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John Chapter 19

Posted by adventbiblestudy on July 1, 2015


  • John Chapter 19

    John 19:1-42 NLTse Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. (2) The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. (3) “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face. (4) Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” (5) Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” (6) When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.” (7) The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.” (8) When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. (9) He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. (10) “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” (11) Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” (12) Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.” (13) When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). (14) It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!” (15) “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!” “What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back. (16) Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. (17) Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). (18) There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. (19) And Pilate posted a sign over him that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” (20) The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. (21) Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.'” (22) Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.” (23) When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. (24) So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it. This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did. (25) Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. (26) When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” (27) And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. (28) Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” (29) A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. (30) When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. (31) It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was the Passover). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. (32) So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. (33) But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. (34) One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. (35) (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.) (36) These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” (37) and “They will look on the one they pierced.” (38) Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. (39) With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. (40) Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. (41) The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. (42) And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

    When we look back at the theme in the previous chapter, it’s impossible not to see how it not only continues in chapter 19, but provided an illustration even the basest people in the world will see. We have three main factions represented by Pilate, the priests, and Jesus as a contrast. Which one had to carry the cross?

    That’s a theme carried throughout the world everyday. It is repeated by every class in every society. It doesn’t matter what language people speak, their color, not even their income matters. The world views spirituality as a weakness and will take advantage of it any way they can.

    The previous chapter showed how Satan is behind all those deceptions, trials, pain, suffering, and sins. Let’s call it what it is, sin. We had to look all the way back to chapter 13 to find Satan on the scene. The theme is also explained in Revelation 13, the only chapter in that book that does not begin in Heaven. John showed how Satan will hide. He hides behind idols and obvious deceptions. John must have been thinking about that experience he went through during Jesus’ trials when he wrote this chapter in his Gospel. Turn back a few chapters from Revelation 13 to see what the real issue is. The main theme in previous chapters in Revelation is worship. Look at those chapters for yourself. Most of them begin with worshiping God at His throne, and Jesus for His sacrifice. You have to turn back one chapter from Revelation 13 to see Satan is behind all the false forms of worship Satan has introduced. And there are many forms of false worship he loves to hide behind.

    Consider the parable of the camel through the eye of a needle. Why is it, poor people can understand, but rich people cannot see? When we look at the previous stories to see how Jesus taught children and talked about the womb, we can see how Jesus pointed to the only time God can fit a camel through the eye of a needle. At conception. Jesus told the man he had to sell everything. It wasn’t money and riches that condemn people, it is everything they learn from this world. The more money you accumulate by learning the tricks of the trade from this world, the more you have to forget. A rich man has to forget everything he learned. He has to return to a state long before he was a child so he can begin to learn what is right and what is wrong.

    Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer. How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies? You can be sure of this: The LORD set apart the godly for himself. The LORD will answer when I call to him. Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the LORD. Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, LORD. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe. (Psalms 4:1-8 NLTse).

    We can see how David saw how people plot against each other because he saw people plotting against himself. He saw people trying to ruin his reputation using lies, and everything they could to tear him down. Once you make a stand with God, you’ll see the same thing. Keep in mind, that process didn’t begin the day you gave your heart to Jesus. The enemy will try to convince you God is the cause of all your problems. But listen to God’s voice instead of the enemy. Once you learn to listen to God’s voice, you’ll see how those people ruining your reputation with lies were around long before you turned to God. The only difference is, you are more aware of them. If your wise and honest with yourself, you’ll see God’s Spirit showing how you were a part of that process, how you lied, ruined reputations, broke a few laws to gain an advantage, or tried to keep place with the competition. The first steps are the most difficult. You can’t see any way things will work out if you stopped cheating and lying. Satan will marshal his forces in ways you never imagined. Let me give you a bit of advise. As long as you waver between two worlds and compromise, your gonna see a world of problems ahead. Your going to miss a lot of the lessons and new ways God is teaching. Your not going to miss a lot of the doors God is opening for you. But the quicker you learn to listen to God, the quicker you can make a come back. And remember, God’s blessing will be manifold, which means, they will reach out in new directions people never imagined. Your new blessings and gifts are meant to be shared.

    Learn to listen to God’s small voice in your thoughts. It shouldn’t be difficult to recognize new people God placed in your life to encourage and help guide you. Also stay in God’s Word to the best of your ability and strive to expand that ability. Concentrate on at least one type of daily Bible Study, at least a simple reading. You’ll soon see how God uses His Word to reach, guide, and confirm. You’ll learn the role and definition of each. You’ll learn when a message is for you or when it’s meant to deliver or share with another. Maybe you’ll have a dream. If you know only God can provide its interpretation, He may use that channel to communicate. When your memory brings back vivid scenes, treat it like a vision and keep it in mind as you compare it to your present situation and what your reading from the Bible that week. Always rest assured, God’s is always watching over you and knows everything that will happen long before you see it happen.

