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Bible Commentaries
John 19

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Verse 1

Joh 19:1

John 19:1

Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.—The scourging was a severe beating upon the naked flesh. It was a degrading punishment, one to which the Roman citi­zen could not be subjected. (Acts 22:25). Paul claimed ex­emption from it because he was a Roman citizen. The citizen differed from the subject who belonged to some of the prov­inces subjected to the Roman government. It was customary to scourge those who were crucified. It is thought that Pilate scourged him, thinking that this would excite the sympathy of the Jews and that they would be satisfied without his crucifixion.

Verses 1-16

Joh 19:1-16

Jesus Sentenced to be Crucified - John 19:1-16

Open It

1. *What pressure tactics do special interest groups use on politicians?

2. In what ways do people sometimes compromise what’s important in order to advance their career or status?

Explore It

3. What did Pilate and the soldiers do to Jesus? (John 19:1-3)

4. To what conclusion had Pilate come concerning Jesus? (John 19:4-5)

5. How did the Jews react when Pilate presented Jesus to them? (John 19:6)

6. What did Pilate want the Jews to do with Jesus? (John 19:6)

7. *Why did the Jews insist that Jesus had to die? (John 19:7)

8. How did Pilate respond to the Jews’ demands? (John 19:8-9)

9. What authority did Pilate claim to have? (John 19:10)

10. What authority did Pilate really have? (John 19:11)

11. What did Pilate try to do for Jesus? (John 19:12)

12. *How did the Jews pressure Pilate to give in to their demand to crucify Jesus? (John 19:12)

13. *How did Pilate respond to the Jews’ pressure tactics? (John 19:13-16)

14. Whom did the crowd claim as their king? (John 19:15)

Get It

15. What would you have done had you been in Pilate’s situation?

16. *What position or possession might you be tempted to preserve at the expense of doing the right thing?

17. *When and why might we allow the pressures of the moment to compromise our beliefs or standards?

18. Who or what are the "kings" that people worship today?

19. What person or thing often competes with God for rule of your life?

Apply It

20. How can you make Jesus the King of your life?

21. *What pressure to compromise your principles will you determine to resist this week?

22. How can you use your status or position of power to do right and help others?

Verses 1-42

Joh 19:

John 19:19

And Pilate wrote a title also, and put it on the cross.—Over the head of the person the crime for which he was executed was written that all that saw might know the crime. Pilate wrote this title as if resentful to the Jews for pressing on him to crucify him against his wishes.

And there was written, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.—[It is impossible to resist the im­pression that there was a grim humor in the writing of Pilate. The Jews had humiliated him in forcing him to assent to the crucifixion. He now gets even with them by conceding the alleged claim of Jesus, and crucifying thus their king. Had he been acquainted with the prophecies, he might have real­ized a still more profound significance in the inscription.]

Verse 2

Joh 19:2

John 19:2

And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and arrayed him in a purple garment;—This was done in ridicule of his claims to be a king. The crown of thorns was not an instrument of torture, but of ridicule. The thorns were brambles, not thorns that would pierce.

Verse 3

Joh 19:3

John 19:3

and they came unto him, and said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they struck him with their hands.—They hailed him as King of the Jews, yet smite him with their hands, as much as to say, a poor king that may thus be smitten with impunity. A reed was placed in his hands to ridicule his claims to kingly power. (Matthew 27:29). [The Jews had already demanded his death by crucifixion. (Luke 23:20-21). If condemned to this death, scourging must necessarily precede it. The scourge was made of rods or thongs with pieces of bone or lead fastened to one end. The condemned person received the blows while fastened to a post so as to have the back bent and the skin stretched. With the blows the back became raw and the blood spurted out. The punishment was so cruel that the condemned person very often succumbed to it immediately.]

Verse 4

Joh 19:4

John 19:4

And Pilate went out again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him out to you,—Seeing Jesus thus mocked and ridi­culed, when he knew he was innocent of crime, seemed to arouse his sense of justice, and the sympathy of Pilate for Jesus, and he brought him forth and showed him to the Jews and said:

that ye may know that I find no crime in him.—In this Pilate shows that he had some sense of justice and right, and that he preferred to let him go free. He had an apprehension too that Jesus was more than human. The trouble with Pilate was that he was not willing to suffer for the truth. He saw justice, acknowledged it, but was lacking in the devotion and manhood that made him willing to suffer for the truth and do justice at all hazards. There was nothing of the true hero in Pilate.

Verse 5

Joh 19:5

John 19:5

Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.—Jesus was serious, solemn, earnest; bore the buffetings and the ridicule of the soldiers; and with the crown of thorns and the mock robe Pilate brought him out and showed him to the Jews.

And Pilate saith unto them, Behold, the man!—He no doubt said this, thinking to appease their wrath, excite their sympathy, and induce them to be satisfied to let Jesus go free. [Look at him in this pitiful condition! Does he look to be dangerous to you or to me, to your ecclesiastical or my secular power, thus to be treated, and no friends to speak for him?]

Verse 6

Joh 19:6

John 19:6

When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him!—Instead of appeasing or satisfying them, it seemed the more to infu­riate them and with increased wrath. Pilate knew they had no right to crucify him, neither did Pilate, when he was inno­cent. So they demanded that he should be crucified without cause.

Pilate saith unto them, Take him yourselves, and crucify him: for I find no crime in him.—His crucifixion on these testimonies is unlawful, you demand it, you do the deed. [Pilate’s patience was evidently giving out. As they were disregarding all law and justice in demanding that he should crucify him, they might just as well disregard law and crucify him themselves. Perhaps he meant to intimate that as gov­ernor he would not hold them responsible; but they were too wily to take such a risk.]

Verse 7

Joh 19:7

John 19:7

The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by that law he ought to die,—As justification for their course, they now bring forth their law that makes blasphemy against God ground for inflicting death on him. Pilate could not condemn them for respecting their own law, and the Roman govern­ment gave them the right to enforce their law on their sub­jects, modified by the requirement that death could not be inflicted without the sanction of the Roman government.

because he made himself the Son of God.—The statement that he claimed to be the Son of God and according to their law he should die possibly palliated their course in demand­ing his death, but it involved Pilate in a greater difficulty. He had been impressed by the hearing of Jesus that he was a superior being, and now if he claims to be the Son of God, it increases the importance of the case and greatly increases Pilate’s responsibility. He may be dealing with God and not man. [They repudiate Pilate’s intimation of illegality in their demand, and undertake to demonstrate that it is legal and just. Jesus was guilty of blasphemy, if a mere man, which by Jewish law (Leviticus 24:16) incurred the penalty of death. As Pilate had taken away from them the legal power of death, he was bound by general Roman policy to recognize their decision, and give the sentence that he only could give. This is the argument implied. Here is the Jewish testimony to the fact that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and thus far it is true. Pilate was in close quarters.]

Verse 8

Joh 19:8

John 19:8

When Pilate therefore heard this saying, he was the more afraid;—The idea that he might be God made Pilate afraid. At this time came the message from Pilate’s wife, “saying, Have thou nothing to do with that righteous man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” (Matthew 27:19). By this Pilate’s fears were more aroused. [Pilate had not heard this before. Up to this time the whole accusation before him was that claiming to be Messiah, he claimed to be a king, and was therefore a rival of Caesar, and, as such, ought to die by Roman law. They realize now that this plea has failed, and so enter another, that of verse 7. He realized that Jesus was something out of the common order of men, and these words aroused in his mind a weird questioning as to who or what he might be. The fear he had felt in connection with him was now intensified.]

Verse 9

Joh 19:9

John 19:9

and he entered into the Praetorium again, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.—[All the interviews with the Jews had taken place outside, because these eminently religious (?) gentlemen feared to be defiled on this sacred day by entering a Gentile room. Pilate took Jesus with him for a private audience, but Jesus made no reply to his question, and why should he? His silence was answer enough—that, if he did not make this claim, he would certainly have denied it.]

Verse 10

Joh 19:10

John 19:10

Pilate therefore saith unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to release thee, and have power to crucify thee?—This was said half as a threat and half as a promise to him. Neither the fear nor the hope moved Jesus. The peace of God was his, so that no fear or promise could disturb.

