John 19#Joh 19:1| Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. See TFG "#Mr 15:15|". #Joh 19:2| And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and arrayed him in a purple garment. See TFG "#Mr 15:17|". #Joh 19:3| And said, Hail, King of the Jews! See TFG "#Mr 15:18|". #Joh 19:4| That ye may know that I find no crime in him. Those having our modern sense of justice would have said that Pilate brought Jesus out thus because he had found no crime in him. But scourging was little thought of in that place and day (#Ac 22:24|). If Pilate had found Jesus guilty, he would have condemned him at once. As it was, he sought to return Jesus to the Sanhedrin as having committed no crime of which the Roman law could take note. (TFG 714) #Joh 19:5| Behold, the man! It was Pilate's original proposition to scourge Jesus and let him go (#Lu 23:16|). Having already scourged him, he now hoped to effect his release. Presenting our Lord in this state of abject humiliation, he feels that he has removed him from every suspicion of royalty. He speaks of Jesus as no longer a king, but a mere man. Pilate's words, however, have a prophetic color, somewhat like those uttered by Caiaphas (#Joh 18:14|). All those of subsequent ages have looked and must continue to look to Jesus as the ideal of manhood. The "Ecce Homo" of Pilate is in some sense an echo of the words of the Father when he said, "This is my Son, my chosen: hear ye him" (#Mt 17:5 Mr 9:7 Lu 9:35|). In Jesus we behold the true man, the second Adam (#1Co 15:45|). (TFG 714) #Joh 19:6| They cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him! Thus Pilate's expectation came to naught, for not one of the Jewish rulers ever wavered in their demand for crucifixion. Pilate saith unto them, Take him yourselves, and crucify him: for I find no crime in him. In this sentence, "ye" and "I" are both emphatic; for Pilate wishes to draw a contrast between himself and the Jewish rulers. His words are not a permission to crucify, but a bit of taunting irony, as if he said: "I the judge have found him innocent, but ye seem to lack the wit to see that the case is ended. If ye are so much superior to the judge that ye can ignore his decision, proceed without him; crucify him yourselves." (TFG 715) #Joh 19:7| We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. Perceiving that Pilate was taunting them, and practically accusing them of attempting to put an innocent man to death, they defended themselves by revealing the fact that in addition to the charges that they had preferred against Jesus, they had found him clearly guilty and worthy of death on another charge; namely: that of blasphemy (#Le 24:16|). They had made no mention of this fact because Pilate was under no obligation to enforce their law; but they mentioned it now to justify their course. They probably felt sure that Jesus himself would convince Pilate of the truth of this latter accusation if Pilate questioned him. (TFG 715) #Joh 19:8| When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid. The words of Jesus at #Joh 18:37| and the message from his wife had already filled Pilate with fear, and this saying added to it because the Roman and Grecian mythologies told of many incarnations; and, influenced by the calm presence of Jesus, Pilate readily considered the possibility of such a thing. (TFG 715) #Joh 19:9| And he entered into the Praetorium again. Taking Jesus with him for private examination. And saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate sought to know whether Jesus were of heaven or of earth; but Jesus did not answer, for the motive of the question was not right. Pilate did not wish an answer that he might give or withhold worship; but that he might know how strenuously he should defend Jesus. But innocent life is to be defended at all hazards, and it matters not whether it be human or divine. Pilate, therefore, already knew enough to enable him to discharge his duties. (TFG 715-716) #Joh 19:10| Knowest thou not that I have power to release thee, and have power to crucify thee? Pilate intimates that Jesus should treat his questions with more courtesy since his good will and favor are not to be despised. But the words lay bare the corrupt heart of Pilate, and form a prophecy of the sin which he committed. Judges must hear and give sentence according to truth, uninfluenced by good will or favor. But Pilate, to please the Jews, crucified Jesus, reversing the sentence which he here suggests that he might render to please Jesus. (TFG 716) #Joh 19:11| Therefore he. Caiaphas. that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. Judas is spoken of as having delivered Jesus--#Joh 18:2,5| (the same word being translated both "betrayed" and "delivered"), but Judas did not deliver to Pilate, so Caiaphas as the representative of the Sanhedrin is here meant; and Pilate's sin is contrasted with that of the rulers. Both of them sinned in abusing their office (the power derived from above--#Ps 75:6,7 Isa 44:28 Ro 13:1|); but Pilate's sin stopped here. He had no acquaintance with Jesus to give him the possibility of other powers--those of love or hatred, worship or rejection. The members of the Sanhedrin had these powers which arose from a personal knowledge of Jesus, and they abused them by hating and rejecting him, thereby adding to their guilt. Pilate condemned the innocent when brought before him, but the Sanhedrin searched out and arrested the innocent that they might enjoy condemning him. (TFG 716) #Joh 19:12| Upon this Pilate sought to release him. As we have seen, Pilate had