    I actually opened up to Psalms ch 4 this morning. It was the next chapter in my daily reading of the Bible. It seemed to be the words I needed that day. I have the bank trying to take my house while I am in the process of selling it. Another agent showed my house, but insisted the buyer may get a better price if they wait for the bank to foreclose. Is that the type of Christian support one licensed agent should give to another, or to a customer? Teaching people how to use the law to pressure people? My house is priced $50,000 below market value, but agents insist they can get a better price. How do they know? If an investor buys the house, do you think the investor will sell it for less than market value? Some times the lack of common sense amazes me.

    A little later in the day, one of the companies I work for called me and I was fired. I list construction equipment on their Internet site for companies selling equipment. It has been a great way to meet and network with company owners who happen to have a need to buy or sell Real Estate. I’m not sure what the equipment advertising company had in mind. They beat around the bush. But I didn’t need an answer from them. God already provided the answer. God gave me Psalms chapter 4.

    As a matter of fact, later that day I had an appointment to meet with a pastor to look at some properties. He started an organization to network with small businesses, ministries, and organizations offering all kinds of different services. God told me the year 2015 is the year to put ministry first and business second. I can still network with the list of businesses I’ve been working with and branch out to network with more while working with that pastor. We need all kinds of contractors in the Real Estate phase of the project. We will also network with local businesses for job placement and training. God closed one door but opened up a dozen. All I could do is praise the Lord.

    How does all that apply to Jesus being sent to the cross? We have to look at this chapter. When we look at key words, we can’t help but see how crucified stands out above the rest. It is the central focus in the middle of this chapter. In the beginning of the chapter, Jesus was mocked. At the end of chapter 18, a crowd of people rejected Jesus for a convicted thief. A lot of sermons have been written and preached on those individual subjects, but here we have to ask, what do those events have in common?

    We could use the method of the five W’s. Who, what, when, where, and why. But I am only looking at who for the moment. All of those events focused on Jesus. Now we have to ask why. What do they have in common? Each of them were designed to discourage Jesus. Deeper yet, they were meant to test Jesus’ trust in scripture and God’s Spirit. Jesus had the choice to either trust 100% or be like the rest of us.

    God gave me one example to share. I’m sure you have your own. The first spiritual gift is communication with God. What good are any of the other gifts without communication? God will use a number of methods to confirm His message. We just have to learn to listen, and compare the events much like we do when studying the Bible. Time to study this chapter.

    • The Purple Robe

      John 19:1-8 NLTse Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. (2) The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. (3) “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face. (4) Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” (5) Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” (6) When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.” (7) The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.” (8) When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever.

      How do you divide this story into sections? I’m not sure. I hope I chose the proper sections. The good news is, we always have the opportunity to go back and review the previous section until we see the stories blending together and relate to each other.

      One of the words or phrases we see repeated in the introduction is, purple robe. To me this showed how the guards mocked Jesus. I know a lot of people like to point out, purple represents royalty in the Bible. They’ll say, “look, they used the word king.” That may be true but the way John recorded the story, he showed us how Jesus was mocked. People are gonna ask how I determined the context. I hear this all the time. People are stuck on what they know and they would rather argue every point and detail they know instead of trying to learn anything new. It’s kinda the old, “if the Spirit didn’t tell me, there’s no way it could be true,” syndrome. Which is the same attitude that made those religious leaders mistrust Jesus. As far as those religious leaders were concerned, the guy insulted them and God would never do that. Jesus sent a leper He healed to the religious leaders as a testimony or announcement to begin His ministry. A lot of people thought that was a great way of getting started, but the religious leaders didn’t agree.

      How do we prove we’re examining this chapter, and that color purple in context? One of the things I like to do is review a definition of context. In simple terms, context is the sequence of sentences around a word or phrase that explain its meaning. Does the word king explain the color purple? The world king does not define the color purple any more than those soldiers honored Christ as their King. There should be no doubt, those soldiers were making fun of Jesus. That was their goal. They thought of it as part of the job, or a benefit.

      Let’s dig a little deeper into context. The previous story showed the crowd chose Barabbas over Jesus. Were they honoring or dishonoring Jesus? What about the line or sentence after the word purple was repeated? Pilate presented Jesus and the priests shouted, “crucify Him.” Were they honoring Jesus as their King? Then were do people come up with the interpretation, purple represents royalty? It may in other parts of the Bible, but here in John chapter 19, those soldiers are using that purple robe to mock Jesus.

      We may want to check the summation to see if it agrees. Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. (41) The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. (42) And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

      The summation presented a different group of people who did honor Jesus by placing His body in a tomb. We have a contrast between the introduction and summation. What does that tell us about the entire chapter?

      Study Bible With Context 1Whenever we see contrasts used in the introduction and summation in a chapter, we can expect to see contrasts within the chapter. Contrasts are often more difficult for people to see and learn from. God often teaches in contrasts, so He placed this guide, or red flag within chapters throughout the Bible. This emphasizes the importance of the introduction and summations. Not only do those establish the context of the chapter, they also provide a clue to the writing style and how lessons are presented.

      This gives us a clue or hint telling what to look for in this chapter. We can’t help but see a contrast between those soldiers and the few people who placed Jesus’ body in that tomb. We have to look at more of the overall story before we comment on those contrasts.

      We also see another important phrase repeated. “I find Him not guilty.” Because we looked at the introduction and summation, we should have our radar screens up and of course ears open to God’s Spirit tapping us on the shoulder to show another contrast. Look at the first sentence in this chapter. Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. How can a guy whip a person half to death then say he’s not guilty? Is that a contrast or what? This revealed a portion of Pilate’s personality John wanted us to see as well as understand. It will reveal another contrast later in the chapter.

      That crown of thorns is also repeated. Another symbol that John focused on to show how they mocked Jesus. It makes me wonder how the religious world turned that crown of thorns and purple robe into icons of worship when John identified them as symbols a few soldiers used to mock Jesus. Could it be John knew those things were going to be used to confuse people, or limit their understanding of Jesus. On a spiritual level, those items are still used today to mock Jesus, because the focus is placed on a few insignificant material items, then shifts to a few individuals trying to make themselves look important while Jesus, who should be the real focus of this story takes a backseat.

      Looking back at Pilate, the previous chapter showed Jesus told him, he had all the witnesses he needed. Pilate heard all those reports about Jesus, but didn’t know what or how to believe. When we see how Pilate had Jesus whipped, then said He was not guilty, we can’t help but see a pattern formed which explains a problem in religion today.

      People, including preachers and teachers know a lot of things about Jesus. They know a lot of things about those stores, or at least attempt to appear they know a lot. They know how to dazzle people with a few little details on some of those material items in those stores. But do they really know Jesus? Are they able to stand up and provide a public testimony of what Jesus did for them? Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus instructed him not to tell anyone what had happened. He said, “Go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.” (Luke 5:13-14 NLTse).

      I think those people need to go back, find out what spiritual message was sent out when Jesus cleansed that leper, and then they might be ready to do their jobs. Look at that story. Who did Jesus send that leper to? The priests. Shouldn’t priests know the answer, if they are qualified to preach?

      What good is it to preach about a few material objects if your unable to send people to the One who is able to reveal the spiritual meaning of every symbol in the Bible because He wrote the book, or collection of books? Christianity today is like taking one page out of the biggest reference book in the universe and convincing people, they should be happy with that single page. Until every Christian finds out how to get back to the original source, Jesus and the Spirit He sent, we are all going to remain confused, blind, and naked because we are never going to be on the same page without direct communication with Jesus.

      About the only subject Christians are able to agree on is the theory about some kind of world order who is going to unit the world against what they refer to as God’s church. I have no idea where they get that from. But if Satan was going to make a deception to make sure people remained divided and ignorant, and battling one another instead of him, that would be a good start.

    • Here is Your King

      John 19:9-15 NLTse He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. (10) “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” (11) Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” (12) Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.” (13) When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). (14) It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!” (15) “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!” “What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back.

      We’ve developed, or noticed a trend in key words. The first one I noticed is, JESUS. This story is about HIM. Why concentrate and try to impress people with a few material items in a story when the main character is the only one who can save you? John also repeated the word power? Lets see who said what. That is part of learning context. Pilate thought he had the power to release Jesus or crucify Jesus. What was Jesus’ response? “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” What direction did Jesus point Pilate and us? Jesus told Pilate where real power comes from. Jesus used words Pilate could understand. Not the type of argument people today would use with a Pagan. They would try to explain everything they knew about God. In other words try to impress them. Jesus talked to Pilate the way He did because Jesus understood him.

      The next subject Jesus addressed was were the greater sin lead. Jesus introduced two points for Pilate to consider. God’s Spirit always works this way. Pilate had to consider the source. That was the easy part. Pilate was also pointed back to what we identified as the main point to consider in this chapter, the contrasts. Pilate had to take a few minutes to look at and compare witnesses, those priests, other reports Pilate received, and the man standing in front of him.

      We see the word release repeated and another contrast. Pilate wanted to release Jesus. He tried to release Jesus, but the priests wouldn’t cooperate. Another clear contrast. We see conflicting personalities. How does this apply to Christians today? We have people with one view of Jesus, scripture, prophecies, doctrines, you name it, people have different opinions on it. Some are constantly in conflict with people who don’t agree on every single solitary point. They would rather die than give in on a single point, or allow another Christian to have an opposing view. What they are really doing is the same thing they love to do with those material items. They use their views, opinions, beliefs, doctrines, traditions, ideas on prophecies, and everything they can image to create separation from Jesus. They will not allow Jesus or His Spirit to work in any person’s life, or their church until they convince God’s Spirit it is either their way or the highway. They won’t allow Jesus to be released in the church or in society. They would rather be friends with Caesar, and make him their king than see God’s Spirit work in individual lives. They believe any spiritual work beyond their control is a risk.

