John 19:1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.


At some point (Matthew 27:3-10 places it after Jesus had been condemned by the Sanhedrin.) Judas knew he had done wrong and tried to give the 30 pieces of silver back to the chief priests.  He knew Jesus was innocent.  He threw the money down when they refused to take it back, then went and hanged himself.  They used the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. 


I’ve read various theories as to why Judas acted as he did.  Key to me is that he acted with premeditation and in the face of the fact that Jesus knew what he was about.  He was a vessel that Satan could indwell as he chose.  He may have experienced remorse, but I don’t believe he ever experienced repentance and salvation.  He had been given over to his own choices and suffered the consequences.  In Mark 14:21 Jesus makes a powerful statement:  “…woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.”  That statement could not apply to a child of the kingdom.


Then Pilate had Jesus scourged/flogged.  I’ve heard preached throughout my life the graphic description of the cat of nine tails used in the flogging which was made of leather strips utilizing stones, metal and glass to rip the flesh as they were pulled across the back.  David Guzik quotes Edwards in providing more detail:  "As the Roman soldiers repeatedly struck the victim’s back with full force, the iron balls would cause deep contusions, and the leather thongs and sheep bones would cut into the skin and subcutaneous tissues. Then, as the flogging continued, the lacerations would tear into the underlying skeletal muscles and produce quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh. Pain and blood loss generally set the stage for circulatory shock. The extent of blood loss may well have determined how long the victim would survive the cross."


Also, at some point Pilate sent Jesus to Herod when he heard that Jesus was from Galilee (Luke 23:5-16).  Herod wanted to see Jesus perform a miracle.  When Jesus refused to even talk to him, he and his men mocked him and dressed him in a gorgeous robe and sent him back to Pilate.  Maybe Pilate’s soldiers just finished what Herod’s men had started.


John 19:2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,

John 19:3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.


The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head.  Then they put a purple robe (the color of royalty) on Him.  Then they mocked Him by repeating, “Hail, King of the Jews,” and they struck Him in the face. 


Matthew adds that they spit on Him (still the ultimate insult in the Middles East) and hit Him on the head with the reed they had given Him as a scepter.  Finally, they put His own clothes back on Him before taking Him to be crucified (Matthew 27:30-31).


Note from Chuck Smith:  The flogging of the 39 stripes often resulted in death.  If the prisoner admitted his crime, the stripes became weaker; if not, they became stronger.  Jesus just endured it.  By these stripes “we are healed.” 


Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”


John 19:4 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.

John 19:5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!

John 19:6 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.


Again Pilate brought Jesus out and told the people there was no reason for a charge against Jesus.  He showed them that Jesus had been beaten and how He had been mocked with the purple robe and crown of thorns.  I think he was hoping they would feel He had suffered enough.  Instead, they shouted for Him to be crucified.  Pilate told them to take Him and crucify Him.  He could find no fault in Him.


It’s interesting to me that the Jewish leaders continued in their attempt to prove to Pilate that Jesus was guilty even after he had authorized the crucifixion.  The trial continues to progress as though Pilate had never ordered that Jesus be put to death (verse 6).


John 19:7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

John 19:8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;

John 19:9 And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

John 19:10 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?

John 19:11 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.


The Jews were persistent.  They claimed He should die since He claimed to be the Son of God.  This really put some fear in Pilate.  He went back to Jesus and asked Him where He came from.  Jesus was silent.  That made Pilate angry.  He threatened Jesus for refusing to answer him and pointed out that he had the power to free Him or crucify Him.  Then Jesus told Pilate that the only power he had over Him was that which was allowed from above (referring to God the Father; I wonder if Pilate understood that.).  Then He tells Pilate that the one who handed Him over to Pilate had the greater sin.  (I’ve always told my children that sin is sin is sin.  Jesus clearly states that some sins are greater than others.) 


John 19:12 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.

John 19:13 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.

John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

John 19:15 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.

John 19:16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.


I don’t think Pilate believed Him, but he was unsure enough to be scared.  He tried his best to set Jesus free, but the Jews would not have it.  They told Pilate that he was an enemy of Caesar if he freed Jesus; anyone who claimed to be a king was in opposition to Caesar.  Pilate was beaten.  He brought Jesus out to the judgment seat at the Pavement (a checkerboard designed mosaic on which the Roman tribunal, the judges seat, was placed), called Gabbatha in Hebrew, on Preparation Day at about the sixth hour. 


