John 19:1-22: “Pontius Pilate Finally Gives In To The Jews And Has Jesus Scourged And Led Away To Be Crucified

By

Jim Bomkamp

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1.                  INTRO:

 

1.1.         In our last study we looked at verses 28-40 of chapter 18.

 

1.1.1.  We saw that Jesus was tried by a man named Pontius Pilate who was the Roman governor that had been appointed over the land of Palestine in Jesus’ day.  We saw that Pontius Pilate is a man who is known in history for only one thing and that is being the governor or procurator over Judea at this time and being the man who approved the crucifixion of Jesus Christ when Jesus was brought to him in a mock trial by the religious leaders of Israel who simply wanted him to give approval for the unjust crucifixion of Jesus, regardless of the fact that in doing so they were violating every code of justice from their Law.

 

1.1.2.  We saw that Pontius Pilate served as governor from 26-36AD.  Pilate lived in Caesarea and always visited Jerusalem during the Passover season in order to keep a watchful eye on the crowds there since disturbances and insurrections by the Jews had often occurred during the Passover. Pilate had probably been told of Jesus’ imminent arrest and to be on hand early on this morning for a quick trial before the Passover.

 

1.1.3.  We saw that Pilate was a reluctant participant in the trial and condemnation of Jesus to crucifixion.  He was convinced of Jesus’ innocence and had an opportunity to make a difference by doing the right thing and dismissing the charges against Jesus, however instead he chose to act instead according to pragmatic concerns and allow the Jews to crucify Jesus so that he might not incur their disfavor. 

 

1.1.4.  We saw that in reality that it was Pilate who was on trial this day.

 

1.1.5.  We considered the far reaching effects that occur whenever a person determines whether to stand for the Lord and for truth, or not to do so.

 

1.1.6.  We saw that Pontius Pilate had the same choice in life that all of us have, namely, what shall we do with Jesus Christ?  Shall we accept Jesus and His claims and live our life in obedience to Him, or shall we choose to reject Him.

 

1.2.         In this study, we are going to look at verses 1-22 of chapter 19.

 

1.2.1.  M.S. Mills in The Life Of Christ, writes the following about the history of using crucifixion as a form of capital punishment, “The beginnings of crucifixion are vague: it seems that the Phoenicians used to tie a criminal to a tree and leave him to die of exposure. The tree afforded some protection against exposure, so in order to hasten the process, stakes were substituted for trees. The Persians apparently adopted this form of execution from the Phoenicians (as Ezra 6:11 may confirm), the Greeks copied the Persians, and the Romans, the Greeks, each adding macabre ‘refinements’ and making the process more excruciating than the former, culminating in the atrocious, inhumane form of torture used by the Romans. In recognition of its degrading nature, Roman law restricted crucifixion to slaves and subjugated people and specifically excluded Roman citizens from this torture and humiliation. This is how Peter could be crucified while Paul had to be beheaded.

 

1.2.2.  I would add that Cicero, the ancient Roman author and orator, said, “Let the very name of the cross be far away from Roman citizens, not from their bodies only, but from their thoughts, their eyes and their ears.”  Yet, crucifixion is the type of death that Jesus Christ had to die in order for Him to be able to adequately pay the debt of our sins.

 

1.2.3.  As was mentioned, previously we concentrated upon Pontius Pilate as being a man who had a chance to make a difference because he knew that Jesus was an innocent man not deserving punishment, yet he was a man who was not willing to make a stand for Jesus or for the truth.  But in this study, I want to concentrate for a moment on looking a Pontius Pilate from the perspective of God’s sovereignty verses man’s free will.

 

1.2.3.1.The scripture is clear that concerning every detail of the events that occurred when Jesus Christ was crucified that God was pulling the strings from the background and bringing about exactly what He planned before creation would occur:

 

1.2.3.1.1.Acts 2:23 speaks of the events that occurred on this day when Jesus Christ was crucified as all happening according to God’s predetermined plans, “23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

 

1.2.3.1.2.Acts 4:27-28 includes the actions of Pilate on this day as all working according to God’s predestined plan, “27 For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.”