Verse 11

Joh 19:11

John 19:11

Jesus answered him, Thou wouldest have no power against me, except it were given thee from above:—Jesus was perfectly composed, realizing that he was guarded and guided by God. Judas was chosen of God to betray Jesus into the hands of his enemies. He was chosen because he was suited in character to do the work. [In reply to Pilate’s arrogant boast, Jesus asserts the supremacy of God, perhaps with a significant gesture pointing up. God allows him to exert this power.]

therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath greater sin.—Judas and the Jews who accused and delivered him were greater sinners than Pilate. [Some think it no greater sin than Pilate, but greater sin on his own part on account of delivering him to Pilate.]

Verse 12

Joh 19:12

John 19:12

Upon this Pilate sought to release him:—Pilate showed a disposition to release him. He shows none of the marks of a bloodthirsty, vicious, or cruel man. He presents the char­acter of a placable man, approving right and truth, but no strength of character to maintain right and enforce justice. Of the characters who dealt with Jesus in his personal min­istry only Judas surpasses in turpitude and shame that of Pilate. Christendom has reechoed this judgment of God. To get the benefit of this judgment of God and man, we must recognize the sins for which they were condemned. Judas for the love of money betrayed Jesus, the embodiment of truth, justice, and mercy of God into the hands of his enemies. Pilate, with the power to rescue and save Jesus in his hands, for fear of losing his place, incurring the ill will of the Jews, bearing testimony to his innocence, yet turned him over to his enemies to be crucified. The same truths and interests then embodied in the fleshly body of Christ are now embodied in his spiritual body. Why is it not as great sin to betray the spiritual body as it was the fleshly? Why is the man who knows the truth and for the sake of popularity refuses to maintain it as guilty as was Pilate for so treating the fleshly body?

but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar’s friend: every one that maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.—Pilate made a show still of desiring to release Jesus. The Jews seeing his hesitating, temporizing spirit directly threatened him with Caesar’s dis­pleasure since Jesus claimed to be a king and the rival of Caesar.

Verse 13

Joh 19:13

John 19:14

Now it was the Preparation of the passover: it was about the sixth hour.—There is disagreement between this state­ment and that of Mark 15:25, who says he delivered him to them the third hour of the day. Most critics think it should be the third hour or nine o’clock. Some think it was six o’clock in the morning, counting six hours from twelve o’clock. Mark uses the Hebrew count and makes the cruci­fixion begin at nine o’clock. Pilate yielded to them, released Barabbas, scourged Jesus, and delivered him to the Jews to be crucified. He did this against his judgment of what was right and just to appease the Jews. He had made cowardly surrender to their demands for fear that he might be accused to Caesar as encouraging treason against him.

[There is no contradiction between the statement of John and that of Mark regarding the time that Pilate gave sentence against Christ. The Jews divided the day into four quarters, which they called hours. The first was called the third hour, which answers to our ninth; the second, called the sixth hour, answering to our twelfth; the third, called the ninth hour, answering to our three in the afternoon; the fourth, called the twelfth hour, which was the time of their retirement from labor, and the beginning of the first watch. The whole time from the third hour to the sixth, that is, from nine to twelve, was called the third hour; and the whole intervening time from the sixth to the ninth, that is, from twelve to three, is called the sixth hour. John does not say it was the sixth hour, but about or near the sixth hour. So when he says about the sixth hour, and Mark the third hour, we are to understand that Mark takes in the whole time of the third hour, from nine to twelve, and that John puts it near twelve. So in either case our Lord was sentenced between the hours of nine and twelve.]

And he saith unto the Jews, Behold, your King!—Like cowardly spirits after yielding in the important matters, they show spite and tyranny in small ones, so he tantalizes them by calling Jesus their King.

Verse 15

Joh 19:15

John 19:15

They therefore cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him!—Aroused and excited by their success, with more bitterness they cry out thus. Pilate still taunts them with demanding the crucifixion of their King.

Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.—The Jews were anxious to be free from the dominion of the Romans, but to meet Pilate on grounds that condemn him, they claim Caesar as their only king. Men maddened with wicked fury profess anything to carry their ends.

Verse 16

Joh 19:16

John 19:16

Then therefore he delivered him unto them to be cruci­fied.—Pilate yielded and gave Jesus to be crucified by the Roman soldiers at the behest of the priests and Pharisees and they took him away from the court of Pilate.

[We should note how careful the Holy Spirit is to record the time when Pilate gave sentence against Christ. In gen­eral, it was on the day of the preparation for the Passover; that is, the day immediately before it, when they prepared everything needed for the solemnization; and, in particular, it was about the sixth hour of that day. We should also observe the great love and condescension of Christ in stooping so low to expiate our guilt, which deserveth eternal sufferings.]

Verse 17

Joh 19:17

John 19:17

They took Jesus therefore: and he went out, bearing the cross for himself,—They went forward in the work with all haste, wishing to get through with it before the Passover. Jesus started to the place of crucifixion without the gate, bearing his own cross. From some cause, supposed to be ex­haustion on the part of Jesus, before he reached the place, Simon of Cyrene coming along was compelled to bear it for him.

unto the place called The place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha:—The location of this place is not known. Some think it was the common place for executing criminals.

Verses 17-27

Joh 19:17-27

The Crucifixion - John 19:17-27

Open It

1. *What sort of sacrifices did your parents make for you?

2. What to you is the most humiliating situation you can imagine?

Explore It

3. To where was Jesus forced to take His own cross? (John 19:17)

4. *What did the soldiers do to Jesus? (John 19:18)

5. Who was crucified with Jesus? (John 19:18)

6. What notice did Pilate have fastened to Jesus’ cross? (John 19:19)

7. *How did the chief priests want Pilate to change the sign over Jesus’ head? (John 19:21)

8. What did Pilate tell the chief priests? (John 19:22)

9. *What happened to Jesus’ clothes? (John 19:23-24)

10. Why were Jesus’ clothes divided among the soldiers? (John 19:24)

11. Who stood near the cross of Jesus? (John 19:25)

12. What did Jesus say to His mother and the disciple with her? (John 19:26-27)

Get It

13. Why do you think Pilate had the notice placed on the cross?

14. *If you had been a member of Jesus’ family or one of His disciples, how do you think you would have reacted to His crucifixion?

15. How was Jesus humiliated?

16. What sort of humiliation did Jesus suffer?

17. *What humiliation have you suffered for being a Christian?

18. How can we sacrifice our wants and desires so that others might benefit?

19. In what way has God’s family become your family?

20. To what degree are we responsible for caring for the needs of other believers?

Apply It

21. *What want or desire can you sacrifice so that someone else might benefit? How?

22. How can you care for another Christian’s needs this week?

Verse 18

Joh 19:18

John 19:18

where they crucified him,—The crucifixion consisted in nailing him to a cross. The hands were stretched out and a nail driven through the fleshly part of each hand into the crossbar nailed across the upper end of the post. The feet were then nailed to the post. A pin was put into the upright post between the legs to support the body. The person thus nailed to the cross frequently lingered four or five days before death relieved their sufferings.

and with him two others, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.—[Matthew and Mark say they were “robbers,” and Luke “malefactors.” Probably they were accomplices of Barabbas, who had escaped occupying the place of Jesus through the determined malice of the chief priests. (See Isaiah 53:12).]

Verse 20

Joh 19:20

John 19:20

This title therefore read many of the Jews, for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city;—The cross was erected in a public place that it might be seen.

and it was written in Hebrew and in Latin, and in Greek.—This was written in the three languages spoken by the people that all might be informed of the charge against him. It is rather singular that each of the evangelists record this and no two of them give it in exactly the same language. If there were only three variations, these might be explained as translations from the three languages in which it was writ­ten. As it is, the copying was not exact, although all the writings are substantially the same. [The biting taunt of Pilate was made as public and accessible as possible. It was felt too as shown by next verse.]

