John 19

1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped.
2 The soldiers made a crown out of thorny branches and put it on his head; then they put a purple robe on him
3 and came to him and said, "Long live the King of the Jews!" And they went up and slapped him.
4 Pilate went back out once more and said to the crowd, "Look, I will bring him out here to you to let you see that I cannot find any reason to condemn him."
5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Look! Here is the man!"
6 When the chief priests and the Temple guards saw him, they shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "You take him, then, and crucify him. I find no reason to condemn him."
7 The crowd answered back, "We have a law that says he ought to die, because he claimed to be the Son of God."
8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid.
9 He went back into the palace and asked Jesus, "Where do you come from?" But Jesus did not answer.
10 Pilate said to him, "You will not speak to me? Remember, I have the authority to set you free and also to have you crucified."
11 Jesus answered, "You have authority over me only because it was given to you by God. So the man who handed me over to you is guilty of a worse sin." 1
12 When Pilate heard this, he tried to find a way to set Jesus free. But the crowd shouted back, "If you set him free, that means that you are not the Emperor's friend! Anyone who claims to be a king is a rebel against the Emperor!"
13 When Pilate heard these words, he took Jesus outside and sat down on the judge's seat in the place called "The Stone Pavement." (In Hebrew the name is "Gabbatha.")
14 It was then almost noon of the day before the Passover. Pilate said to the people, "Here is your king!"
15 They shouted back, "Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!" Pilate asked them, "Do you want me to crucify your king?" The chief priests answered, "The only king we have is the Emperor!"
16 Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took charge of Jesus.
17 He went out, carrying his cross, and came to "The Place of the Skull," as it is called. (In Hebrew it is called "Golgotha.")
18 There they crucified him; and they also crucified two other men, one on each side, with Jesus between them.
19 Pilate wrote a notice and had it put on the cross. "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews," is what he wrote.
20 Many people read it, because the place where Jesus was crucified was not far from the city. The notice was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
21 The chief priests said to Pilate, "Do not write "The King of the Jews,' but rather, "This man said, I am the King of the Jews.' "
22 Pilate answered, "What I have written stays written."
23 After the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier. They also took the robe, which was made of one piece of woven cloth without any seams in it.
24 The soldiers said to one another, "Let's not tear it; let's throw dice to see who will get it." This happened in order to make the scripture come true: 2 "They divided my clothes among themselves and gambled for my robe." And this is what the soldiers did.
25 Standing close to Jesus' cross were his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, "He is your son."
27 Then he said to the disciple, "She is your mother." From that time the disciple took her to live in his home.
28 Jesus knew that by now everything had been completed; and in order to make the scripture come true, he said, "I am thirsty." 3
29 A bowl was there, full of cheap wine; so a sponge was soaked in the wine, put on a stalk of hyssop, and lifted up to his lips.
30 Jesus drank the wine and said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
31 Then the Jewish authorities asked Pilate to allow them to break the legs of the men who had been crucified, and to take the bodies down from the crosses. They requested this because it was Friday, and they did not want the bodies to stay on the crosses on the Sabbath, since the coming Sabbath was especially holy.
32 So the soldiers went and broke the legs of the first man and then of the other man who had been crucified with Jesus.
33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs.
34 One of the soldiers, however, plunged his spear into Jesus' side, and at once blood and water poured out
35 (The one who saw this happen has spoken of it, so that you also may believe. What he said is true, and he knows that he speaks the truth.)
36 This was done to make the scripture come true: "Not one of his bones will be broken." 4
37 And there is another scripture that says, "People will look at him whom they pierced." 5
38 After this, Joseph, who was from the town of Arimathea, asked Pilate if he could take Jesus' body. (Joseph was a follower of Jesus, but in secret, because he was afraid of the Jewish authorities.) Pilate told him he could have the body, so Joseph went and took it away.
39 Nicodemus, who at first had gone to see Jesus at night, went with Joseph, taking with him about one hundred pounds of spices, a mixture of myrrh and aloes. 6
40 The two men took Jesus' body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices according to the Jewish custom of preparing a body for burial.
41 There was a garden in the place where Jesus had been put to death, and in it there was a new tomb where no one had ever been buried.
42 Since it was the day before the Sabbath and because the tomb was close by, they placed Jesus' body there.