      I get a lump in my throat every time I see or think about this story and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why every Christian can’t understand this story, accept it, and learn from scripture where these stores point to and how they are related. We see the word Passover again. John repeated the date so there would be no excuse for anyone to miss it. What does the Passover mean to you? What do you remember about that first Passover and how does it relate to the day Jesus died?

      You can read the entire story In Exodus chapter 14 for yourself. Pay attention to verse 4. Don’t be lazy, read it. I am not going to copy any of the texts and do your work for you. If you want to review that story with God’s Spirit and learn to communicate with Him, that would be great. If you choose to be lazy, that’s your choice.

      Okay are you back? What did you learn by reviewing that story in Exodus 12? No that wasn’t a mistake. I didn’t mislead you. I wanted you to see Exodus 14:4 so your in the proper mind set to review Exodus chapter 12. Did it work? Did you see God’s glory in both those chapters? If you did, your ready to see the link to John chapter 19. If you didn’t read those chapters, close this book, delete it, your a lost cause. Your going to wander through life looking for easy answers and trying to impress people like you know everything. Look in the mirror if you want to see what caused God’s Spirit to leave the church and many of the people in this world.

      Exodus 12 showed us a lot of details about the Passover and what it pointed to. Jesus of course. Just like His name is repeated throughout this chapter, He is in the Passover. His blood protected the first born. Now doesn’t that seem like a strange statement? Think about that. We have this festival described in a chapter that tells us the blood protected the first born. What about the rest of us? Are we wasting our time? Should we just give up? Based on the way a lot of people read the Bible, that showed what many people walk away with, a tiny bit of the information. I’ll bet you didn’t know how to look at scripture to see God has a way of drawing attention to a list of subjects when most people only see one or two.

      The sacrifice and blood are a few of the links between that first and last Passover. The death of the spiritual first born is another. We covered that earlier in this book, but it is worth repeating.

      “Dedicate to me every firstborn among the Israelites. The first offspring to be born, of both humans and animals, belongs to me.” (Exodus 13:2 NLTse)

      “Look, I have chosen the Levites from among the Israelites to serve as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me, for all the firstborn males are mine. On the day I struck down all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, I set apart for myself all the firstborn in Israel, both of people and of animals. They are mine; I am the LORD.” (Numbers 3:12-13 NLTse)

      At first God chose all the firstborn sons to be His. Later He changed His mind and choose only the firstborn sons of the Levites. What did the Levites represent? The priests. Which firstborn sons died on that last Passover? I should ask, based on John chapter 19, which firstborn sons weren’t protected by the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice? The answer should be obvious.

      So why repeat that lesson here? Do you think I like repeating myself? What about God’s Spirit? Do you think He likes repeating Himself? Don’t you think Jesus could have made everything clear in a much shorter book, or collection of books? Why were so many details repeated in those four gospels. I could be, God knows He’s dealing with a bunch of dumb sheep. Or it could be His way of showing how much He cares. Or both. Can we call it love? Don’t you repeat words to show the one you love how much you love them? Or are you the type of person who thinks saying it once is enough for one lifetime?

      If you read this whole book, I hope you noticed how much I’ve stressed the power or repetition. God used it throughout His book. Look for those patterns. And talk to God about it. I can show you another one. The Passover or date is repeated in this chapter. What does that tell you? Did you read Exodus chapter 12? Did you see a date there? How many days did the family have to spend with that lamb? Look at it, I’m not going to tell you. I refuse to rob God’s Spirit. What does that tell you? Now think for a while.

      Did you find it? Did God’s Spirit tap you on the shoulder or knock you on the head? Look back a few chapters. Did John record a whole bunch of road signs like, three days before the Passover, and others? Are you getting the point? What did Jesus teach over those days? You should remember what Jesus taught a few hours before He was arrested. We covered those chapters in detail. Go over them with God’s Spirit and show how small and insignificant I really am. Look at the other Gospels and look at what Jesus taught over those few days when the family was supposed to spend time getting to know that lamb. What do those lessons tell you? Can you see the Spirit in that Lamb? Don’t be lazy – LOOK!!!!! The choice is yours. You can look upon your King, or crucify Him.

    • The Cross

      John 19:16-22 NLTse Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. (17) Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). (18) There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. (19) And Pilate posted a sign over him that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” (20) The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. (21) Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.'” (22) Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.”

      In this portion of John chapter 19, we see the key word cross repeated twice, and once more later in this chapter. That is another icon Christians like to place special emphasis on. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure who said it, but someone questioned why Christians decorate their churches with images of a fallen, beaten dying, or dead Savior, but have little evidence of a risen King. I tend to agree.

      We see Jesus repeated more often than any other name of word in this chapter. Shouldn’t the emphasis be on Him? Then we see the word crucified repeated a number of times. That has been and emphasis with some people, but many times people use the word cross to describe what Jesus went through. Is that a sign of respect or a way of desensitizing what Jesus had to suffer? When we look at this chapter based on general rules of context, John placed the main theme in the introduction where he recorded Jesus’ encounter with the whip at the hands of Roman soldiers. The summation told about His burial. In between we see the word crucified repeated more than any of the other key words outside of Jesus.

