Sunday, November 15, 2015

John 19:16-30 comments: the crucifixion

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: 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. 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. 28  After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29  Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Pilate is persistent, either in rubbing what he said in the Jews’ collective faces or perhaps in trying to mollify his own guilt.  He had the declaration that Jesus Nazareth was King of the Jews placed on the cross in three languages; Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Some would say he was mocking Christ but it is more likely he was mocking the Jews based on the previous exchanges between himself and the Jews. In spite of their objections he insisted on leaving it up.

Luke reports some conversation on the cross between Jesus and the two men who were being executed with Him.

Luke 23:39  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.

Roman soldiers at the scene gambled for his clothing but left his coat, made like the robe of the priests’ ephod in Exodus 39:23 in one piece, intact without ripping it up.

Please take the time to read Psalm 22, which Matthew and Mark reported that Jesus began reciting from the cross.

Psalm 22:18  They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

From this point Jesus gave the apostle, John, the responsibility for His mother. There was no Social Security in those days, no welfare other than begging, and a woman depended on her son to care for her in her old age. Jesus did not leave His mother, Mary, without care.

Jesus said, “I thirst.”

Psalm 22:15  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

Psalm 69:21  They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

“Gave up the ghost,” is a euphemism for dying referring to the spirit of a man or woman leaving them upon death.

Genesis 25:8  Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people…17  And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.

Genesis 35:29  And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Jesus, being fully man and fully God, had the soul and spirit of a man in Him, the self-identity, will, and uniqueness of the soul, and the spirit by which a man or woman can know God. We are composed of three parts; body, soul, and spirit.

1Thessalonians 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If any of these are separated from the others we physically die.

Genesis 35:18  And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.

The man, Jesus Christ, is dead. But, something is about to happen that has never happened before or since, a dead person raised themselves from the dead.

John 10:18  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

God raised Christ by granting that authority, that power, to resurrect from the dead. Believing that is the foundation of salvation. Without that belief a person is lost; not church membership or attendance, how many people you get to say 1-2-3 repeat after me, repenting of your sins, or what Bible version you use will save you. Only this;

Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.12 ¶  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

To believe in the Resurrection is the foundation fundamental of Christianity. Salvation is predicated upon belief, not works. Works come as a result. Yes, it is important to believe that Jesus is God because it has been shown that He did declare Himself to be God in the flesh, the Messiah, and the Christ, that He is the only way to eternal life.

John 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 6:28 ¶  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

But, believing in Christ’s physical resurrection is essential to this saving faith. Examine yourself. When whomever led you to Christ prayed with you was there any examination of whether or not you trusted in Christ’s resurrection?

In the narrative, though, at this point, there is despair and uncertainty.

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