before this tried to win the consent of the rulers that Jesus be released, but that which John here indicates was probably an actual attempt to set Jesus free. He may have begun by unloosing the hands of Jesus, or some such demonstration. But the Jews cried out, saying, If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar's friend: every one that maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. Whatever Pilate's demonstration was it was immediately met by a counter one on the part of the rulers. They raise a cry which the politic Pilate can not ignore. Taking up the political accusation (which they had never abandoned), they give it a new turn by prompting Pilate to view it from Caesar's standpoint. Knowing the unreasoning jealousy, suspicion and cruelty of the emperor, Pilate saw at once that these unscrupulous Jews could make out of the present occasion a charge against him which would cost him his position, if not his life. (TFG 717) #Joh 19:13| He brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment-seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Pilate had already again and again declared Jesus innocent. He now mounts the judgment-seat that he may formally reverse himself and condemn him. The apostle as an eye-witness fixes by its two names the exact spot where this awful decision was rendered. (TFG 717) #Joh 19:14| Now it was the Preparation of the passover. See TFG "#Joh 13:1|". It was about the sixth hour. It is likely that John uses the Roman method of counting time, and means 6 A.M. See TFG "#Joh 4:6|". John notes also the exact hour day and hour. And he saith unto the Jews, Behold, your King! As he had tried to waken their compassion by saying, "Behold, the man!" (#Joh 19:5|), so he now made a final attempt to shame them by saying, "Behold, your King!" (TFG 717) #Joh 19:15| The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Carried away by the strong emotions of the moment, the official organs of the Jewish theocracy proclaimed Caesar to be their only king, thus yielding with Jesus their claims to independence and their hopes in a Messiah. This is a most significant fact. When their ancestors rejected Jehovah as their king (#1Sa 12:12|), their faithful prophet, Samuel, warned them what the king of their choice would do, and what they should suffer under him. Thus Jesus also foretold what this Caesar of their choice would do to them (#Lu 19:41-44 23:27-31|). They committed themselves to the tender mercies of Rome, and one generation later Rome trod them in the wine-press of her wrath. (TFG 717-718) #Joh 19:16| Then therefore. Mark (#Mr 15:15|) mentions the scourging to show that it preceded the crucifixion, but we see from John's account that the scourging took place somewhat earlier in the proceeding (#Joh 19:1|). He delivered him to them to be crucified. Pilate delivered Jesus to the punishment, but not into their hands; he was led forth and crucified by Pilate's soldiers, who first mocked him, as the next paragraph shows. (TFG 718) #Joh 19:17| CXXXIII. THE CRUCIFIXION. A. ON THE WAY TO THE CROSS. (Within and without Jerusalem. Friday morning.) #Mt 27:31-34 Mr 15:20-23 Lu 23:26-33 Joh 19:17| Unto the place called The place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. See TFG "#Mr 15:22|". #Joh 19:18| CXXXIII. THE CRUCIFIXION. B. JESUS CRUCIFIED AND REVILED. HIS THREE SAYINGS DURING FIRST THREE HOURS. (Friday morning from nine o'clock till noon.) #Mt 27:35-44 Mr 15:24-32 Lu 23:33-43 Joh 19:18-27| Where they crucified him. See TFG "#Mr 15:24|". And with him two others, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. See TFG "#Mr 15:27|". (TFG 726) #Joh 19:19| And Pilate wrote a title also, and put it on the cross See TFG "#Mr 15:26|". #Joh 19:20| And it was written in Hebrew, and in Latin, and in Greek. These three language were respectively those of religion, law and philosophy; but Pilate made use of them because all three were spoken by people then in Jerusalem. (TFG 726) #Joh 19:21,22| Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. The rulers smarted under this title which Pilate had tauntingly written. They had insisted that Jesus' kingship was dangerous enough to justify his crucifixion; but now (if politically and temporally interpreted) they admit that his kingship was an idle claim, a mere matter of words. (TFG 727) #Joh 19:23| The soldiers . . . took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat. See TFG "#Mr 15:24|". Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. This was the tunic or undergarment. It reached from the shoulders to the knees. Ordinarily it was in two pieces, which were fastened at the shoulders by clasps; but Josephus tells us that the tunic of the high priest was an exception to this rule, being woven without seam (The Antiquities of the Jews, 3.7.4). Thus in dividing the Lord's garments, they found a suggestion of his high priesthood. (TFG 726) #Joh 19:24| They parted my garments among them, And upon my vesture did they cast lots. See #Ps 22:18|. #Joh 19:25| These things therefore the soldiers did. Even their small part was the subject of minute prophecy. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. For comment on these four women, see TFG "Mr 15:40", additional note there. #Joh 19:26| The disciple standing by whom he loved. John. Woman, behold thy son! By using the title "woman" Jesus addressed his mother at the end of his ministry with the same word which he had used at its beginning. See TFG "#Joh 2:4|". Thus he cut her off from all parental authority over him. (TFG 729) #Joh 19:27| Then saith he to the disciple, Behold, thy mother! And from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home. In this last hour our Lord bestows upon his helpless mother the disciple whom he loved, who was then in the flower of his manhood. All of Christ's disciples are thus appointed by him protectors of the helpless, but few recognize the behest as John did. (TFG 729) #Joh 19:28| CXXXIII. THE CRUCIFIXION. C. DARKNESS THREE HOURS. AFTER FOUR MORE SAYINGS, JESUS EXPIRES. STRANGE EVENTS ATTENDING HIS DEATH. #Mt 27:45-56 Mr 15:33-41 Lu 23:44-49 Joh 19:28-30| I thirst. For comment on Jesus' physical condition, see TFG "Mr 15:35". #Joh 19:29| So they put a sponge full of the vinegar upon hyssop, and brought it to his mouth. See TFG "#Mr 15:36|". #Joh 19:30| It is finished. He had come, had ministered, had suffered, and had conquered. There now remained but the simple act of taking possession of the citadel of the grave, and the overthrowing of death. By his righteousness Jesus had triumphed in man's behalf and the mighty task was accomplished. And he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit. See #Joh 10:18|. See TFG "#Mr 15:37|" for comparison. (TFG 731) #Joh 19:31| CXXXIII. THE CRUCIFIXION. D. JESUS FOUND TO BE DEAD. HIS BODY BURIED AND GUARDED IN THE TOMB. #Mt 27:57-66 Mr 15:42-47 Lu 23:50-56 Joh 19:31-42| The Preparation. See TFG "#Mr 15:42|". That the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the daye of that sabbath was a high day), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The Romans left the bodies of criminals hanging upon the cross until beasts and birds of prey, or putrefaction, removed them. But the Jewish law forbade that a body should hang over night; for a dead body was accursed, and so the day following might be polluted by the curse which attached to it (#De 21:23 Jos 8:29 10:26|; Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, 4.5.2). The context suggests that the Jews had grown lax with regard to this law on account of the trouble of obtaining the consent from the Romans required to carry it out. But as the Sabbath in this instance was that of the passover week, and as they were ready enough to do anything to show that Jesus was an extraordinary criminal, they asked Pilate that their law might be observed. Instead of killing the criminals, they broke their legs, which rendered recovery impossible, since putrefaction almost immediately set it. (TFG 733-734) #Joh 19:34| Howbeit one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side. To insure death in case they might be mistaken. And straightway there came out blood and water. Many able men have argued learnedly that this flow of blood and water was evidence that Jesus died of a ruptured, or literally broken, heart; but they confess themselves involved in difficulties, for it is hard to reconcile the idea that Jesus died a voluntary death with the idea that he died of any natural cause whatever. Can anything be at once natural and supernatural? (TFG 734) #Joh 19:35| And he that hath seen hath borne witness, and his witness is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye also may believe. However, John's asservation that he was an eyewitness of this shows that he attached importance to it. To him the body of Jesus gave evidence that it differed from other dead bodies. We enter with hesitancy the realm of symbolism, knowing how flagrantly it is abused, but we offer this as a suggestion. Jesus died for our sins, and his death was therefore to provide a means for the cleansing of sin. But, under the terms of his gospel, sins are visibly and physically washed away by water, and invisibly and spiritually by blood (#Heb 10:22|). Now, since both these means were seen by a faithful witness to issue from the side of our crucified Lord, contrary to the ordinary law and course of nature, we have additional reason to believe that things out of the course of nature, namely, the cleansing of sin, etc., were accomplished by his crucifixion. (TFG 734-735) #Joh 19:36| A bone of him shall not be broken. See #Ps 34:20|. #Joh 19:37| They shall look on him whom they pierced. #Zec 12:10|. Even after his death divine power went on fulfilling the prophecies concerning Jesus. He hangs upon the cross as one of a group of three, yet, in the twinkling of an eye, he is separated from the other two by the fulfillment of a brace of prophecies which point him out as the chosen of God. (TFG 735) #Joh 19:38| But secretly for fear of the Jews. See #Joh 12:42,43|. (TFG 735) #Joh 19:39| And there came also Nicodemus, he who at the first came to him by night. See #Joh 3:2|. Bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes. Myrrh was a resin and the aloe was pulverized wood. Both were aromatic (#Ps 45:8|). The spices were wrapped between the folds of the linen in order to partially embalm the body. (TFG 736) #Joh 19:40| So they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Thus two members of the Sanhedrin unite to bury Jesus, each showing his reverence in his own way: Joseph by buying a sindon instead of cheaper cloth (#Mr 15:46|), and Nicodemus by a wonderful wealth of spices (#Joh 19:39|). Possibly the heart of Nicodemus smote him for his tardiness in honoring Christ, and he desired to appease his conscience by giving the Lord a royal burial (#2Ch 16:14|). (TFG 736) #Joh 19:41| And in the garden. Belonging to Joseph. A new tomb wherein was never man yet laid. See TFG "#Mt 27:60|". #Joh 19:42| (For the tomb was nigh at hand). See TFG "#Lu 23:55|".
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