      Then there is a shift in focus, the word written. John added details about that sign Pilate had written. Why? Not many people comment on that sign. But what’s the message from the Spirit? That sign was like a death warrant for Pilate. But like we’ve learned in the last chapter, we can’t judge, but we can look at the evidence.

      Pilate couldn’t make up his mind. He tried passing off responsibility. That didn’t work. But Pilate’s mind was open and Jesus gave him a lot to think about. Those were all factors leading to that sign. Jesus tried as hard as He could to reach Pilate as well as those priests, and everyone in that crowd who cried out against Him. Other gospels showed how God’s Spirit talked to Pilate’s wife in a dream and she warned Pilate. All four gospels showed how many times Jesus sent the priests back to scripture and God’s Spirit. Jesus healed thousands of people in public as well as taught a number of lessons and parables. Those parables were designed to send people back to scripture and God’s Spirit to find and understand their interpretations. What more could Jesus have done?

    • Divided His Clothes

      John 19:23-24 NLTse When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. (24) So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it. This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did.

      This section of the story introduced something unusual. We haven’t seen an established pattern in this chapter, but an unusual blend of short stories in a particular sequence. Each of these stories seems to bring out items that some how draw our attention away from Jesus onto those materials. In this portion of the story, the focus is on Jesus’ clothing. This small section contains some unusual literary construction. While John used four words related to clothing, not one of the key words is repeated. We also notice another contrast. John began by pointing out, they divided His clothing. But they didn’t tear His robe. There has to be some spiritual meaning and lesson behind this clothing. Where does it point?

      When we look at how the world views Jesus’ clothing, His robe of righteous usually comes to mind. I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels. The Sovereign LORD will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere (Isaiah 61:10-11 NLTse).

      When we look at the introduction of Isaiah 61, we see an obvious connection. The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. (Isaiah 61:1-3 NLTse).

      I have to cover a very important point in this story. As I’m writing this, I am as amazed as I’m sure you are in the direction this lesson is heading. I never compared the introduction of Isaiah 61 to those verses about the robe of righteousness. But once I looked at them, there was no doubt there is a link between Isaiah 61 and John chapter 19.

      I have to be honest. My mind was more or less fixed on another piece of cloth, the one they buried Jesus in. Some people look at that burial cloth like it has some kind of mystical power. I remember seeing a movie about Jesus’ robe. In that movie they placed some type of mystical power on His robe. Much like the purple robe, crown of thorns, and other icons in this chapter, more emphasis is placed on those items than the main character in this story, Jesus.

      I can’t help but keep thinking about how much emphasis is placed on Jesus suffering on the cross and His death and so little placed on what happened after His resurrection. I have no idea why. Luke told us darkness covered the land for about three hours as Jesus hung on that cross. I studied that word darkness and found some interesting details. The ark Noah built was covered in black tar. Look at the KJV of that story where you’ll see the word pitch repeated a number of times. This is another example showing, when God repeats Himself, we better pay attention. The word pitch in the original Hebrew language is one of the most unusual words you’ll find in scripture. It has two meanings. In the story about Noah’s ark it is translated pitch or tar. Everywhere else it is translated, a redemption price.

      Another place we find darkness is at the beginning of Genesis. Before creation began, darkness covered the earth. It was covered in water and God’s Spirit covered the entire world. There are a ton of illustrations where God used darkness to illustrate or announce a new beginning. Look at the story with Nicodemus. Didn’t Jesus tell Nicodemus there would be total darkness before he would understand? Jesus told Nicodemus he had to be born again. Get it?

      Getting back to those garments. We see how the world looks at them in different ways much like the world views Jesus’ death on the cross. Many people and religions are stuck at the cross. It is almost like those nails in Jesus’ hands and feet show how people will be forever nailed to a cross. Never moving. Never getting anywhere. Now that I think of it, people had to take Jesus down. They had to go up on that cross and pull those nails out by hand. They had to feel the blood and get a little on themselves.

      Another way of looking at it is, people are stuck in the dark, they never learned how to move into the light. In the dark they came up with the simple answer the world likes. Jesus died. He rose from the dead. We are forgiven. Let’s wait for His return. Okay….. that is simple, but what happens in the mean time? They have an answer for that. Sit in the pew, drop in a few coins, and listen to us. Umm…. what happened to those letters from Paul. Oh ya, I know. A few verses are used to create a few new doctrines. That’s about it. Hardly anyone knows the stories in those books. Seems like no one can find the order of worship Paul outlined for all Christian meetings, or find what type of worship John warned us to look out for.

