John chapters 19 and 20 chronicle the most important three days in the history of the world: the days of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. This lesson will focus on his death and burial.
JESUS IS SENTENCED (19:1-16)
- Jesus is subjected to a Roman flogging (1).
- In addition, soldiers placed a crown of thorns on his head while they mocked him (2-3).
- Knowing that Jesus had done nothing worthy of this treatment, Pilate sought to have him released; but they called instead for his crucifixion (4-8).
- When Pilate heard that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, he was fearful (8). But Jesus would not entertain Pilate’s additional questions (9-11).
- With one final attempt, Pilate sought to have Jesus released. But when the Jews hypocritically called favorably on the name of Caesar, Pilate gave in and delivered Jesus to be crucified (12-16).
JESUS IS CRUCIFIED (19:17-37)
- Jesus carried his cross to a place called “Golgotha” (17), where they crucified him (18).
- Two thieves were crucified on either side of him (18; cf. Isa. 53:9-12).
- A superscription was placed over his head. Pilate seems to have written the inscription as a final jab at the Jews (19-22).
- The soldiers gambled for Jesus’ garments (23-24; cf. Psa. 22:18), while faithful women witnessed his suffering (25).
- A few things that John doesn’t record:
- A three-hour period of darkness (Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44).
- The veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom (Matt. 26:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).
- A grave-opening earthquake (Matt. 27:51-54).
- John records the following things that Jesus said from the cross (26-30):
- “Woman, behold your son; son, behold your mother” (26-27).
- “I thirst” (28).
- “It is finished” (v. 30; cf. 17:4).
- His death confirmed (31-37)
JESUS IS BURIED (19:38-42)
- Caring for the body were Joseph of Arimathea (38), Nicodemus (39) and devout women (Luke 23:55ff).
- The tomb was in a nearby garden (41-42).
- Jesus’ calmness and composure throughout his trial and death are worthy of our imitation (1 Pet. 2:21-23). We can “fly off the handle” at the pettiest things. Jesus mastered his emotions.
- Jesus accepted that Pilate, a civil ruler, had authority over his life. But he wanted Pilate to remember the source of that authority (19:10-11; Rom. 13:1-7; Acts 25:11).
- The greatest tragedy in history is also the greatest reason to rejoice (19:30).
- There were three crosses, from which we learn three lessons:
- One man died IN sin on a cross of rebellion (Mark 15:32; Luke 23:39).
- One man died TO sin on a cross of repentance (Luke 23:39-43).
- One man died FOR sin on a cross of redemption (Heb. 2:9; Col. 1:20; Matt. 26:28; Rev. 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).