Mark 15:25 states that Jesus was crucified the third hour, which would be 9:00am according to Jewish reckoning of time.  I assumed that there had to be a difference in Roman and Jewish time; and after researching a bit, I found in James Coffman’s commentary that this would probably be referencing 6:00am Roman time.

            6th hour = 6am – Romans (John 19)

            3rd hour = 9am – Jewish (Mark 15)


Pilate presents Jesus as their King, but they shout for His crucifixion.  When Pilate asks for confirmation that he should crucify their King, the chief priests answer that they have no king but Caesar.  Finally, Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified.  Luke states it this way in 23:25, “he delivered Jesus to their will.” 


Matthew tells us that Pilate washed his hands as a public testimony to the innocence of Jesus and that the crowd accepted responsibility for Jesus’ death; they even declared their children accountable.  We know that each one of us is accountable.


Matthew 27:24-25 “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.”


Luke 23:27-31 tells us that on the way to Calvary, the Lord was followed by a great number of women who truly mourned what was happening to Him.  In spite of all His pain and suffering, Jesus speaks to them words of warning and truth.  Future days are going to bring about times of suffering for the Jewish people that are going to make moms wish they had no children to suffer the horror of those times.  Those who are alive will want to die.


I believe this could be truly descriptive of many past events in Jewish history to this point, but the wording seems directly related to those uttered by those on planet earth at the time of the 6th seal judgment in the tribulation.


Luke 23:30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.


Revelation 6:15-16 “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb….”


I also wanted to address the statement in Luke 23:31:  For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”


According to the commentators, this is recognized as a Jewish proverb.  The best explanation I found was in Coffman’s commentary quoting George Bliss:  “The green tree represents the innocent and holy Savior in the spirituality and vigor of His life; the dry tree represents the morally dead and sapless people, typified by the fig tree, blasted by His word, four days earlier.”

            (cf Matthew 21 and Mark 11)


John 19:17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:

John 19:18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

John 19:19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

John 19:20 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.

John 19:21 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.

John 19:22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.


Jesus carried His cross as He headed to the place of skull, called Golgotha in Hebrew. This was a small hill or knoll outside Jerusalem.  (I can’t help but believe that this is one of the authentic sites I saw in Jerusalem.  The place near the garden tomb that is identified as Golgotha truly looks like a skull—even after all these years.) 


Again, Matthew adds some information.  At some point, Simon the Cyrene was compelled to carry Jesus’ cross because He was so badly beaten and weakened that He evidently couldn’t carry it Himself.


Matthew 27:32 “And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.”  (cf Mark 15:21 & Luke 23:26)


Jesus was crucified along with two others—one on each side of Him.  Pilate had a sign prepared and fastened to the cross saying, “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews.”  The sign was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin so that everyone could read it.  The chief priests protested to Pilate; they wanted him to have the sign say that Jesus claimed to be the King of the Jews—not that He was the King.  Pilate was firm; the sign would stay as he had written it.


The other gospels tell us that the chief priests, scribes, elders, soldiers and other onlookers mocked Jesus as He hung on the cross (Matthew 27:40, 42-43, Luke 23:35, Mark 15:32).  Matthew and Mark tell us that the thieves that were crucified on each side of Him joined in the mockery.  At some point, according to Luke, one of the thieves experienced a change of heart and realized that Jesus was innocent and was the true King of the Jews, the Savior.  He showed his faith by admitting his sin and asking the Lord to remember him when He came into His kingdom.  Jesus immediately responded to the repentant sinner (as He always does) and promised that he would that very day be with Jesus in Paradise.


There is a song by Stuart Townend that I think beautifully expresses the heart of those of us like that thief who are beneficiaries of Jesus’ sacrifice.


How deep the Father’s love for us

How vast beyond all measure.

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss

The Father turns His face away.

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory.


Behold the Man upon a cross

My sin upon His shoulders.

Ashamed to hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished.

His dying breath has brought me life.

I know that it is finished.


I will not boast in anything

No gifts, no power, no wisdom.

But I will boast in Jesus Christ

His death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His rewards?

I cannot give an answer.

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom.


John 19:23 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.

John 19:24 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 the soldiers crucified Jesus, they divided His clothes into four shares, one for each of them, including the coat (the tunic/shirt), which stayed as one piece.  It was seamless and woven in one piece from top to bottom.  They cast lots to decide who would get this garment.  This was in fulfillment of scripture.


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


John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

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!

John 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.


