was.   And one day, the nation of Israel will recognize Him as the Savior of the World.  They were blinded in Christ’s day, and even today, they do not realize that they missed the suffering servant who came as their Messiah almost 2,000 years ago. 

Zec 13:6  And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.


II. The Man of Innocence 

John 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.

John 19:5  Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!

John 19:6  When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. 

Jesus comes before Pilate wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.  He had been beaten again and again unmercifully.   Why did he have to pay such a price?  It was those stripes that we are made free.  By Jesus’ stripes, we have the just paying the price of sin for the unjust. 

Isa 52:14  As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 

1 Pet 2:24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 

I think that it is very important that the very one who tried Jesus could find “no fault in him”.   We know that Jesus was God himself manifested in the flesh, and Jesus is the only one who ever lived without sin.   Pilate asked many questions, and did his best to let Christ go, but we see that the people cried out “Crucify him, Crucify him.”    This was one time in the Roman courts when justice was not given.   Note the verses in Matthew 27:15-25. 

John 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.

John 19:8  When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;

John 19:9  And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. 

We see God’s chosen people, the Jews, crying out that Jesus be put to death.   Pilate in all that I can see tried to be honest and fair.  When he hears that Jesus had claimed to be the “Son of God”, it brings fear to him, and he brings Jesus back into the judgment hall.    I think Pilate wanted out of this very bad, but there seemed to be no way that he could find to free Jesus.   And some things are meant to be, and Jesus was going to go to Calvary to die for our sins.  Pilate and all the armies of this world would not stop Jesus from doing the very will of the Father.   We see that at the question of “Whence art thou?”, Jesus replies not a word. 

John 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?

John 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. 

Pilate can not understand Christ.  He is outraged that Jesus does not reply to his question.  He wants to let Christ go, and explains that he has that power.   Jesus answered and explained that if God was not in it, Pilate would have to power to condemn him.   And while Pilate was wrong in doing what he did, the Jews were more wrong in that they had witnessed the power of God in Christ’s life.   How many people had been fed, how many blind now could see, how many with illnesses unto death were now alive and healthy?   Jesus had done nothing but good, even His teachings in the temple and synagogue were beyond any earthly teacher.  But still they desired that He die. 

Mark 1:21  And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.

Mark 1:22  And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.


Rom 13:1  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Rom 13:2  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 

John 19:12  And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: 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.

John 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. 

We see that from that point on, Pilate knew that he should release Christ and he sought a way to do so.   But those who should have loved Jesus the most cried out to crucify Him.   They even use some psychology on Pilate and say “If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend.”  Not many people know that Jesus went to Gabbatha before He went to Golgotha, but he did.  He was brought to the judgment seat in a place called the pavement.  (Gabbatha in Hebrew) 

Isa 53:8  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Isa 53:9  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Isa 53:10  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Isa 53:11  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Isa 53:12  Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


III.  The King of Rejection 

John 19:14  And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

John 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.

John 19:16  Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. 

It was so sad to see Jesus condemned at the time of the preparation of the passover, but we know that Jesus is the one who allows God to “passover” our sins and by the imputed righteousness of Christ, we can come unto God.  John Phillips in his book on the Gospel of John made some interesting observations about Pilate and this trial.  

“The Jews had now changed their tactics.  They had the measure of their man.  They pressed a political charge instead of a religious charge.  The Caesars would not tolerate sedition or even the suspicion of sedition.  Woe betide any provincial governor who was lenient with insurrectionists.  As for anyone claiming to be a king, the Caesars expected swift judgment to be meted out to him.  Pilate had already acquitted Jesus of being a serious rival to Caesar.  But by now the Jewish leaders had organized the mob.  The multitude cried out and raised a shout.  It was like one loud, unified cry rather than a discordant noise.  Pilate was far more afraid of Caesar than he was of Jesus, more concerned with being “Caesar’s friend” than in being a friend to this stranger whose destiny, so he thought, lay in his hands.  Judas sold Christ for money.  Caiaphas sold him out of religious prejudice.  Pilate sold him in order to hang onto his job.  People still sell him for material gain, for wrong religion, for godless friendship—for a handful of tinsel or a round of applause.” 

Hosea 3:4  For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:


John 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:

John 19:18  Where they crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. 

I want you to know that Jesus bore it all for us.  What great love He showed as he went “bearing his cross.”  How do we measure up in our day to day lives?   It says that we are to take up our cross daily, speaking of putting the physical man to death that the spiritual might live.  I fail God on so many occasions.   But I praise God that Jesus never fails.   I know everyone who has visited Jerusalem comes back talking about this place of the skull called Golgotha.   In the rock is an image of a man’s skull.  On this hill, on Mount Calvary, we see our Savior going to die for the sins of this world.  God put on Him what we truly could not pay.   Sin has a price, and if we don’t come to Jesus in this life, we must pay the awful price of separation from God for eternity in the flames of Hell.  How can anyone not love Jesus?   What great love the Father has shown to let the only begotten Son of God die that we might live.   Jesus died between two malefactors, men who should have died.  But Jesus was not guilty, but hung there in shame and humiliation for you and me. 

John 19:19  And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

John 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. 

Pilate wrote out a title that many did not like… “Jesus of Nazareth.. the King of the Jews”   He was the King of the Jews, and He should be king of your heart and life today.   One day, every knee will bow and every tongue will proclaim that Jesus is Lord of  Lords, and King of Kings.  Jesus was crucified nigh to the city, and all read the sign in their language.




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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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