|<< Matt 27|
|<< Mark 15|
|<< Luke 23|
|<< John 19|
Matthew 27:31-44; Mark 15:20-32; Listen
Luke 23:26-43; John 19:4-27
In this passage, we see the following in Jesus' ministry:
|4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.
5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
9 And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesars friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
This is a continuation by John of the sixth trial of Jesus leading up to his crucifixion, and this is his second appearance before Pilate. This trial began back in John 18:39 (see notes) and continues here. Click here to see the chart outlining all six appearances. You will note that John does not record the intermission taken by Pilate from this ordeal when he sent Jesus to Herod in Luke 23:6-16 (see notes); neither do Matthew nor Mark. That being the case, when one just reads the accounts of Matthew, Mark and John, one is left with the impression that Jesus only appeared before Pilate once, and that this is a continuation of trial #4. However, Luke puts it into perspective in letting us know that this is the second appearance of Jesus before Pilate. This incident takes place after Jesus has been scourged, mocked with the crown of thorns and tortured by the Roman guards.
You can imagine that Jesus' physical appearance at this point in time must have been distasteful to view. It would appear that Pilate is thinking that the Jewish leadership will look upon Jesus in this condition and say "enough is enough!" Nope! They want him crucified. Pilate then tries to pass the responsibility off to them, but they pull out the big guns in verse 7 when they proclaim, "We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God." The Jewish leaders are undoubtedly invoking Leviticus 24:16 (see notes), "And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death."
Here's a personal observation with my informed opinion regarding the circumstances and tactics of these angry Jewish leaders. At this point in Jesus' earthly ministry, many of the everyday Jews were losing respect for the corrupt Jewish leadership and giving heed to the teachings of Jesus. Because of this large-scale popularity among the Jewish populace, the Jewish leadership had devised a way to find and capture Jesus at night when the people would not see their anti-Jesus actions. Judas provided the betrayal they needed and allowed them to capture Jesus in an obscure spot in the garden way after nightfall when the multitudes had bedded down for the night. All of the six trials had taken place in the wee hours of the morning while regular ol' Jews were sleeping. Here's the plan: When these regular people wake up, they need to see Jesus being put to death by Romans, not by the Jewish leadership. The Roman judgment hall is packed with anti-Jesus Jewish leaders - not common Jews. To the typical common Jew, Jesus was popular among the people when he went to bed and being crucified by the Roman government when he woke up; what a full night that had been! Undoubtedly, the Jewish leadership felt that if the entire process involving their sinister actions can take place during the night, they will be held guiltless by the Jewish people. By the next morning, it looks like a Roman campaign to put a stop to Jesus. I'm relatively certain that most of the Jewish population had no idea that this whole crucifixion had been orchestrated by their very own Jewish leaders.
Pilate's job was to keep peace in his territory. Now his judgment hall is filled with Jews crying for the immediate execution of Jesus; Pilate senses his dilemma. Jesus actually comforts Pilate at that point in verse 11 when he tells Pilate, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin." Subsequently, Pilate wants to release Jesus, but notice verse 12, "And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar." The Jewish leadership is so determined to have Jesus crucified, they make an unimaginable statement in verse 15, "The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar." They lived their lives looking forward to the overthrow of the Roman government, but make a proclamation like this for their own wicked self interests.
John reports in John 19:14 that this proceeding took place "about the sixth hour." John is apparently the only Gospel writer to render the time using the Roman convention for doing so. Mark reports in Mark 15:25, "And it was the third hour, and they crucified him." That means three hours from the beginning of the day (sunrise), or about 9:00 a.m. or so. The abbreviation a.m. represents a latin phrase "ante meridiem" which means "before noon." That usage began in Rome during the fourth century B.C. and originally counted backwards from when the sun reached it's highest point during the day. So, when John reports "about the sixth hour," he is referring to six hours before the sun reached its highest point, placing it in the 6:00 a.m. range for this trial, perhaps a little later by our clocks since John uses the preposition "about."
|31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
|20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.
21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.
|26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.
28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.
33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
|16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
Jesus bears his own cross as they head to the place of crucifixion. However, along the way a man is solicited to assist him named Simon, who was from Cyrene. Only Luke records Jesus speaking to the women who were following along when he prophesies of the coming persecution. In less than 40 years after the crucifixion, Jerusalem would undergo a massive assault by the Roman army. Josephus (War of the Jews, Book 6, chapter 3) reports that some mothers were reduced to eating their children during the famine in Romes siege against Jerusalem, A.D. 66-70. You will recall that Jesus had already prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem back in Matthew 24:2 and Luke 21:6 (see notes).
Jesus draws from the words of Hosea 10:8 (see notes) in Luke 23:30 when he quotes, "Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us." Jesus is likely making reference to the coming destruction of Jerusalem with these words.
34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
36 And sitting down they watched him there;
37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.
24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.
25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.
28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,
30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.
32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
When they parted the garment of Jesus and cast lots for it, all four gospel writers record it, but only Matthew and John relate the action to a fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy by David in Psalm 22:18 (see notes). It's also interesting here that the Jewish leaders have still not received sufficient satisfaction. They stand beneath and mock Jesus upon the cross. Only Mark (15:28) makes the link between Isaiah's prophecy in Isaiah 53:12 (see notes), "...and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." That was a reference to Jesus being crucified with criminals. However, Luke records that one of those criminals trusts Jesus for salvation and is received by Jesus that day (Luke 23:43). All four Gospels record the sign placed upon the cross of Jesus that read, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS." It was written in three languages - Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Only John records how much this irritated the Jewish leadership. They wanted it reworded, but Pilate refused.
You will notice that the Jewish leadership persists in their ridicule of Jesus even as he is hanging on the cross. Why? It is important to them to dispel any belief among the common Jewish masses that Jesus is the Messiah. Therefore, they make a point to note that Jesus, who performed many miracles during his earthly ministry, is not delivering himself from this cruel death. To them, this taunting should prove to the masses that Jesus is not the Messiah.
|25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
What a horrifying sight it would be as a mother to see your innocent son being tortured and crucified. Jesus, however, assigns the responsibility of his mother's welfare to "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Most scholars agree that this is a reference to John. The other two Marys at the cross were Mary Magdalene and Mary, the wife of Cleopas (aka Alphaeus) and mother of James, one of the twelve Apostles. She was Mary's sister according to verse 25. Two sisters named Mary...must indicate the popularity of the name "Mary." As a matter of fact, archaeologists have speculated from the inscriptions on ossuaries that approximately 25% of all women during that period were named "Mary."