      I’ve seen a lot of people who are convinced Paul’s letters are confusing and difficult to understand. And I know why. Bits and pieces of Paul’s letters have been taken out, used to write a series of doctrines, and those doctrines don’t agree with what Paul wrote. That’s a nice way of saying they took scripture out of context. The same is true with Daniel and especially the book of Revelation. People have been brain washed into thinking one or two texts mean this or that. But the human interpretation doesn’t fit the story and lesson those few texts were taken from. So those teachers insist the Bible is a mysterious book that takes a special education to understand. Now for the connection between modern Bible Study and those garments.

      The first connection is how the world looks at those pieces of cloth like they have some type of mystical power. No one understands that power, nor can they prove it, because it really doesn’t exist. People find it difficult to understand the Bible because they have the same misunderstanding about God’s Word. People take out a few texts, say it means something, but can’t prove it. The only thing they create is another fable that confuses people. But in their minds, they think think they accomplished something. They have people just where they want them – confused and coming to them for all the answers. But a wise student of the Bible working along side God’s Spirit will see how they will learn more in one night with God’s Spirit than those people will hope to learn in their lives. It’s not Jesus who remains nailed to their cross, it is them. They nail themselves to a cross. They remain in the darkness they created. “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. (Matthew 10:37-39 NLTse).

      Jesus not only indicated a movement, He demanded it. If you rely on mother, father, priest, pastor, or love listening to Internet videos more than Jesus, well you can read the rest of the chapter to find out what Jesus referred to. You can look at what Jesus promised and what the conditions are to receive those gifts.

      We were never expected to remain in the dark. Noah left that ark. The first thing God gave this world was light. And Jesus rose from that tomb. We will cover those details when we study the next chapter. We still have a number of changes to cover in this chapter.

      The contrast of divided and one piece beg for a second look. In previous chapters, Jesus taught about a relationship. What better way to study that relationship then to look at it from the view points of a division and the contrast of staying together. What lesson does that division teach about the relationship with God and His Spirit Jesus talked about before He was arrested?

      Do we really have a relationship with Christ if we don’t have a relationship with His Spirit or His Father? What about a relationship with God’s law? When one part is missing, is the remaining part as effective as it should be? That’s a personal decision. While your thinking about your answer, think about what happened to Israel when they asked Moses to stand between them and God.

      What about the other piece, the robe? Does that robe point to salvation? Is that the only piece we need? Is salvation enough? Is that robe complete without the other pieces of clothing? What are those other pieces of clothing? From what John recorded, those other pieces will remain a mystery much like the remainder of God’s Word when all you care about is salvation.

    • Here is Your Mother

      John 19:25-27 NLTse Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. (26) When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” (27) And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.

      In a few simple words Jesus showed us there is more to that scene at the cross than salvation. John, the disciple who loved Jesus, was trusted enough for Jesus to ask him to take care of His mother. Jesus knew He was coming back. Jesus knew He was going to teach those disciples for another forty days. Jesus knew He would be in Heaven with His Father and He could do much more for His mother than John would ever be able to accomplish. Jesus also knew, John’s ability to care for and protect His mother was really in God’s hands. Yet Jesus asked John to take care of His mother, and Mary to trust John. This was nothing short of a new symbol telling us, there is much more than His death on that cross to consider. There is a work to do. Jesus gave John a job to do.

      Caring for a mother represented a special gift. Caring for Jesus’ mother represented the trust He placed in each of us. Are we living up to those expectations? Do we care for this world like we would care for Jesus’ mother? Or do we spend too much time judging, placing our own interpretations on this story, and our own value on people? This is another subject your going to have to take up with Jesus.

    • It Is Finished

      John 19:28-30 NLTse Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” (29) A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. (30) When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.

      Immediately after Jesus showed His trust in John, He knew His mission was finished. At that point, John sent us back to scripture. After carefully following the basic rules of context, we know, the only way to understand the spiritual meaning of that sour wine is to look at the scripture John sent us to.

      Answer my prayers, O LORD, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful. Don’t hide from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble! Come and redeem me; free me from my enemies. You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace. You see all that my enemies are doing. Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst. Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare and their prosperity become a trap. Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and make their bodies shake continually. Pour out your fury on them; consume them with your burning anger. Let their homes become desolate and their tents be deserted. To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury; they add to the pain of those you have hurt. Pile their sins up high, and don’t let them go free. Erase their names from the Book of Life; don’t let them be counted among the righteous. (Psalms 69:16-28 NLTse).

      Look at the detail it showed. Not only was it a prophecy about Jesus, it is a prophecy about the condition of the church for many generations. A sad condition that continues today.

      The prophecy begins with God’s unfailing love, the message Jesus died to teach. A lesson not often taught or discussed and almost never associated with Jesus’ sacrifice, the way it was meant to be understood.

      The prophecy reminds us about God’s help, concern, and care. The same message Jesus gave on the cross when He asked John to look after and care for His mother. John took Mary into his home. We receive God’s love and protection because we’re supposed to share it. If we understand that simple concept, we can see the movement associated with following Jesus.