 

1.2.3.2.The scripture also shows us that even though Pontius Pilate was fulfilling God’s predetermined plan in having Jesus tortured, punished and crucified, that none the less the Lord held Pilate responsible for his actions in all that he did on this day:

 

1.2.3.2.1.Pilate had many warnings and signals given to him by the Lord that what he was doing was wrong, yet he chose to ignore them all instead of act upon them:

 

1.2.3.2.1.1.In John 18:37 Jesus told Pilate that indeed He had come into this world to be a king, and that everyone who is of the truth hears Him, “37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

 

1.2.3.2.1.2.Several times Pilate revealed that his own conscience had persuaded him that Jesus had done nothing wrong or deserving of death.

1.2.3.2.1.3.Pilate’s wife was warned in a dream that Pilate was to leave that righteous man, Jesus, alone (Matt. 27:19).

 

1.2.3.2.1.4.In John 19:11, Jesus tells Pilate that what he was doing was sin but that the one who had delivered Jesus to him had the greater sin, “11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

 

1.2.3.3.So, even though the Lord does include evil men and events in His predetermined plan for mankind, none the less each of us as people are held completely responsible for our own actions in carrying out whatever evil deeds we do.  This occurs because man is “a free moral agent” and has a “free will” and this also chooses.  In our finite minds the sovereignty of God in choosing and predetermining yet man also having a free will do not seem possible yet this is what we see happening and being taught in the scriptures.

 

1.2.3.4.Again we see the sovereignty of God and the free will of man often in prophesies given concerning what men will do (example Peter you will deny me three times today), yet we see God also warning and exhorting the same men ahead of time about what they will do (example Peter again).

 

1.2.4.  Lets look at Pontius Pilate from one more perspective.  Arthur Pink quotes Mr. Geo. Brown speaking about how that Pontius Pilate’s mistake was that he was trying to compromise and live in two worlds, though he wanted to do what was right from his conscience he also wanted to please the world (the Jews) and not offend them, however doing both is always an impossibility, “Here is the anticipative result of Pilate’s vacillation.  When a man begins to temporize with his conscience, to trifle with sin—be it the love of applause, the fear of man, or whatsoever thing is contrary to sound doctrine and plain morality—it is easy to predict what is sure to follow.  Sin is at the first like a tiny spark.  Tread it out at once—that is your duty.  But indulge, foster, toy with it, and it will kindle and spread, and lay waste in a fearful conflagration the very temple of the soul.  So here with this unhappy Pilate, trying to join together what God hath forever put asunder—his carnal inclination and his duty;  hoping all in vain to harmonize equity and injustice;  to comply with the voice of wicked men without, and yet not offend the voice of God within him;  thinking to serve to masters—God and mammon.  Miserable, impossible compromise.”  Jesus taught that it is impossible to serve two masters for you will eventually hold to the one and despise the other (Matt. 6:24, Luke 16:13).

2.                 VS 19:1  - Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him. -  John tells us that after trying Jesus that Pilate now has Jesus scourged

 

2.1.         Pilate did a most horrible thing.  The callousness and cruelty of this man are seen in his having Jesus, a man that he has determined is innocent, receive a scourging.   

 

2.2.         Pilate had Jesus scourged thinking that the Jews might then have pity upon Jesus and give up their resolve to see Him killed if he did so.  Again we see the pragmatic approach to life which characterized Pilate instead of a commitment to living according to “truth.”

 

2.3.         In Mark 10:33-34, Jesus prophesied these events before they occurred saying that he would be spit on, scourged, and killed by the chief priests and scribes, “33 saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles. 34 “They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”  See also Luke’s account, Luke 18:33, of this prophesy by Jesus.