Verse 21

Joh 19:21

John 19:21

The chief priests of the Jews therefore said to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but, that he said, I am King of the Jews.—The priests were chagrined at his saying, “The King of the Jews,” and suggested that he change it. [Pilate evidently had his revenge.]

Verse 22

Joh 19:22

John 19:22

Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.—Pilate, like many other cowardly men who allow themselves to be drawn into wrong, after he had committed the main crime, becomes courageous in some minor point so he refuses to accommodate them. [Pilate’s natural stubbornness once again had sway now that he had deprived them of all ground of accusation in appeal to Caesar. So, to all time, Calvary proclaims the truth, the reality of the claims of Jesus and the same of the apostasy of the Jews.]

Verse 23

Joh 19:23

John 19:23

The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.—The garments of the victim were the prerequisites of the soldiers who executed him. There were four of these soldiers. They stripped Jesus of his clothing. There were four pieces of his inner garments. Each soldier took a piece. His coat or outer garment was seamless, woven throughout. To divide it would destroy its value so they cast lots for it.

Verse 24

Joh 19:24

John 19:24

They said therefore one to another, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be:—[Some see in this a symbol of the unity of the church and superintending provi­dence that the symbol might be preserved.]

that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.—These soldiers knew nothing of this prophecy, yet fulfilled it in following their own idle fancies. The Jews fulfilled the scriptures and proved him to be the Son of God while gratifying their bitterness toward him by crucifying him. [The quotation is from Psalms 22:18, according to the Septuagint. Luke records that the soldiers mocked him, of­fering him vinegar, and bidding him to save himself. Here we may mention the prayer of Jesus for his enemies, given only by Luke, the derision of chief priests, scribes, elders, people and robbers, and the episode of the penitent thief.]

Verse 25

Joh 19:25

John 19:25

These things therefore the soldiers did. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother,—It had been fore­told to his mother that a sword would pierce through her own soul. This was now fulfilled as she beholds her son and the Son of God nailed to the cross.

and his mother’s sister,—[Named Salome (Mark 15:40), the mother of John and James. (Matthew 27:56).]

Mary the wife of Clopas,—She is supposed to have been a near kinswoman.

and Mary Magdalene.—Out of Mary Magdalene he had cast seven demons. Her gratitude led her to follow him, minister to him, and led her to come near him while he is nailed to the cross.

Verse 26

Joh 19:26

John 19:26

When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold, thy son!—The disciple whom Jesus loved was John the writer of the book of John. He is supposed to have been a kinsman of Jesus and his mother. His love for his mother and his desire to provide for her wants during her remaining days on earth led him to forget his own sufferings on the cross in the home of one noted for his tenderness and love. [The relationship in the flesh between Jesus and his mother was about to close, hence he commends her to another who should care for and protect her during old age. A son, who will not provide for his mother, is not worthy to be called a son. The last time the mother of Jesus is mentioned she was with John in Jerusalem, which would indicate that John was true to his trust. This was as great a compliment as Jesus could have given John as pertaining to this world.]

Verse 27

Joh 19:27

John 19:27

Then saith he to the disciple, Behold, thy mother! And from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home.—This expressive language shows his tender love and the will­ingness of both his mother and John to comply with his wishes. This circumstance would seem to indicate that Mary at this time had no other children to whom she could look for kindness and support. This would indicate that Joseph her husband was dead. No mention of his life or death has been made after Jesus began his public ministry.

Verse 28

Joh 19:28

John 19:28

After this Jesus, knowing that all things are now fin­ished, that the scripture might be accomplished,—[All things preceding his death which were necessary to complete his work and to the fulfillment of prophecy were finished. He now realizes his intense physical suffering, which had been for­gotten in the more awful mental anguish of abandonment by his Father as he bore the burden of the world’s sin.]

saith, I thirst.—Jesus had completed his work and the end was near. The suffering and bleeding he had undergone pro­duced thirst. [The increasing inflammation of the wounds, the unnatural position, the forced immobility and the rigidity of the limbs which resulted from it, the local congestions, especially in the head, the inexpressible anguish resulting from the disturbance of the circulation, a burning fever and thirst tortured the condemned without killing him.]