      It’s sad how people miss the message in this prophecy. They don’t look at this chapter like they should. Otherwise, they could see how their misuse of Jesus’ sacrifice has turned it into a trap. Too many people profit from that cross. They make icons, jewelry, pictures, and a host of other idols out of that cross. They pattern it, copy right the cross, sell it, and profit from the symbol and sign of a cross in any way they can. They’ve turned it into such a cliché, it’s lost most of its meaning. Artists, churches, and leaders have been trying to out do each other to call attention to themselves. They want to draw people with a creative icon more than the truth. Often far more time and money is spent on forming a new idol than learning and teaching about a relationship with the person who died on that day. They don’t know Him because He doesn’t fit into their marketing plans.

      John is the only author who recorded the words, “it is finished.” For the most part, those words have been misinterpreted for generations. A few simple words represent how much this world misunderstands and misuses Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus never said, “it is finished.” That’s another man made fabrication to create another doctrine from scripture. Look up the original Greek.

      FINISHED G5055 teleo

      From G5056; to end, that is, complete, execute, conclude, discharge (a debt): – accomplish, make an end, expire, fill up, finish, go over, pay, perform.

      Many theologians will say the word has two meanings. Which may be true if you look at only one aspect of its definition. To say the definition means to finish is like saying your going on a trip. Anyone concerned about you will ask where. Of course if you cared about them, you would tell them your destination. The Greek word teleo indicates an action as well as describes what is accomplished, or in this case finished. To say something is finished is not a complete sentence, much less a complete thought. John never intended to write a book that left the world guessing what Jesus finished. Using the entire definition of the word teleo, tells us the debt has been paid. Payment for sin is finished.

      I doubt if John ever thought people would be distorting that one little sentence so much. Instead of translating Jesus’ last words as, “the debt is paid,” they decided to use only half its real meaning and use the phrase, “it is finished.” It’s been translated like that because a lot of people want to say, “Jesus died to free us from God’s law.” If that were the case, why didn’t He teach that during His last hours before His arrest? If ending the law was the great light Jesus died to shed on this world, why didn’t He say something about it when He instructed His disciples for forty days?

      That misquoted sentence is another on a long list of misunderstood details in this chapter. John chapter 19 is shaping up to be one of the most misunderstood chapters in the Bible. I’m not sure why.

    • Not One of His Bones Will Be Broken

      John 19:31-37 NLTse It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was the Passover). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. (32) So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. (33) But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. (34) One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. (35) (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.) (36) These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” (37) and “They will look on the one they pierced.”

      John wanted everyone to know what day Jesus died. It was a Sabbath that fell on the Passover. John called it a very special Sabbath. I wonder if he knew that detail on when it was happening. I’ll admit, I got ahead of John’s book when I covered the Passover earlier. This may be a good time to review those details. What do those dates have to do with Christianity today? After covering a number of details, we see how this chapter is filled with a series of items related to man made icons more important to their religion and this world than Jesus,His crucifixion, and the sacrifice He gave to this world. Does the modern priesthood belong in that category? When we shoot forward in the New Testament, we see Peter repeating the same offer God gave Israel during their exodus.

      And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” (1 Peter 2:8-10 NLTse).

      When we look at the structure of this portion of the story, we see a spiritual link between that special Sabbath Jesus died on and broken legs. We see what those broken legs represented when we look at 1 Peter 2, which begins with stumbling, a clear connection to legs. “They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.” Who is Peter referring to? Is he referring to people who continue to receive the role of a priest, or people who make rules based on Old Testament theology? If Jesus died to end the Levitical priesthood, why do people insist on resurrecting it from the grave? What proof do they have from the Bible to prove God changed His mind again?

      ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.” (Exodus 19:4-6 NLTse).

      God’s original offer reminds us about how God worked long and hard to free Israel from bondage in Egypt. The first Passover was designed to put the priesthood in the hands of every head of the family. God knew it was an important step in the plan of salvation for them to learn that lesson. Although those people walked out of Egypt, they weren’t completely free. They still served fear. You can read Exodus to find a list of those fears.

      Peter explained, Christ’s sacrifice should have put an end to that fear. “You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” It’s time to leave that darkness and bondage.

      I’m not sure why Pilate had to order their legs broken, as well as grant permission to bury Jesus’ body. But this shows how much control the state has over humanity. Most people agree, the state should have full control over the criminal court and punishment system. Most people think, that’s the way its always been. But that wasn’t the case in Exodus and the other books Moses wrote. The church or priests had full responsibility of the court and punishment system. God gave them detailed laws to follow. This shows how modern priests follow part of the Old Testament order while ignoring other duties. The system we see today is a cut up version of the Old Testament.

      When one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, blood and water flowed out. Here again we see another portion of this chapter that has become an icon. But these details are different. They were a personal part of Jesus. His blood covers our sins like water covered this entire world at the beginning of creation. Genesis also established a connection between water and the Holy Spirit. But here we see those symbols escaping from Jesus’ body. In one sense that blood and water was separated from Jesus. They fell together to the ground and mixed with the dust at the base of the cross. That part of Jesus didn’t see the tomb. They also remained behind when Jesus returned to Heaven.