 

2.4.         The scourging whip was typically made of many leather straps with lead balls or pieces of bone on them.  With each lash the lead or bone would dig into the flesh and rip out pieces of skin, muscle, ligament, tendon, bone, veins, arteries, and organs.  Many strong men would die after a scourging.  Jesus received 39 lashes because this was the maximum number allowed since it was common for a person to die having received more than thirty-nine.  In Deut. 25:3 the law forbid giving any man more than 40 lashes.  Paul writes in 2 Cor. 11:24 that five times he received 39 lashes by the Jews.

 

2.5.         Demonstrating further cruelty, Pilate has Jesus’ scourging carried out by Roman soldiers who would be especially cruel.

 

3.                 VS 19:2-5  - And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and arrayed Him in a purple robe;  and they began to come up to Him, and say, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and to give Him blows in the face.  And Pilate came out again, and said to them, ‘Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in Him’.  Jesus therefore came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.  And Pilate said to them, ‘Behold, the Man!’ -  The soldiers with Pilate wove a crown of thorns and put it on Jesus’ head and arrayed Him in a purple robe and began coming up to Him and punching Him in the face, Pilate came out again bringing Jesus and said to the Jews that he found no guilt in Jesus, then looking at Jesus said, “Behold the Man!”

 

3.1.         John does not include in his gospel account what Luke includes about Pilate sending Jesus to Herod before Pilate scourged Him.  Pilate and Herod, though both Roman governors, did not care for each other to this point.  However, the crucifixion of Jesus caused them to agree about something and from that point on to become good friends. 

 

3.2.         Herod interrogated Jesus and then dressed Him in a beautiful robe and sent Him back to Pilate.  This is probably the same robe that John describes as being purple and having been placed upon Jesus by some Roman soldiers. 

 

3.3.         Again, I mention the incredible cruelty of these Roman soldiers whom Pilate allowed to do what they wanted to do in punishing Jesus.  These Roman soldiers wove a crown of thorns and placed it upon Jesus head as a crown, since He had claimed to be a king.  The three to four inch thorns in this crown dug deep into Jesus’ scalp and were very painful. 

 

3.4.         Likewise, another gospel writer includes that they also placed in Jesus’ hand a reed for a king’s scepter.

 

3.5.         In Genesis 3:17-18 we read that after mankind fell into sin that the Lord cursed the ground because of this so that it would bear thorns and thistles making a man sweat growing and tilling crops on the earth, therefore now as Jesus is taking the curse for mankind it was fitting that a crown of thorns be woven and placed on his head which He will wear as He is led to be crucified.

 

3.6.         Likewise, in Isaiah 1:18 the prophet wrote about how that though our sins are as scarlet that they shall be as white as snow, therefore it was appropriate that as Jesus is bearing our sins on this day that He should be wrapped in a robe that is scarlet (our text translates this word as being ‘purple’). 

 

3.7.         Now in contempt and mocking the soldiers began to come up to Jesus and give Him blows in the face as they said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’  Little did these soldiers know that by their mocking and blows Jesus was earning His Kingdom and soon He was to begin to reign upon the throne He had held from all eternity.

 

3.8.         Declaring, ‘Behold the man,’ Pilate again tries to cause the Jews to have sympathy for this man who had been viciously bludgeoned and allow Him to go free, yet again he underestimates their resolve to have Him crucified.  We see that Pilate acts pragmatically instead of in favor of “truth,” for Jesus deserved none of this treatment and it was in Pilate’s power to stop this at any time.

 

3.9.         I think we have to see in Pilate’s declaration of ‘Behold the man!” that he was in awe of how Jesus carried Himself and endured these cruelties, pain, and shame.  Pilate could have said, “Behold this man” but I think his choice of ‘the man’ indicates his awe of Jesus.  Truly, Pilate must have known in his heart throughout this day that the One before him was unlike any man.

 

4.                 VS 19:6  - When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, ‘Crucify, crucify!’  Pilate said to them, ‘Take Him yourselves, and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him’. -  When the chief priests and officers see Jesus they cry out to crucify Him, but Pilate tells them to take Him themselves and crucify Him for he found no guilt in Jesus

 

4.1.         The blood thirstiness and cruelty of the Jewish leaders in having no pity or compassion on Jesus at this moment is beyond belief.  However, history has shown over and over again that the cruelest acts have been performed by the highest church leaders and in the Name of God.

