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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament

John 19

Verse 15


The only king we have is the Emperor! They had rejected their True king. Now they claim the Emperor, Tiberias, as their king. [Caesar = Emperor.] This choice seals their doom, and in about forty years, the Roman Emperor will crush their nation and destroy Jerusalem.

Verses 17-30


So they took charge of Jesus. See notes on Matthew 27:32-40.27.66. John gives a few details.

25. His mother’s sister. Matthew 27:56 identifies Salome as one of the four women [“the mother of Zebedee’s sons”]. Since John does not give his own name, it would not be unusual for him to omit any mention of his mother’s name as well. Therefore, John’s mother was a sister to Mary, the Human mother of Jesus. [Compare note on Matthew 10:2-40.10.4.]

26. Woman, here is your son. [This is not harsh, as it sounds to our ears. See note on John 2:4.] In the agony of death, Jesus places his human mother in John’s care. The fact that John is her nephew, helps explain this. Some think this act implies that Joseph was dead at this time. And, her sons and daughters were likely still unbelievers (John 7:5), although after the Resurrection, they are mentioned with the believers (Acts 1:14).

Verse 31


They did this because it was Friday. Friday was “the preparation day” for the Sabbath [Saturday]. This would be a “double Sabbath,” because it was the Passover. Victims were usually left on the cross until the bodies rotted away. But the Jews want to get it all over, to prevent ritually defiling the Sabbath and Passover. The soldiers take sledge-hammers and crush the legs of the criminals (Luke 23:39-42.23.43) who were crucified with Jesus. This would make them die very quickly!

Verse 34


Plunged his spear Into Jesus’ side. They did not break Jesus’ legs, since he was already dead. Just to make sure, the spear is plunged into his side. At once blood and water poured out. Johnson thinks this shows Jesus died of a bursted heart. The fact that John clearly identifies blood and water shows there is some special meaning here. Compare 1 John 5:6-62.5.8. [The ancient writers thought of BAPTISM as the point of contact with the blood of Christ. J.F. Bethune-Baker, in An Introduction to the Early History of Christian Doctrine, says about baptism: “It was the medium by which the power of the life and death of Christ was made effective to the individual experience.” Compare 1 Peter 3:20-60.3.21.]

Verses 36-37

36–37. To make the scripture come true. The prophecies about the Messiah were so complex that only the One who was the Son of God could fulfill them all! Compare Psalms 34:20; Exodus 12:46; Psalms 22:16; Zechariah 12:10.

Verses 38-42


Asked Pilate if he could take Jesus’ body. For notes on the Burial, see Matthew 27:57-40.27.66. Nicodemus. Only John tells that he helped with the burial. [This is the third time Nicodemus is mentioned. See John 3:1; John 7:50.] Where no one had ever been buried. This is important, because of Jewish ideas about demons. See note on Matthew 27:60.

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 19". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.