John Chapter 19:21-42
Memory verses for this week:
Isa 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in
the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
In our last study, we saw the
people crying out for Jesus to be crucified as Pilate tried his best
to release him. Three times Pilate stated that he could find no
fault in him, yet even when he offered to release Jesus as a special
blessing to the people at the time of the passover, they cried for the
robber Barabbas to be the one released. There was no fault in Jesus,
but now He must face death on the cross there on Mount Calvary. How
fitting that this lesson was taught the first time on Easter Sunday,
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.
John 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.
John 19:22 Pilate
answered, What I have written I have written.
We see that the led
Jesus and the two malefactors out to Golgotha, the place of the skull
to be crucified. And we see Pilate writing a title above Jesus in
three languages. The title read “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the
Jews.” This was not what the chief priests wanted, but it was true
and lives through time. Pilate told them “What I have written I have
written.” John Calvin had this to say about these verses in his
Commentary on the book of John.
“Pilate had a notice
prepared. The evangelist relates a memorable action of Pilate, after
having pronounced the sentence. It is perhaps true that it was
customary to place notices when criminals were executed, so that
everyone might know the reason for the punishment as a deterrent. But
in Christ’s case there is this extraordinary detail, that the notice
which is put above him implies no disgrace, for Pilate’s intention was
to avenge himself indirectly on the Jews (who by their obstinacy had
extorted from him an unjust sentence of death on an innocent man) and
in the person of Christ to throw blame on the whole nation. Thus he
does not accuse Christ of any crime. But the providence of God, which
guided the pen of Pilate, had a higher objective. It did not,
indeed, occur to Pilate to praise Christ as the author of salvation
and the King of a chosen people. But God dictated to him this
commendation of the Gospel, although he did not know the meaning of
what he wrote. It was the same hidden guidance of the Spirit that
caused the notice to be written in three languages. Most probably
this was not an ordinary practice, but the Lord showed by this careful
planning that the time was now ready for the name of his Son to be
made known throughout the world. “What I have written, I have
written.” Pilate’s firmness must be put down to God’s overruling.
There can be no doubt that they attempted, in various ways, to change
his mind. So we know that he was held by a divine hand, and he
remained unmoved. Pilate did not yield to the cries of the priests
and did not allow himself to be corrupted by them. The example of
Pilate reminds us, also, that it is our duty to remain stedfast in
defending the truth.
John 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.
John 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. These things therefore the soldiers did.
We know that God had
a reason for allowing four different men, from four different
viewpoints and backgrounds, to pen the four accounts of the Gospel.
What a blessing to hear each man, by the direction of God, give us his
account of Christ’s life and ultimate death. John’s account of the
gospel was centered around the love of God toward man, and the
importance of the Deity of Jesus Christ. While no two books are alike
in their accounts (some reveal special record of certain miracles and
healings), we know that the important, highly crucial points were all
penned in each of the four accounts. This is one of those special
events, and the other three accounts of the Gospel also mention the
fact that they divided up his clothes. This was important as it was a
fulfillment of prophecy.
Psa 22:18 They part my garments among them,
and cast lots upon my vesture.
Mat 27:35 And they crucified him, and parted
his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was
spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my
vesture did they cast lots.
Mark 15:24 And when they had crucified him,
they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man
Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive
them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and
John 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.
John 19:26 When
Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he
loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
John 19:27 Then
saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that
disciple took her unto his own home.