 

4.2.         Pilate taunts this crowd of Jewish leaders to go ahead and in violation of Roman law crucify Jesus.  These Jews knew that if they went and crucified Jesus, or performed any capital punishment upon a person without Rome’s approval that they would break Roman law and suffer the legal consequences.

 

4.3.         Pilate again tells these Jewish leaders he finds no guilt in Jesus (note:  even after he has had Jesus scourged and beaten brutally by his soldiers). 

 

4.4.         At this point Pilate could have driven the Jews away with soldiers or even grabbed a whip and chased them off, however he has not the moral resolve within him to do what he knows is right and just concerning Jesus.

 

5.                 VS 19:7-10  - The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God’.  When Pilate therefore heard this statement, he was the more afraid;  and he entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Jesus, ‘Where are You from?’  But Jesus gave him no answer.  Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘You do not speak to me?  Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?’  Jesus answered, ‘You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above;  for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin’. -  The Jews respond back to Pilate that they have a law and that by their law that Jesus ought to die for He had made Himself out to be the Son of God, when Pilate heard this he was more afraid and came back into the Praetorium again and queried Jesus about who He was, but Jesus gave Pilate no answer causing Pilate to ask Him if He did not realize the fact that Pilate had the authority to release Him

 

5.1.         Pilate is a man that is being pulled in many directions.  As we mentioned, another gospel writer records that Pilate’s wife sent a note to him at this time saying that he should have nothing to do with this righteous man Jesus because she had had a bad dream about Him.

 

5.2.         In these verses Pilate begins to become a bit superstitious and fearful about allowing the Jews to crucify Jesus since the Jews tell him that Jesus claimed to be ‘the Son of God.’  Pilate is pondering whether or not these things might be true after all, and whether or not he might be making a huge mistake by crucifying a man who came from heaven and was the Son of God.

 

5.3.         Pilate asks concerning Jesus true origin in verse 9.  Pilate does and he doesn’t want to know whether or not Jesus is in fact the Son of God as He claims.  He is curious but he is not curious enough to really know the truth concerning Jesus.

 

5.4.         We could ask the question of why Jesus does not answer Pilate’s question about where He is from?  Does not Jesus want to tell His secret about being the eternal Son of God from eternity come to earth through virgin birth in order to pay the debt of man’s sins?  Why would He hold back this knowledge now since at this point He had nothing to lose?  I would say first of all that Pilate did not deserve to know the truth.  At this point Jesus had already told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world and that He had been born to be a king.  However, Pilate had not believed Jesus’ words then, so he would not believe them now.  Pilate would not act upon this truth now so to tell him more truth would have been to cast pearls before swine, which God’s people are not to do (Matt. 7:6). 

 

5.5.         Jesus silence is unnerving and perplexing to Pilate.  In astonishment and prideful arrogance he asks Jesus about why He does not try to justify Himself or somehow obtain His release.  However, Jesus’ weapons are not those of the flesh, and so He does not try to manipulate His circumstances to try to have Himself acquitted or released (which He could easily have done on this day).  Plus, on this day Jesus was willingly laying down His life for mankind not defending Himself.

 

5.6.         On this day there are two kingdoms in conflict.  On the one hand, Pilate represents the authority and rulership of man upon earth, and on the other Jesus is the King of the eternal realm. 

 

5.7.         Pilate tells Jesus in essence that He ought to wise up and realize that he has the power to release or to crucify Him, and therefore it would be wise for Him to try to speak up in order to obtain His release.  However, Jesus tells Pilate that heaven’s authority (which would be Jesus’ authority) is over and above his, and that Pilate would not be in a position of authority unless heaven had decreed it so. 