John tells us that standing near the cross were Jesus’s mother, her sister (4/10--Salome, John’s mom cf notes at 1:9), Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He spoke to His mother and told her John was her son and to John and told him that Mary was his mother.  In other words—comfort one another; be there for each other.  (I think John wanted to be nameless; he preferred to be referred to as the one Jesus loved.  That is really how I would love to be known.  I would pray for my life to be recognized as so closely identified with Jesus that my individual identity just disappeared.)  From then on John took Mary into his home.  (This is interesting since we know that Jesus had brothers and sisters.  I assume that Joseph was dead, and His brothers and sisters were on their own.  As the oldest son, He would have been responsible for His mother; so He wanted the two people He loved most to be there for one another.)


Matthew 27:45 and Luke 23:44 tell us that during the time that Jesus was on the cross from the 6th to 9th hours (12noon – 3pm) the sun was darkened and there was darkness over the land.


John 19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

John 19:29 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.

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.


After a while….. (Jesus was just there – hanging on the cross – enduring the burden of my sin.)  Jesus was confident that all scripture concerning Him was fulfilled, and He states that He is thirsty.  Jesus—the living water—is thirsty.  (I never thought about it that way before.  The only thing that could make Him thirsty is the presence of my sin on His being.)  So they soaked a sponge in vinegar and put it on the stalk of a hyssop plant and lifted it to His lips.  After receiving the drink (Matthew 27:34 clarifies that He tasted, but would not drink), He said, “It is finished.”  (This is a Greek legal term for “the debt is paid.”)  Then He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.  He had been obedient to the Father and completed all that He had come to accomplish.


Mark 15 tells us that Jesus died the 9th hour.  Our Passover lamb was slain.  (See note at 13:1.)


1Corinthians 5:7 “...For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us….”


At the time that Jesus gave up the ghost, both Matthew and Luke tell us that the veil of the temple that prevented entrance to the holy of holies was torn in two from top to bottom.  This is beautiful, miraculous evidence of our privilege as believers to now be able to personally approach the throne of grace.


Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”


There was also a great earthquake at this time.  The events associated with the death of the Savior caused fear in some of the onlookers and caused at least one centurion to recognize Jesus as the Son of God.


Matthew 27:54 “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”


Matthew records another miracle that happened at this time.


Matthew 27:52-53 “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”


Again, I resorted to commentaries to help the thinking process.  The comments made by JFB made sense to me.  The graves were probably opened with the earthquake in preparation for the resurrection of the saints themselves after His resurrection (as clearly stated in verse 53).  This would further verify the truth of His resurrection, which the Jewish leaders in particular would try to deny.  The scripture is clear that these resurrected saints appeared unto many.


Cf note at 20:9 – I’m not sure why Matthew made note of the resurrected dead at this point other than to keep the focus on Jesus at the resurrection.  There were obviously two earthquakes that occurred three days apart.


Again, the other gospels give a further account of words spoken by Jesus on the way to the Golgotha and from the cross.  (cf Luke 23:28-31, 34, 43, Matthew 27:46 & Mark 15:34, Matthew 27:50, Luke 23:46 and Mark 15:37)


John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

John 19:32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

John 19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

John 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.


We are reminded that it was the day of preparation for the Passover.  The Jews didn’t want bodies left on the cross on the Sabbath day that was to begin at sundown (a special Sabbath called a “high day”), so they asked Pilate to have the legs broken (which would cause them to die because they wouldn’t be able to support themselves to breathe) and the bodies taken down.  They broke the legs of the men on either side of Jesus.  When they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead and did not break His legs.  They pierced His side for confirmation that He was dead.  It was confirmed when the blood and water flowed from the wound.  (Chuck Smith:  The mingling of blood and water is the result of the heart bursting.  So Jesus died of a broken heart.)


John 19:35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

John 19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

John 19:37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.


John then emphasizes that he is testifying exactly as to what he witnessed with his own eyes, and he is testifying so that we might believe.  Again, scripture was fulfilled which foretold, “A bone of him shall not be broken.”  (Psalm 34:20)  Another scripture said, “They shall look on him whom they pierced.”  (Zechariah 12:10)  Always, the emphasis is given regarding the fulfillment of scripture.


John 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

John 19:39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

John 19:40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

John 19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

John 19:42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.


Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus.  He was a secret disciple of Jesus because he feared the Jewish leaders.  Pilate gave his permission.  Nicodemus, the one who had come to Jesus by night, came with Joseph and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, 75 lbs of it.  They wrapped Jesus body using the spices and strips of linen.  This was normal with Jewish burial customs.  There was a garden near Golgotha that had a new tomb in it—one that had never held a body before. (Matthew 27:57-60 tells us this was Joseph’s own tomb.) This is where they laid the body of Jesus.  It was close and convenient and time was of the essence.