Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid. And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was Jesus Of Nazareth The King Of The Jews. 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.
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. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
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. 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.
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
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. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
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. 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 weight. 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.
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. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
This chapter is one of the hardest ones to read, to study and to comment on. There is so much to ponder in every verse here, it’s almost impossible for me to comment on it all- especially since I’m still learning so much.
A few things though which jump out at me, and make me think however:
… and scourged him….
Behold the man!
That’s a whole lot different than behold the Lamb of God, isn’t it.
….Behold your King!
We have no king but Caesar!
I can’t help but remember when Israel demanded a king. They couldn’t deal with God being their Sovereign, and then when they finally have their king of kings, they denied Him.
It’s interesting and a harsh chapter considering John begins with the scourging of his friend, his rabbi, his Lord. In hindsight with history at our fingertips, we know what happens. It’s easy sometimes to read and just gloss over every torturous detail of what Jesus suffered for us, but to imagine John and the others at that point in time, those hours in which Jesus suffered everything plus more that humans have and continue to suffer, it must have been unbearable. I can’t imagine someone I love or care about suffering as Jesus did, and I can’t imagine ever witnessing it, the way John did.
It’s interesting and a harsh chapter considering John ends it in a ‘cliff hanger’. Again, we who benefit from our place in time- we know what happens next. But they didn’t. The disciples were left leaderless, adrift, in shock, scared, grieving…
And the Jewish leaders were left with a sigh of relief that this obstinate, upstart and rabble rouser was dead.
As for Pilate and the Roman soldiers, just another day’s work for the most part. Another wrinkle smoothed out, nothing to bother Caesar about. Life goes on in the Roman Empire. But then I have to wonder about Pilate. He seemed to understand that there was something particular about this prisoner… his questions allude to the unique nature of the situation. Troubling as it seemed. “What is truth?” And as Ravi Zacharias says, “He didn’t wait for the answer”.
Something had to have pricked his conscience and mind to have even asked that question- but why did he not wait for the answer? Why did he walk away?
And so we end this chapter with the burial of Jesus. And the longest three days in history…
What points in this chapter jump out most for you? I’d like to hear others’ thoughts on the events surrounding the biggest trial and execution in human history.
Have a blessed day all.