v1-7 - Jesus now begins being flogged and tortured by Roman soldiers.
He's just told Pilate that He was a King (John 18:36), so the soldiers begin to mock Him with 'royal robes' and a painful crown of thorns.
Pilate knows that Jesus is innocent, and once again tries to let Jesus go, but the angry establishment mob won't have it.
v8-22 - John notes that Pilate, who as the top official in charged should have been the most feared person in the land, "was even more afraid (v8)" when the Jews said that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God.
Pilate once again interviews Jesus, but Jesus stays silent.
Once again, John notes the irony.
Pilate says "I have the power to either free you or to crucify you (v10),"
but then John writes that all Pilate could do was to 'try' to set Jesus free.
Pilate capitulates to the mob and turns Jesus over to be crucified.
On one hand, this episode makes it look like the Jews have Pilate wrapped around their finger, but Pilate showed them who was in control with the sign he hung over Jesus in the three major languages of the world:
JESUS OF NAZARETH KING OF THE JEWS
The Jews protested that the words "he claimed to be" should be added to the sign,
but Pilate was quite content with the political statement he made
and how it reminded the Jews they were under his Roman authority, since their 'king' is now hanging on a cross.
But yet it's Jesus who reminds Pilate whose it control, telling Pilate he would have no authority at all if it were not given from above (v11). Remember that no matter what, God is always in control.
v23-37- John notes some of the details that took place that fulfilled Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, including:
Jesus' clothes being gambled away (Psalm 22:18)
Jesus relatively quick death, so that His bones didn't need to be broken
Crucifixion could often take days, so in an effort to hasten the process, the victims would have their legs broken so they could no longer push themselves up to breathe - (Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, Psalm 34:20).
Jesus remains in control to the very end, finishing His life with the most famous and powerful last words in history: It is finished.
Just as John began his account of Jesus' life with a word laden with philosophical meaning (Logos), Jesus finishes His life with a deeply philosophical word: Tetelestai.
It doesn't just mean His earthly life is finished,
but it means that for the only time in history, the purpose of life has been fulfilled. Jesus presented His Father with perfect obedience.
v38-42 - Jesus body is cared for by two members of the establishment: Joseph of Arimathea & Nicodemus.
Although their actions here are certainly noble, they were 'but' Christians - they seem to believe, "but secretly, because they feared the establishment (v38)."
Pray that you might have the boldness that Joseph and Nicodemus exhibit in caring for Jesus' body, and that you won't be held back by worrying about what others think.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE: Read one of the passages referenced above that prophesies about what the Messiah would be like.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: As recorded in this chapter, what are the final words of Jesus spoken from the cross? (See verse 30.)
How does fear and peer pressure effect the characters (other than Jesus) in this chapter?
Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our God is the King of kings and Lord of lords
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that the Holy Spirit will continually remind you that everything required for your salvation is finished.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: