John 19

John 19 has the crucifixion of Jesus occurring.  Pilate has been delivered Jesus by the Jewish leaders who want Him dead.  They brought Jesus as a common criminal “whipped….braided a crown from thorns….on his head….a purple robe over him….slaps in the face”.  Jesus was beaten and mistreated as the leaders of the day try to get rid of Him.  But Pilate is in a tough spot.  He knows Jesus has done no wrong.  So he “went back out again and said to them, I present him to you, but I want you to know that I do not find him guilty of any crime”.  Jesus was innocent, there was no guilt in Him.  He was pure and free of any sin.

The Jewish leaders got the crowd in a frenzy and wanted Pilate to crucify Christ.  Pilate talks to Jesus, but He is not impressed.  “You haven’t a shred of authority over me except what has been given you from heaven”.  This is not about power of government, but God’s plan to redeem the world.  Jesus death was a choice, not a decision by a Roman leader.  Pilate knows it is wrong and tries to reason with the crowd.  But they continue and shout him down.  Then what often happens when we follow a crowd occurs: “Pilate caved in to their demand”.

Jesus is sent to be crucified. “Carrying his cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill (the name in Hebrew is Golgotha), where they crucified him”.  He went willingly, without so much as a word.  While hanging on that Cross as a common criminal, “Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross”.  And John was there too, and even as Jesus was in the final stages of life, he looked down and asked John to care for His mother.  His love never ends.  He cared for those around Him to the very last breath.

Jesus died that day on the cross.  He said “It’s done . . . complete. Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit”.  The soldiers came to break the legs of those on the crosses that day to speed the death process since it was the day before Sabbath and they wanted to get the bodies down sooner than later.  But when they got to Jesus, He was already dead so they didn’t have to break any bones just as scripture had prophesied.  Joseph and Nicodemus, two somewhat secret followers, came and took the body and prepared it for burial.  They had come to Jesus under darkness before, but “came now in broad daylight”.  Do you come to Jesus in broad daylight, in front of all those in your patch?  Or are you afraid to let your faith be known?

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