 

5.8.         Then, Jesus tells Pilate that as a result of authority being given to Pilate from Jehovah, that he has a responsibility for which he will be held accountable one day.  However, Jesus also tells Pilate that there is greater sin incurred in Annas delivering Jesus up to Pilate than in Pilate’s actions himself.  Because of this statement Pilate tries to release Jesus without any further cruelty to Him.

 

5.9.         It is interesting here how as we mentioned that the Lord put Pilate’s wife in his life in order to try to save him from himself in making this horrible decision to have Jesus scourged and crucified.  God’s mercy is seen in giving this dream to Pilate’s wife and then inspiring her at this time to warn him not to have anything to do with this ‘righteous’ man Jesus.  However, Pilate was not sensitive enough to the pangs of his conscience in order to realize how foolish and senseless it was to put to death a ‘righteous’ man, especially one who was the only begotten Son of God.

 

6.                 VS 19:12-15  - As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, ‘If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar;  everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar’.  When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabatha.  Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover;  it was about the sixth hour.  And he said to the Jews, ‘Behold, your King!’  They therefore 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’. -  Pilate tries to dismiss the charges against Jesus and release Him however now the Jews began to yell out to him and argue with him that Jesus is not their king for that they have no king but Caesar

 

6.1.         Pilate tries several times to obtain the release of Jesus, however the resolve of this Jewish mob to kill Jesus was such that he finally gave in to this horrible crime and injustice hoping to be able to justify his actions by washing his hands of the matter, however in his conscience he knew he could have stopped Jesus’ undeserved trial and punishment had he the resolve to act upon the “truth.”  Rather than risk a riot Pilate violates his own conscience and agrees to the Jew’s demand to have Jesus crucified.

 

6.2.         Another gospel writer records that before Pilate had Jesus scourged that he actually washed his hands in water before the Jews and then told them to do what they were determined to do in crucifying Him.

 

6.3.         The crowd finally persuades Pilate to allow them to crucify Jesus by fueling his fears that he might be found to have helped an insurrection that might follow if he allows Jesus to be released.  These Jews accuse Pilate of treason by saying that he is no friend of Caesars if he allows a man to go free if he claims to be a king since there is no king by Caesar.  Pilate knew that they could betray him to Caesar for letting Jesus, a man who claimed to be king, go free, and then he could end up losing both his governorship and perhaps even his own head.

 

6.4.         The crowd compromises their faith in Jehovah as their king as a matter of convenience by prodding Pilate to crucify Jesus as a patriotic act since Jesus claimed to be a king and any Roman had only one king, “Caesar.”  Revealing their hearts and compromising their faith in Jehovah these Jewish leaders claim that they have only one king, “Caesar.”

 

6.5.         Out of fear and convenience, Pilate allows Jesus to be crucified.

 

6.6.         Arthur Pink has written about how on this day history was repeating itself for the Jews for this was the second time in their history that they had requested a king other than the Lord to reign over them, each time experiencing tragic consequences, ““The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.” God took them at their word:  they have been under their own verdict ever since.  History repeated itself, though with a tragic addition.  In the days of Samuel, Israel said, “Make us a king to judge us like all nations” (1 Sam. 8:5), and Jehovah’s response was, “Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee:  for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”  So it was here with their rebellious descendants, when they rejected Christ the king.  In consequence of their fatal decision, Israel has abode “many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice” (Hosea 3:4).  Bitter indeed have been the consequences.”

 

6.7.         We Christians ought to realize that we can never wash our hands of our responsibility to always act upon the basis of the “truth.”  There is no one whom we should blame for our actions, and the moral decisions we make.  We also can’t rightly claim that the Devil made us do anything!

 

7.                 VS 19:16-17  - So he then delivered Him to them to be crucified.  They took Jesus therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha. – John tells us that Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified and that Jesus went out bearing His own cross to a placed called the place of a Skill, or Golgatha in Hebrew

 

7.1.         Notice here that Jesus was “led” to be crucified and went willingly.  He wasn’t dragged or forced.  This Jesus did in fulfillment of Israel 53:7, “7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.