We see that three
women all named Mary stand looking on as the only Begotten Son of God
is crucified on the cross. Oh how hard this must have been for Jesus’
mother to watch her son die. This was the one that God had allowed to
be born of her, a virgin at the time of conception and also at
Christ’s birth. The father of Jesus Christ was not Joseph, but God
Himself. The scripture is clear about how the conception took place,
and how that Mary never knew Joseph, her husband, until after Christ
was born. Here, the one that God had promised to save the people
from their sins, was dying what must have seemed a futile death. But
this was not a futile death, but the exact thing that must have
happened for us to have forgiveness of our sins. As we said last
week, here was the just dying for the unjust. We see Jesus caring
for His mother even unto the end. He asks John to take His mother and
to care for her. Is this not the great love of God being shown even
at the end of Christ’s life. He was always caring for others, and if
you don’t know God’s love, you know nothing about true love. Men and
women love with an expectation of return in that love. God’s love,
the agape love, is perfect and seeks nothing in return. Matthew
Henry commented that it was a great honor for John to have been asked
to care for Mary. “This was an honor put upon John, and a testimony
both to his prudence and to his fidelity. If he who knows all things
had not known that John loved him, he would not have made him his
mother’s guardian. It is a great honour to be employed for Christ,
and to be entrusted with any of his interest in the world. Note how
John immediately took Mary into his own home. Those that truly love
Christ, and are beloved of Him, will be glad of an opportunity to do
any service to him or his. By history, it shows that Mary lived with
John at Jerusalem eleven years, and then died.”
John 19:28 After
this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the
scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
John 19:29 Now
there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with
vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
John 19:30 When
Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and
he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
We have record in the
bible where the rich man in Hell looked up and begged that Lazarus
could come and put a drop of water to cool his tongue. If Jesus had
not died this death, you and I would be facing those same flames of
Hell where there is never any relief. Jesus is expressing the
travail of his soul. He thirsted throughout His life to do the very
Will of the Father. And this bitter cup was what He had to endure for
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.
The scriptures had
foretold that Jesus would thirst as He suffered for us on that cruel
Psa 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all
my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the
midst of my bowels.
Psa 22:15 My strength is dried up like a
potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me
into the dust of death.
We see how little
respect the persecutors show Jesus. They would not give him a drink
of water in a cup. But rather they put vinegar in a sponge, and lift
it up to Him. My commentaries did not agree on whether it was vinegar
alone or a mixture of vinegar and hyssop-water. One said that it was
a piece of hyssop used to extend the sponge up to Christ. The other
said the soldiers mixed vinegar with what was called hyssop-water, and
gave that to Him as He faced His last breath. While the vinegar must
have tasted sour, it nothing compared to the taste of death that Jesus
tasted for all mankind. It was a horrible taste that Jesus had to
forbear, and He did it all for you and me. And with that final
breath, Jesus says “It is finished.” And he gave up the ghost.
When we die, the soul goes on to be with the Lord, while the body goes
to the grave. And our bodies stay in the grave until the day Jesus
returns and calls them out. With Jesus’ body, it was not going to be
long in the grave. Three days and three nights is all that it would
lay in the tomb. When Jesus said “It is finished”, I’m sure many
thought that this was the end of this false prophet. That He meant
His life was finished. And while life temporarily left His body, so
much more was finished. At that moment, God’s perfect plan of
salvation, the sacrifice that had to be offered for sinful man, was
completed. All that was left for Jesus to do was to take His blood
before God and sprinkle it on the perfect Mercy Seat, and then to sit
down on the right hand of God showing that the job was finished once
and for all. The priests thought that finally they were finished
with the one who threatened their old religious ways. What they did
not know, is that this was the beginning of the greatest movement to
ever take hold of civilization. In just a few short days, Jesus
would rise victorious over sin. Satan had bruised Jesus on the cross
like God had promised would happen in Genesis, but Satan did not win
the battle like he thought.
Heb 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the
volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Heb 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and
offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not,
neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
Heb 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy
will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the
Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Heb 10:11 And every priest standeth daily
ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can
never take away sins:
Heb 10:12 But this man, after he had offered
one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Heb 10:13 From henceforth expecting till his
enemies be made his footstool.
Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath
perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
II. The Body of
John 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,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that
they might be taken away.
John 19:32 Then
came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other
which was crucified with him.
John 19:33 But when
they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not
We see that they were
eager to get the bodies off the cross since it was a high sabbath
day. It is important for several reasons to note that they brake the
legs of the two on each side of the Lord to put them to death. But
Jesus was dead already, so they did not break His legs. Some have
said that when Jesus told the thief that “Today thou shalt be with me
in paradise”, that he could only have been saved without baptism
because the New Testament era did not start until Christ’s death.
