Book of John 19:1-17

Book of John 19:1-17

Pilate declares Jesus innocent but is becoming “uptight” over the whole issue because of the Jewish Leadership and what they threaten to do to him.

  • Last time, we covered the Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus.
  • Jesus faces Annas and Caiaphas
  • Peter denies Jesus 3 times
  • Six trials (three Jewish; three Roman, we covered)
  • Finally, Jesus is Before Pilate:

Remember, Pilate declares Jesus innocent but is becoming “uptight” over the whole issue because of the Jewish Leadership and what they threaten to do.

John 19:1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged {flogged} Him.

Scourged Him”: Scourged without cause (an illegal act before sentencing).

The scourge was made of thongs to which were attached sharp pieces of metal and pieces of bone. The prisoners were beaten across the back, having the flesh and sometimes the organs torn. Many prisoners died from this cruel punishment.

Pilate intended to punish Jesus and then release Him. 

Luke 23:16 So I will punish him and let him go.”

The scourging was more severe than any of us realize. Jew’s limit: 39 lashes. Romans had no such limit. They often used rods.

A hint at the severity: He couldn’t bear the cross

Luke 23:26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.

He was unrecognizable as a human 

Isaiah 52:14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;

Isaiah 50:6 NKJV I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

Mark 15:15 So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.

John 19:2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.

Where did the Romans Soldiers do all of this

Mark 15:16-17 The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers.  (17)  They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.

Matthew 27:29-30 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.  (30)  They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.

Notice: “And they put a reed into His right hand” – in mockery of the regal scepter. “And they bowed the knee before Him”

The crown of thorns was in mockery of a kingly crown. Placing a purple robe on Jesus made Him a description, or imitation of a person of a royal conqueror, making fun of Jesus, a mock coronation now being enacted.

But, why crown of thorns”: It was a crown of “Thorns” that drew blood from our Lord’s head.

Genesis 3:17 He told the man, “Because you have listened to what your wife said, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground because of you. You’ll eat from it through pain-filled labor for the rest of your life.

Genesis 3:18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.  vs 17, cursed.

Crown of twisted thorns, a symbol of the Curse brought about because of man’s sin in Genesis 3, sign of the earth’s curse.

Crown of thorns also has symbolic meaning, Did Jesus become curse from the prophecy in Genesis when the soldiers put the crown of thorns on His head.  When does the curse end?

Revelation 22:3 There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and the lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him

Galatians 3:13 The Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written, “A curse on everyone who is hung on a tree!”

The Roman soldiers unknowingly took an object of the curse and fashioned it into a crown for the one who would deliver us from that curse. 

John 19:3 They kept coming up to him and saying, “Long live the king of the Jews!” Then they began to slap him on the face.

One at a time, a mocking, sarcastic echo of what the soldiers had heard at Jesus’ triumphal entry or at His trial.

“Pilate…went forth again”: Jews refused to enter the praetorium for fear of ritual defilement. Again, Pilate pronounced Jesus innocent. The charges should have been dismissed.

John 19:4 Pilate went outside again and told the Jews, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.”

Do you think Pilate was appealing to the people’s compassion so that he could release Jesus.

John 19:5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”

During all this, Jesus was meek, patient, and calm, giving evident, His proof of innocence.

The Jewish leaders anticipated an outburst of pity. Therefore they began demanding Jesus’ death.

John 19:6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”

“Crucify,” like fans in a stadium following cheerleaders.

This was the third time Pilate declared that he could find no legal grounds for capital punishment or fault in Him. Pilate proclaimed Him innocent. (John 18:38; John 19:4)

Interesting, this is Pilate formal acquittal of the charge of sedition and rebellion that they had made. He had committed no crime against Roman law. Hence, if punished, it must be by their law.

So, how does the Jews answer. Failing in their purpose, they now fall back on their charge of blasphemy: “He made himself the Son of God.  Their criminal charges having come to nothing, they give up that point, and as Pilate was throwing the whole responsibility upon them, they retreat into their own Jewish law,

John 19:7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”

The real motive of Sanhedrin is finally revealed

“…made himself the Son of God”: Blasphemy was the real reason

As governor, Pilate was bound by Roman custom to respect Jewish law.

Leviticus 24:16 As it is for the resident alien so it is to be with the native born: when he blasphemes the Name, he is to be put to death.