 

7.2.         Pilate then delivered Jesus to be crucified at the hands of Roman soldiers.  Crucifixion was a horrible punishment for anyone to endure.  Crucifixion would not immediately kill its victim, rather he would be caused to hang in agony for a long period of time.  Some victims would last three days or longer on the cross, finally to die from thirst, starvation or asphyxiation. 

 

7.3.         Jesus’ injuries were such that He could not have hung long on a cross without dying unless God’s miraculous power intervened on His behalf as He yield up His Spirit to the Father. 

 

7.4.         Only the worst of criminals who had committed heinous murder or vicious treason would be killed by crucifixion.  With hatred of the Jews and their insolence and fear of being accused of treason, Pilate chose to crucify the One who claimed to be the “King of the Jews.”

 

7.5.         An Old Testament type was fulfilled in this day with Jesus’ crucifixion.  In Leviticus chapter 16, the Lord gave to Moses and Aaron the instructions for how the sins of the nation were to be atoned for annually by sacrificing a goat and then taking some of the blood inside the veil to the Holy of Holies and pouring it onto the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant, however Lev. 16:27 tells us that the animal then had to be taken outside of the camp and be burned, “27 “But the bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall be taken outside the camp, and they shall burn their hides, their flesh, and their refuse in the fire.  The writer of the book of Hebrews explains in Heb. 13:12 that this type was fulfilled in Jesus Christ on this day, “12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

 

7.6.         This verse also indicates that Jesus originally was forced to begin carrying His own cross to the place of crucifixion, but as the other gospel writers tells us, Simon the Cyrene eventually had to carry the cross for Jesus because He was too exhausted and weak to carry it all the way Himself.

 

7.7.         There was yet another Old Testament type that was fulfilled on this day by Jesus.  In the book of Genesis, chapter 22, we read of the testing of Abraham after the Lord had finally is his old age given him in Isaac the son of promise, that he was commanded by the Lord to take his son and to sacrifice him to the Lord.  In obedience then Abraham took Isaac up to a mountain to sacrifice him and we read in Gen. 22:6 how that Isaac had to carry the wood for the fire himself upon which he was to be sacrificed by his father, “6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.  In the same way, our heavenly Father was sacrificing His only begotten Son to be crucified upon Calvary’s cross to pay the debt of mankind’s sin, and Jesus had to carry His own cross. 

 

7.7.1.  John does not detail very graphically nor specifically the depth of the suffering and humiliation Jesus went through on this day, though the other gospel writers give us more of these details.  In our next study, I will present the medical aspects of what Jesus went through in being crucified on this day since several medical doctors have now written about that. 

 

7.8.         In order to publicly humiliate Jesus, He was forced to carry His cross right through the streets of Jerusalem which were then bustling from all of the Jews who had gathered there to celebrate the Passover.  Today we in America translate the name of the hill where Jesus was crucified, “Calvary.”  Did you ever realize that the name of this church is “Skull Chapel Green Bay” ?

 

7.9.         David Terasaka, an MD, writes the following about Jesus carrying His cross on this day:

 

From the beating, Jesus walked on a path, now known as the Via Dolorosa or the "way of suffering", to be crucified at Golgotha. The total distance has been estimated at 650 yards. (Edwards). A narrow street of stone, it was probably surrounded by markets in Jesus' time. He was led through the crowded streets carrying the crossbar of the cross (called a patibulum) across His shoulders. The crossbar probably weighed between 80 to 110 pounds. He was surrounded by a guard of Roman soldiers, one of which carried a titulus, a sign which announced His crime of being "the King of the Jews" in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. On the way, He was unable to carry the cross. Some theorize that he may have fallen while going down the steps of the Antonio Fortress. A fall with the heavy patibulum on His back may have led to a contusion of the heart, predisposing His heart to rupture on the cross. (Ball) Simon of Cyrene (currently North Africa (Tripoli)), who apparently was affected by these events, was summoned to help.