      John also pointed out two prophecies Jesus fulfilled. First is the lack of broken bones. We can use a chain reference to quickly locate the Old Testament scripture. Each Passover lamb must be eaten in one house. Do not carry any of its meat outside, and do not break any of its bones. (Exodus 12:46 NLTse). When we look at the prophecy, we see John referenced the original Passover. John sent us back to the original Passover a number of times. This makes me think there are details many people may miss.

      One of those details may be the theme recorded in the introduction and summation of Exodus 12. Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household. This instruction applies to everyone, whether a native-born Israelite or a foreigner living among you.” So all the people of Israel followed all the LORD’s commands to Moses and Aaron. On that very day the LORD brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt like an army. (Exodus 12:3, 49-51 NLTse)

      Instructions were given to the entire community. That not only included the Israelites, but people from other nations who left Egypt. When we relate that back to the cross, we see how Jesus died for everyone. Now we just don’t have to say it, we can show people in the Bible where it is written.

      John sent us to a second prophecy about Jesus. The second one is about His pieced side. I never noticed how John actually recorded his story. First the portion of the story about the soldier going out to break their legs. When He found Jesus dead, the soldier used his spear to make sure He was dead. It seems like a natural way to tell the story in the sequence in happened. After the two events, John listed references to two prophecies Jesus fulfilled. In between John wrote something most people will miss. “This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.”

      John listed references to two scriptures, but didn’t name the eyewitness. Maybe John felt we should know who the eyewitness was. Since John listed those scriptures the answer is obvious. The witness is the Old Testament. Now it’s time to look at what that witness had to say.

      “The LORD will give victory to the rest of Judah first, before Jerusalem, so that the people of Jerusalem and the royal line of David will not have greater honor than the rest of Judah. On that day the LORD will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as mighty as King David! And the royal descendants will be like God, like the angel of the LORD who goes before them! For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. “Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died. The sorrow and mourning in Jerusalem on that day will be like the great mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddo. “All Israel will mourn, each clan by itself, and with the husbands separate from their wives. The clan of David will mourn alone, as will the clan of Nathan, the clan of Levi, and the clan of Shimei. Each of the surviving clans from Judah will mourn separately, and with the husbands separate from their wives. (Zechariah 12:7-14 NLTse).

      It’s easy to see how one part of this prophecy applied to Jesus being pieced, but it is a little difficult to determine the spiritual meaning of the beginning of the prophecy. Jesus was one of David’s descendants. So we can see a connection, but not on the spiritual level usually found in the Bible. We have to remember, symbols always point to something far greater. In this case, the reference to David could only point to Jesus. What royal descendant could be like God? And the weak will be like David. What do you think that points to?

      Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?” “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then. (Matthew 19:27-30 NLTse). The disciples who were looked upon as criminals with little or no respect from government and religious leaders, they did stand out as great in God’s eyes. The disciples were looked upon as weak in the eyes of this world but like kings in God’s eyes.

    • Jesus in the Tomb

      John 19:38-42 NLTse Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. (39) With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. (40) Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. (41) The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. (42) And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

      I’m not sure if anything was ever written about Jesus’ time in the tomb. I wasn’t sure how anyone would know. I’m not sure if anyone ever prayed about it before or wanted to go to the place of the dead in vision to see what it was like for Jesus. As I was praying about finishing this chapter, I asked Jesus about His experience in the grave, if there was anything He wanted the world to know about it. The answer was more obvious than I imagined.

      He said, “look back. What do you see?” When we look back in scripture, what events and details take us into a scene inside that tomb? Other gospel writers told us how darkness covered the earth. Did we ever look at that as a view into the grave? What happened during that time? What events led up to that period? And why was it about three hours? I always thought there was something rather strange about the connection between three hours of darkness and three days in the tomb. One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself–and us, too, while you’re at it!” (Luke 23:39 NLTse).

      Scripture tells us what happened in the grave. In total darkness, thousands of angels shouted false claims and accusations at Jesus. Like those trails in front of the priests, Herod, and Pilate, not one of them agreed, nor could any claim be proved. Jesus listened to those accusations for three days. It was much like a dream in total darkness where voices were heard, but images could not be discerned.

      Satan sat still watching and listening to the scene. That total darkness showed him what his ministry in this world had become, and where it was heading. Like Pilate, Satan knew Christ was innocent. If you think Pilate received detailed reports about Jesus, can you imagine what Satan knew about Jesus? Satan knew everything, every detail, every life Jesus touched, every word He spoke, every talk He had with His Father. Satan sat silent with his head resting against his hand looking down into total darkness listening to three days of lies, until God said, “that’s enough. Prophecy must be fulfilled on time.” Satan began to see, God had a plan and there was little He could do to interfere.

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