John 19:8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid,

Why was Pilate more afraid, could it be, Pilate knew the accusation were false and could deliver Jesus from death, but when the Jews brought a charge against him of the most capital nature, from their own laws, he then saw that he had everything to fear, if he did not deliver Jesus to their will. 

The Sanhedrin must not be offended, the Jews must not be irritated: the Jews might send a complaint against him to Caesar; the Jews might revolt or proceed to some acts of violence.  Do you think Pilate knew about Jesus’ miracles, how Jesus acted throughout the trial and to his wife’s message.

To a pagan leader, the God-man possibility required investigation: Greek and Roman mythology filled with accounts of gods living among men.

John 19:9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.

 This statement arouses the fear of Pilate. He had never seen such calm dignity and majesty before. Could this prisoner be divine?

Where are from?”: Where are you from, really?  Fear.  (The sixth of seven questions…)  Jesus already told Pilate that His kingdom not of this world {John 36, 37}

John 19:10 So Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to speak to me? You realize, don’t you, that I have the authority to release you and the authority to crucify you?”

Pilate was irritated by Jesus’ refusal to speak.  Pilate falls back upon the pride of the office.  He was not accustomed to be met with silence.

John 19:11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.

Jesus breaks the silence and at once assumes the position of Pilate’s judge.  Jesus was not, therefore, to be concern by any claim of power in Pilate hands. His life was not in his hands.  Christ submitted because it was the Father’s will that he should drink the cup.

Jesus acknowledged that Pilate had the power to take His life, but only because God allowed him that power. This is Christ’s last words to Pilate and Last official testimony before being crucified.

Acts 2:23 After he was arrested according to the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified this very man and killed him by the hands of lawless men.

Jesus’ trial before Pilate took place in seven stages: 4 were outside and 3 trials were inside

John 19:12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”

The Jews shifted their focus from the religious charge to the political charge, which they backed up with an appeal to Caesar’s own political interest.

This moved Pilate to deliver Jesus into the Jewish hands.

Not Caesar’s friend: The Jews resorted to blackmail. (Caesar’s Friend: a formal title of honor among Romans). Personal loyalty questioned.

John 19:13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat down on the judgment seat in a place called The Pavement, which in Hebrew is called Gabbatha.

{being raised, elevated, means ridge of the House}

The Pavement {pavement of stones}, identified by some scholars as the place in the Fortress of Antonia where Pilate pronounced the death sentence against Jesus

John 19:14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 

This is about 9 a.m. in the morning

Behold your King”: Pilate is declaring Christ’s Kingship.  Having now made up his mind to yield to them, he takes a sort of quiet revenge on them by this irony, which he knew would sting them.

John 19:15 But 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 preferred proclaiming a heathen emperor as their king to acknowledging Jesus as their Messiah.

We have no king but Caesar”: Roman rule affirmed!

The Result: An official denial of the King of the Jews

Hosea 3:4 For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones {pillars –  worship of Baal}, without ephod {priestly garment} or household gods.

Interesting, around 40 years later, these same Jewish Leaders died miserably in rebellion against Caesar when Jerusalem fell to the Roman armies.

The Crucifixion

John 19:16 Then he {Pilate} delivered Him to them {Soldiers} to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.

“led Him away”: “led” as lamb to the slaughter.

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

The most significant event in human history was about to be accomplished. There was no formal sentencing.

Then Pilate “washes his hands” and declares he is innocent;

Matthew 27:24-25 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”  (25)  All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”

Interesting, from the standpoint of Satan, it was both a triumph and also a defeat.

It was a triumph for Satan to bruise the heel of the woman’s seed as had been foretold.

Genesis 3:15 “I’ll place hostility between you {Satan}and the woman {Israel}, between your offspring and her offspring {Lord Jesus}. He’ll strike you on the head, and you’ll strike him on the heel.”  {heal – suffered terrible but temporary injury – raised}

It was a defeat because the head of Satan is yet to be crushed: that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”.

Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil

Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

As a side, at the same time, Mark said

Mark 15:15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

John 19:17 And He {Jesus}, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,

The Place of a Skull probably got its name from the shape of the hill

Prophecy verse: Jesus died outside the camp, because Jesus became sin

Hebrews 13:11-13 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp.  (12)  Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.  (13)  Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

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