Verses 28-37

Joh 19:28-37

The Death of Jesus - John 19:28-37

Open It

1. What is one important event you have witnessed?

2. What is your idea of "expensive"?

3. *What is one project of yours that is still unfinished?

Explore It

4. *What did Jesus know during His last moments on the cross? (John 19:28)

5. What did Jesus ask for during His last minutes of life? (John 19:28)

6. What was Jesus given to drink? (John 19:29)

7. *What did Jesus do once He had received the drink? (John 19:30)

8. Why didn’t the Jews want the bodies of those crucified left on the cross? (John 19:31)

9. What did the soldiers do to the men who had been crucified with Jesus? (John 19:32)

10. What did the soldiers discover when they came to Jesus? (John 19:33)

11. What did the soldiers do to Jesus? (John 19:34)

12. Why did John record the details of Jesus’ death? (John 19:35)

13. *What was fulfilled by the circumstances of Jesus’ death? (John 19:36-37)

Get It

14. How important are the historical eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection to your faith in Him?

15. *What did Jesus mean when He said, "It is finished"?

16. How does this account of Jesus’ crucifixion make you feel?

17. What does Jesus’ death mean to us?

18. *What is significant about Jesus’ death on the cross?

19. What price did Jesus pay for our sins?

20. How was Jesus able to endure the suffering of the Cross?

21. What significance does the fulfillment of Scripture in the Gospels have for your belief in Jesus today?

22. Whose testimony persuaded you to believe in Jesus?

23. How has your testimony influenced others to believe in Jesus?

Apply It

24. *How can you thank Jesus today for His sacrifice on the cross?

25. How can you use the testimony of Christ’s crucifixion in telling others about Christ?

Verse 29

Joh 19:29

John 19:29

There was set there a vessel full of vinegar:—[Sour wine, or vinegar and water, the common drink of the Roman soldiers, but probably a vessel of this specially placed for the use of those crucified.]

so they put a sponge full of the vinegar upon hyssop, and brought it to his mouth.—Jesus was too high on the cross likely for them to reach his mouth with the hand so they dipped the sponge in vinegar and raised it to his mouth. [It is said that hyssop stalks grew to the height of eight­een inches. As the cross was not very high, this would be length sufficient to reach his lips with the sponge.]

Verse 30

Joh 19:30

John 19:30

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished:—[The work of the suffering Savior is accom­plished, all the prophecies embodying it are fulfilled, the price of redemption is paid, henceforth will be the work of the conquering, triumphant, and glorified Savior.]

and he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.—After drink­ing the vinegar all was completed and he let his head fall upon his breast and surrendered his spirit to God. Luke 23:46 says: “And Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said this, he gave up the ghost.” [Consult Matthew 27:51-56; Mark 15:38-41; Luke 23:47-49; John 19:31-37 for the accomplish­ment of his death.]

Verse 31

Joh 19:31

John 19:31

The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the day of that sabbath was a high day), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.—The death of Jesus occurred on Friday, the day for preparing for the Sabbath. This Sabbath falling in the week of the Passover was a day of special sanctity, and is called a “high day.” The Jews did not wish the bodies to hang on the cross to mar the sanctity of this Sabbath. They besought Pilate that their legs might be broken. This was to hasten death, so they would be taken away and buried. [Not only did they prepare for the Sabbath, but it was also preparation of the Passover. (Verse 14). Breaking the legs was a bar­barous method to hasten death. Something like a sledge hammer was used crushing the legs and the shock would bring speedy death.]

Verse 32

Joh 19:32

John 19:32

The soldiers therefore came, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him:—This was a cruel method of hastening death. It would have been much less cruel to pierce the heart and let them bleed to death. But the purpose of crucifying was to prolong torture and cruel methods were used when from any cause it was desired to hasten the death.

Verse 33

Joh 19:33

John 19:33

but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:—The speedy death of Jesus removed the occasion for breaking his legs. God’s provi­dence so overruled that the prophetic type of the passover lamb should be fulfilled in that not a bone of Jesus was broken.