The present Via Dolorosa was marked in the 16th century as the route over which Christ was led to His crucifixion (Magi). As is the location of Calvary, the true location of the Via Dolorosa is disputed. Much tradition as to what happened to Jesus is encountered on the Via Dolorosa today. There are 14 stations of 'events' that occurred and 9 churches on the way today. The stations of the cross were established in the 1800's (Magi). Today, there is one section of the path where one can walk on the stones which were used during Jesus time.

 

8.                 VS 19:18-22  - There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.  And Pilate wrote an inscription also, and put it on the cross.  And it was written, “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews”.  Therefore this inscription many of the Jews read, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;  and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.  And so the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, ‘Do not write, “The King of the Jews”;  but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews’.  Pilate answered, ‘What I have written I have written’. -  John tells us that they crucified Jesus in between two men and that Pilate forced those who crucified Jesus to write on His cross, “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews”

 

8.1.         Jesus’ being crucified in between two thieves fulfilled these two Messianic prophesies of the Old Testament:

 

8.1.1.  Isaiah 53:12, “12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.” 

 

8.1.2.  Psalm 22:16, “16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.”

 

8.2.         Jesus was crucified in the most public manner possible.  He was crucified on a hill right on the main road into Jerusalem upon which most travelers would pass as they journeyed to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. 

 

8.3.         The inscription placed upon the cross was written in three languages which would mean that virtually every person who would travel to Jerusalem could read it in a language which he knew, and these three languages covered all areas of life and culture:

 

8.3.1.  Koine Greek” was the language of all the world, and virtually everyone would know this language. 

 

8.3.2.  The “Latin” language was the language of government and of Rome which ruled the world.   

 

8.3.3.  Finally, most Jews, if not all, would know “Hebrew” as it is their native language even if they presently lived in a foreign country.   

 

8.4.         Arthur Pink writes the following about this title being written about Jesus in these three languages, “Hebrew was the language of religion;  Greek of science, culture and philosoply;  Latin of law.  In each of these realms Christ is “king.”  In the religious, He is the final revelation of the true God (Heb. 1:2;  John 14:9).  In science, He is the Force behind all things. “By Him all things consist” (Col. 1:17).  “Upholding all things by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3);  so, too, in Him are hid “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).  In jurisprudence, He is supreme;  the Law-giver and Law-administrator (1 Cor. 9:21).

 

8.5.         Also, with Jesus crucified in the middle in between the two thieves, attention would be drawn to Him.  All that Pilate did to draw attention to Jesus, God used for promoting the gospel.  Though Pilate had hoped to humiliate and squelch any insubordination of the Jews by publicly crucifying their “King,” as a result of Jesus being a public spectacle many of the masses were later converted after Jesus raised from the dead.

 

8.6.         John doesn’t include in his gospel what the other gospel writers say of the taunting of Jesus upon the cross that came from the Roman soldiers, the chief priests, and even the thieves crucified next to Him.  These men mocked Jesus and His claims, and the chief priests even told Him to come down from the cross and then they would believe in Him.  Some said, “He saved others, but He can’t save Himself.” 

 

8.7.         Another gospel writer includes that  one of the thieves on the cross finally was moved by Jesus’ attitude and countenance, realizing that Jesus was innocent of the charges for which He was dying (unlike himself), and he tells the other thief to stop his taunting.  Then the thief asked Jesus to remember him when He entered His kingdom.  Jesus responded to this thief that that very day he would be with Him in paradise.

 

9.                 CONCLUSIONS:

 

9.1.         We must realize that though the Lord may know and even have predetermined what we will do in our life, that none the less the Lord holds us responsible for every choice and decision we make in our life.

 

9.2.         We need to learn from Pilate that you can’t sit on the fence and try to live for the Lord while also live like the world.  You cannot serve God and mammon.  You must choose either one or the other.  If you try to sit on the fence one day you will fall head over heels into sin and you may never get out of that life of sin, only to spend an eternity in hell (the lake of fire in Rev. 20).

 

9.3.         Our hearts should be broken and our love won as we consider that all that Jesus was going through on this day was because of how greatly He loved us.

 

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