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Bible Commentaries
John 19

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

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Verses 1-42


1. Behold the Man! (John 19:1-7 . )

2. The Last Question of Pilate and Christ’s Last Word. (John 19:8-11 .)

3. Delivered up and Crucified. (John 19:12-18 .)

4. The Title upon the Cross. (John 19:19-22 .)

5. The Parted Garments. (John 19:23-24 .)

6. Behold Thy Son! Behold Thy Mother! (John 19:25-27 .)

7. It is Finished! (John 19:28-30 .)

8. His Legs not Broken. (John 19:31-33 .)

9. The Testimony of the Scriptures. (John 19:34-37 .)

10. The Burial in the Garden. (John 19:38-42 .)

The cruel scourging, such as cruel Rome had invented, then took place. It often was so severe that prisoners died under the awful blows. What pen can ever describe the suffering and the shame He endured! Perhaps Pilate thought this awful scourging would satisfy the Jews, so that the Lord would be released. Then the mockery followed. The crown of thorns, the emblem of the curse of sin, was put upon His holy brow. The sin-bearer wore that crown for us, that we might wear a crown of glory. When He comes again He comes with many crowns. (Revelation 19:12 .) They put the robe of purple, the imperial color, upon Him; ridiculed and smote Him. Then Pilate led Him forth and said: “Behold the Man.” Was it pity or contempt? Most likely both. But oh! the sight! To see Him, Who is the Life and the Light, the Holy One, the Creator, treated thus by the creature of the dust! Satan’s power energized the chief priests and officers, and the answer they give as they behold “the Man of Sorrows” is “Crucify Him!” “He made Himself the Son of God” was their wicked accusation. He is the Son of God and because He had come in marvelous love to this poor lost world, He was condemned to die.

The last word the Lord Jesus spoke to Pilate is found in John 19:11 . The authority given from above is from God, Who spared not His own Son; but the Jews, who delivered Him up to Pilate, have the greater sin. Once more we hear Pilate’s voice, “Behold your King!” They answer: “Away with Him! Crucify Him!” And then again: “Shall I crucify your King?” The answer of complete apostasy follows: “We have no King but Caesar.” Pilate is lost; he delivered Him to be crucified. We see the Lord bearing His cross to the place of the skull, Golgotha. Who can describe His agony and His sufferings as He was lifted up! Two others were crucified with Him. “He was numbered with transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12 .)

Above His cross was the title written by Pilate himself. It was written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. There is no discrepancy between the different Gospels, because they give the inscriptions in different words. Pilate worded them differently in the three languages. Matthew and John report the Hebrew title; Mark gives the Latin and Luke the Greek inscription. (Matthew was guided to leave out “of Nazareth.” This is in full accord with the purpose of his Gospel.)

The coat (robe) without seam, woven from the top throughout, is only mentioned by John. The German expositor Bengel calls attention to the fact that our Lord never “rent” His garments in sorrow like Job, Jacob, Joshua, Caleb, Jephthah, Hezekiah, Mordecai, Ezra, Paul and Barnabas. The seamless robe is typical of His perfect righteousness, which now was stripped from Him by man’s hand and thus He received the place as the evildoer. Then the prophecy of Psalms 22:18 was literally fulfilled. Could there be anything else but a literal fulfillment of Prophecy?

“The importance of interpreting prophecy literally, and not figuratively, is strongly shown in this verse. The system of interpretation which unhappily prevails among many Christians--I mean the system of spiritualizing away all the plain statements of the prophets, and accommodating them to the Church of Christ-- can never be reconciled with such a verse as this. The plain, literal meaning of words should evidently be the meaning placed on all the statements of Old Testament prophecy. This remark of course does not apply to symbolical prophecies, such as those of the seals, trumpets, and vials in Revelation.”

And then the loving tenderness He manifested towards His mother. (Here, with one exception in the first chapter of Acts, we part with Mary; she is not mentioned in the after-books. In all the doctrine of the epistles she has no place. Blessed among women as she is surely by her connection with the human nature of our Lord, the entire silence of Scripture as to her in that fullness of Christian truth which it was the office of the Spirit of truth to communicate is the decisive overthrow of the whole Babel-structure of Mariolatry which Romanism has built up upon a mere sand-foundation. She remains for us in the word of God, a simple woman rejoicing in God her Saviour,--a stone in the temple to His praise, and with no temple of her own. To use the grace of the Redeemer in taking flesh among us by her means to exalt the mother to the dishonor of Christ her Lord is truly a refined wickedness worthy of the arch-deceiver of mankind.--Numerical Bible.)

John has nothing to say of the darkness which enshrouded the Cross. Nor do we find here the cry of the forsaken One: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!” The Father did not forsake the Son; this was His statement in John 16:32 . “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.” It is not so much the awful thirst connected with crucifixion which is viewed here, as it is His perfect obedience to do the Father’s will and that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. “He bowed His head and gave up the spirit.” In Luke’s Gospel we read that He said: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (23:46); John says nothing of Him commending His spirit, for as the Son of God He did not need to commend Himself to the Father. The final word preceding the giving up of His spirit is the majestic “It is finished.” In the Greek it is but one word, “tetelestai.” Never before and never after was ever spoken one word which contains and means so much. It is the shout of the mighty Victor. And who can measure the depths of this one word!

Psalms 34:20 was fulfilled; “A bone of Him shall not be broken.” Scripture had to be fulfilled. The spear, which pierced His blessed side, fully evidences that He had died. The blood and water have a most precious meaning. That it was a Supernatural thing we do not doubt. The blood stands for the atonement, which had been made; the water for cleansing. The Jews have a strange tradition that from the rock which was smitten by Moses in the wilderness there flowed, when first smitten, blood and water. (Shemoth Rabba.) John alone mentions this blessed fact. “It is a beautiful testimony of divine grace, answering the last insult man could heap upon Him. They drove Him outside the camp, put Him to death on the Cross, and then, to make His death doubly sure, the soldier pierced His side. Salvation was God’s answer to man’s insult, for the blood and water were the signs of it.” John speaks of this never to be forgotten occurrence, in his first Epistle (5:6). There he mentions water first. It denotes purifying which man needs, and that has come with all its attending blessings by His precious blood. But notice John writes: “And again another scripture saith, They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” He does not say, another Scripture was fulfilled. Zechariah 12:10 was not fulfilled when He died, but will be fulfilled when He comes again and the believing remnant of Israel mourns for Him.

Nicodemus is mentioned for the third and last time in the Gospel. He came to Jesus by night and heard the Gospel

message from His lips. Later he ventured a weak and timid defense (7:48-53); here he comes out boldly honoring the body of Jesus. Surely he believed and therefore confessed the Lord.

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on John 19". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/john-19.html. 1913-1922.
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