Verse 34

Joh 19:34

John 19:34

howbeit one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side,—Why the side was pierced by the soldiers is difficult to tell save God had so ordained and foretold, and the soldier did it to fulfill the prophecy unconscious to himself.

and straightway there came out blood and water.—Many suggestions have been made as to the significance of the blood and water. As the scriptures give none, it is safe to follow their example, and conclude that it is the natural result of piercing the side at this state of a dying body.

Verse 35

Joh 19:35

John 19:35

And he that hath seen hath borne witness, and his wit­ness is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye also may believe.—John the writer was an eyewitness of the occur­rences and states them as he saw them. [It is conceded that John the apostle was this eyewitness and that modesty kept him from identifying himself plainly. What he saw estab­lishes the death of Christ. His testimony kills the argument of modern skepticism that Jesus fainted and was taken from the cross and restored by his disciples.]

Verse 36

Joh 19:36

John 19:36

For these things came to pass, that the scripture might be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.—This proph­ecy was made in the passover lamb, a type and prophecy of the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, re­peated in Psalms 34:20. The fulfillment that a bone should not be broken was the more significant, as Pilate had com­manded that they should be broken, and the legs of the others were broken.

Verse 37

Joh 19:37

John 19:37

And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.—The scriptures had not only fore­told that a bone of him should not be broken, but that he should be pierced. (Psalms 22:16; Zechariah 12:10).

Verse 38

Joh 19:38

John 19:38

And after these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a dis­ciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked of Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took away his body.—It is singular that one who had failed to confess him while alive and manifesting his power should now do it when he was dead and all seemed lost. It is pretty sure that it was a modesty and shyness that shrank from publicity rather than a cowardly fear of the opposition it would have incurred. Persons moved by the personal timidity, rather by cowardice often when the issue can no longer be evaded, make the best and trusty friends of the truth. Joseph and Nicodemus both seem to be of this class. They shrank from prominence until all friends seemed to forsake, then they put themselves upon the side of truth and justice. So he took charge of the body so as to give it sepulture.

Verses 38-42

Joh 19:38-42

The Burial of Jesus - John 19:38-42

Open It

1. What is one misdeed or truth that you kept secret when you were growing up?

2. *What is one fact about you that most of your friends don’t know?

3. In what way do some Christians try to keep their faith hidden or secret? Why?

Explore It

4. How did Joseph ask Pilate for Jesus’ body? (John 19:38)

5. Who went to get Jesus’ body? (John 19:38)

6.*Why did Joseph go to see Pilate? (John 19:38)

7. *Why was Joseph a secret disciple? (John 19:38)

8. *What was significant about the person who went with Joseph to take away Jesus’ body? (John 19:39)

9. How did Joseph and Nicodemus prepare Jesus’ body for burial? (John 19:40)

10. Where was the tomb in which Jesus was buried? (John 19:41)

11. In what kind of tomb was Jesus buried? (John 19:41)

12.Why did Joseph and Nicodemus put Jesus in the particular tomb they chose? (John 19:42)

13. What holiday affected the preparations for Jesus’ burial? How? (John 19:42)

14. How did the "Day of Preparation" affect the way in which Jesus was buried? John (John 19:42)

Get It

15. *When and why have you been a secret disciple of Jesus?

16. When have you recently revealed your faith in Christ either by your words or actions?

17. *When have you taken a stand that you were previously afraid to take?

18. When have you been willing to go out of your way to serve Jesus?

19. When are you most tempted to do only what is convenient?

Apply It

20. *To whom do you want to reveal openly that you are a disciple of Jesus?

21. How can you serve Christ this week regardless of the inconvenience you expect it to involve?

Verse 39

Joh 19:39

John 19:39

And there came also Nicodemus, he who at the first came to him by night, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.—Nicodemus was of a similar tem­perament, and now declared himself the friend of the dead Savior by bringing the mixture for embalming the body of Jesus. [This is the third time Nicodemus is mentioned. First in 3:5, the second 7:50 where he protested against the in­justice of the Sanhedrin, and here he is assisting in the burial of Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea is not mentioned save in con­nection with the burial of the body of Jesus. The Sanhedrin condemned Jesus to death, but here we learn that two of its members were minority voters in the Sanhedrin’s decision to crucify the Savior. This shows that the majority rule is not a safe rule.]

