John 19Purple robe; some rude garment probably, of a reddish color, which, like the reed for a sceptre, might represent, for the purposes of their mockery, the imperial purple.
Behold the man! He hoped that they would have been satisfied with the sufferings which he had endured, and would consent to his release.
Take ye him, &c. This was not intended as a serious proposal, but was an expression of Pilate's indignation at the cruel wrong which they insisted on committing.
By our law. They had not mentioned this charge, at first, in making out their accusation before Pilate, supposing that he would be more easily influenced by a charge of sedition. But finding him not convinced by that, they now advance the other.
When Pilate,—heard that saying; and finding that the popular excitement was beginning to be uncontrollable. (Matt. 27:24.)
Unto them; that is, to their will. One of Pilate's centurions had charge of the execution.
They placed him in the midst, as the most atrocious of the criminals.
This inscription is recorded by the evangelists in the following forms:—What I have written, I have written; that is, I do not choose to alter it.
A very important principle is illustrated by this diversity, viz., that it is the custom of the sacred writers to use the form of a quotation of words from others, when, in fact, the words are their own, used only to express in a more distinct and vivid manner the general ideas of their own minds. This was their mode of relating events,—clothing their own conceptions of the facts in language attributed to the actors. Even where they are recording real dialogue, they give the substance of what is said, in their own words. A comparison of the different accounts of the same conversation, recorded by the different evangelists, as, for example, the institution of the Lord's supper, the dialogue with Pilate, and any other case where the same dialogue is given by more than one evangelist, places this principle beyond question. It is a principle of fundamental importance, satisfactorily disposing of, as it does, a very large portion of the verbal discrepancies in the New Testament.
The coat was without seam. The coat, as it is here called,—a garment very different from any now worn,—was of such a form as to admit of its being manufactured as here described.
Mary the wife of Cleophas; in the other evangelists mentioned as the mother of James and Joses.
This brief but affecting mode of committing his afflicted mother to the care of his most devoted friend, at such an hour, is one of the most touching incidents in the Savior's history,—rendered still more so by the very feeling, and yet unaffected simplicity, with which John relates the circumstance. His last expression, took her to his own, has a force and meaning which the necessity of adding the word home, to preserve the English idiom, seriously impairs.
A vessel full of vinegar; for the use of the soldiers, a preparation of vinegar being their common drink.
He said, It is finished; with a loud voice, exulting in the final accomplishment of the great work of redemption. We notice that the expression is, "It is finished." A mere martyr, enduring, passively, wrong done to him by others, would say, when he reached the end of his sufferings, "It is ended," or "It is over." Jesus said, "It is finished;" his mind regarding this great consummation, not as the end of the injuries which men had been inflicting upon him, but as the accomplishment of the great work which he had undertaken for them.
That Sabbath day was a high day; that is, coinciding with the passover, it was a day of double sacredness and solemnity.
And brake the legs; with clubs. This violence, previous to allowing the bodies to be taken down, was to guard against the possibility that the sufferers might revive, and their lives be saved.
And pierced his side; to see whether there was any sensibility or life remaining.
This was said originally of the paschal lamb. (Ex. 12:46, Num. 9:12.)
For previous evidence of Nicodemus's friendly feeling towards Jesus, see John 7:50.—Myrrh and aloes; for the embalming of the body.
Preparation-day; that is, for the Sabbath.
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