That anyone who was saved after Christ’s death had to be baptized in
order to be saved. Note this destroys this false doctrine since both
men died after Jesus. Baptism is an ordinance of the church, and is
the first act of obedience we should follow after we are saved. But
baptism is not an element of salvation. Salvation comes by faith and
repentance towards God. The second thing that was important about the
fact that no bones were broken is that this is another fulfillment of
34:20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
I read last week that
for all the prophecies to have been perfectly fulfilled that were
written down as many as hundreds of years before Christ’s birth by
accident, the odds would be something like 60,000,000 to one. The
reason that we don’t have to worry about odds and things that the
world brings up is because we know Jesus was exactly who He said He
was. He was God manifested in the flesh, coming at the exact hour,
minute, and second God had ordained at the foundation of the world.
And just like he was on time to be born, He was on time to die for our
sins, there is a perfect time that only God knows, and at that exact
second, the eastern sky is going to light up, and we will see Him in
all His glory. These fulfillment’s of scripture are here for us, to
prove to us that Jesus was the Messiah of the world.
John 19:34 But one
of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came
there out blood and water.
John 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.
John 19:36 For
these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone
of him shall not be broken.
John 19:37 And
again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they
By water and blood,
Christ brought true atonement and washing.
1 John 5:6 This is he that came by water and
blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood.
And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is
When the soldiers
pierced Jesus’ side, the water and blood came out. We know in the old
testament, a lamb was slain for a person’s sin, and its blood was
poured out on the altar by the priest. Jesus was the Lamb of God that
was slain from the foundation of the world for our sins. Matthew
Henry said that this piercing of Christ was significant in several
ways. “ One is that it showed even in death, the very love of God
showed through the wound in His side. It signified the two great
benefits which all believers partake of through Christ—justification
and sanctification. The blood was for our remission, the water for
regeneration; blood for atonement, water for purification. They
signified the two great ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper,
buy which those benefits are represented, sealed, and applied to
believers. It is not the water of the font hat will be to use the
washing of regeneration, but the water out of the side of Christ; not
the blood of grape that will pacify the conscience and refresh the
soul, but the blood out of the side of Christ. Now was the rock
smitten, now was the fountain opened. “
1 Cor 10:4 And did all drink the same
spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed
them: and that Rock was Christ.
Zec 13:1 In that day there shall be a
fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of
Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
On that last part of
verse 37, they may have looked here on the one whom they pierced, but
a day is coming in the future when the nation of Israel is going to
see Jesus as their true Messiah.
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.
The Burial of Christ
John 19:38 And
after this Joseph of Arimathaea, 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. He came therefore, and
took the body of Jesus.
John 19:39 And
there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night,
and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound
John 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.
We see two of the
“secret” disciples coming for the body of the Lord. While we may tend
to wonder why they just now appear, it is interesting that none of the
other disciples are around at this point.
We see two of those
that loved the Lord coming to take Him away for burial. Some
questioned whether Nicodemus was saved. Based upon verse 39, I think
there is no doubt. He brought with him a 100 lbs. of myrrh and aloes
to sprinkle on the body. It was traditional that they used ½ the
person’s body weight in spices, which would tend to make us think that
the Lord weighed around 200 pounds. Pilate gives Joseph release of
the body, and Nicodemus comes along with him. They take the body and
wind it up in linen clothes with the spices which was in the tradition
of the Jews. I think it was sad to see that they had to come
privately to Pilate in fear of the Jews, even after Jesus is dead.
What a great hatred the religious leaders had for Jesus Christ.
John 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.
John 19:42 There
laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for
the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
It appears that due
to the approaching Passover, they had to hurry. Apparently they did
not complete the embalming process which might explain why the women
came bring more spices after the feast day. No man had ever lain in
this tomb, and this man, Jesus Christ, would not lay there very
long. Just three days and three nights according to the scriptures.
Mat 27:57 When the even was come, there came
a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus'
Mat 27:58 He went to Pilate, and begged the
body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
Mat 27:59 And when Joseph had taken the body,
he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
Mat 27:60 And laid it in his own new tomb,
which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the
door of the sepulchre, and departed.
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