Verse 40

Joh 19:40

John 19:40

So they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.—They wrapped the body in linen with the spices and laid the body away. [Here is fulfilled another prophecy that though Jesus was “numbered with the transgressors,” he was “with a rich man in his death.” (Isaiah 53:9; Isaiah 53:12).]

Verse 41

Joh 19:41

John 19:41

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb wherein was never man yet laid.—Joseph of Arimathea owned a garden close by the place of crucifixion. He had hewn out of rock what we call a vault rather than a grave. This vault was large enough to con­tain a number of bodies and for persons to pass out and in. This sepulchre or vault had never been used. The body of Jesus was laid in this vault. It was a convenient place to deposit the body, as the Sabbath was now at hand and other arrange­ments for his sepulchre had not been made. It is not probable that it was intended that his body would permanently remain in this vault.

Verse 42

Joh 19:42

John 19:42

There then because of the Jews’ Preparation (for the tomb was nigh at hand) they laid Jesus.—It was a convenient place to deposit the body of Jesus until the Sabbath had passed when the women intended a more thorough embalming and sepulchre. [In the tomb of Jesus the Jews supposed his works to be buried forever. In it were buried the hopes of his disciples who had “hoped that it was he who should redeem Israel.” In it, had he not risen, would have been buried the gospel, Christian civilization, and the hopes of the world. The future of the world was sleeping in this tomb.]

Questions on John Chapter Nineteen

E.M. Zerr

1. What did Pilate do to Jesus?

2. What did the soldiers put on his head?

3. State what they put on his body.

4. What did they say to him?

5. Tell what they did next?

6. State Pilate’s estimate of Jesus.

7. With what words did he present him?

8. This brought what cry from the mob?

9. What did Pilate bid them do?

10. Tell the acknowledgment he made.

11. To what document did the Jews refer?

12. What did they say it demanded?

13. On what ground?

14. What roused the fear of Pilate?

15. Where did he then go?

16. Repeat his question.

17. And the answer.

18. What claim did Pilate then make?

19. Repeat Jesus’ explanation of his power.

20. Who was the more responsible?

21. How did this impress Pilate?

22. What did it cause him to do?

23. To whom did the Jews refer in reply?

24. What connection between him and Pilate?

25. Upon this what did Pilate do to Jesus?

26. Before what holy day is it?

27. What are such preceding days called?

28. At what hour is it?

29. Repeat the announcement of Pilate.

30. What was the response?

31. And Pilate’s question?

32. To this what did the chief priests say?

33. What did Pilate finally do?

34. And what happened then?

35. What was Jesus made to bear?

36. To what place did they come?

37. What was done to Jesus here?

38. Was he the only victim?

39. What was written on the cross?

40. Who were said to have read the writing?

41. Tell why so many readers.

42. In what languages was it written?

43. Who protested to Pilate?

44. State the correction they wished made.

45. And the reply of Pilate.

46. How many soldiers crucified Jesus?

47. What did they do with his garments?

48. How did they dispose of his coat?

49. This fulfilled what?

50. Who were standing by the cross?

51. Which did Jesus notice?

52. Tell whom else he saw.

53. What did he say to his mother?

54. Who was the son that was meant?

55. How did this request result?

56. What request did Jesus make next?

57. That was after what request was made?

58. How was this request gratified?

59. After this what did Jesus say?

60. What occurred then?

61. Tell what is said of the next day?

62. What was desired about the bodies?

63. To whom did they appeal for permission?

64. Why break the legs?

65. Why not the legs of Jesus?

66. Instead, what was done?

67. How did the recorder learn this?

68. This fulfilled what prophecy?

69. What other scripture was fulfilled?

70. What man came after this?

71. Why was he interested?

72. And why come at night?

73. Tell his request.

74. What did he do?

75. Who else came?

76. Tell what these men did with his body.

77. In what kind of place was the body laid?

78. Why the hasty burial?

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on John 19". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/john-19.html.
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