Images for John 19

John 19 Commentary

Chapter 19

Christ condemned and crucified. (1-18) Christ on the cross. (19-30) His side pierced. (31-37) The burial of Jesus. (38-42)

Verses 1-18 Little did Pilate think with what holy regard these sufferings of Christ would, in after-ages, be thought upon and spoken of by the best and greatest of men. Our Lord Jesus came forth, willing to be exposed to their scorn. It is good for every one with faith, to behold Christ Jesus in his sufferings. Behold him, and love him; be still looking unto Jesus. Did their hatred sharpen their endeavours against him? and shall not our love for him quicken our endeavours for him and his kingdom? Pilate seems to have thought that Jesus might be some person above the common order. Even natural conscience makes men afraid of being found fighting against God. As our Lord suffered for the sins both of Jews and Gentiles, it was a special part of the counsel of Divine Wisdom, that the Jews should first purpose his death, and the Gentiles carry that purpose into effect. Had not Christ been thus rejected of men, we had been for ever rejected of God. Now was the Son of man delivered into the hands of wicked and unreasonable men. He was led forth for us, that we might escape. He was nailed to the cross, as a Sacrifice bound to the altar. The Scripture was fulfilled; he did not die at the altar among the sacrifices, but among criminals sacrificed to public justice. And now let us pause, and with faith look upon Jesus. Was ever sorrow like unto his sorrow? See him bleeding, see him dying, see him and love him! love him, and live to him!

Verses 19-30 Here are some remarkable circumstances of Jesus' death, more fully related than before. Pilate would not gratify the chief priests by allowing the writing to be altered; which was doubtless owing to a secret power of God upon his heart, that this statement of our Lord's character and authority might continue. Many things done by the Roman soldiers were fulfilments of the prophecies of the Old Testament. All things therein written shall be fulfilled. Christ tenderly provided for his mother at his death. Sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, he raises up another for us, where we looked not for it. Christ's example teaches all men to honour their parents in life and death; to provide for their wants, and to promote their comfort by every means in their power. Especially observe the dying word wherewith Jesus breathed out his soul. It is finished; that is, the counsels of the Father concerning his sufferings were now fulfilled. It is finished; all the types and prophecies of the Old Testament, which pointed at the sufferings of the Messiah, were accomplished. It is finished; the ceremonial law is abolished; the substance is now come, and all the shadows are done away. It is finished; an end is made of transgression by bringing in an everlasting righteousness. His sufferings were now finished, both those of his soul, and those of his body. It is finished; the work of man's redemption and salvation is now completed. His life was not taken from him by force, but freely given up.

Verses 31-37 A trial was made whether Jesus was dead. He died in less time than persons crucified commonly did. It showed that he had laid down his life of himself. The spear broke up the very fountains of life; no human body could survive such a wound. But its being so solemnly attested, shows there was something peculiar in it. The blood and water that flowed out, signified those two great benefits which all believers partake of through Christ, justification and sanctification; blood for atonement, water for purification. They both flow from the pierced side of our Redeemer. To Christ crucified we owe merit for our justification, and Spirit and grace for our sanctification. Let this silence the fears of weak Christians, and encourage their hopes; there came both water and blood out of Jesus' pierced side, both to justify and sanctify them. The Scripture was fulfilled, in Pilate's not allowing his legs to be broken, Ps. 34:20 . There was a type of this in the paschal lamb, Ex. 12:46 . May we ever look to Him, whom, by our sins, we have ignorantly and heedlessly pierced, nay, sometimes against convictions and mercies; and who shed from his wounded side both water and blood, that we might be justified and sanctified in his name.

Verses 38-42 Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple of Christ in secret. Disciples should openly own themselves; yet some, who in lesser trials have been fearful, in greater have been courageous. When God has work to do, he can find out such as are proper to do it. The embalming was done by Nicodemus, a secret friend to Christ, though not his constant follower. That grace which at first is like a bruised reed, may afterward resemble a strong cedar. Hereby these two rich men showed the value they had for Christ's person and doctrine, and that it was not lessened by the reproach of the cross. We must do our duty as the present day and opportunity are, and leave it to God to fulfil his promises in his own way and his own time. The grave of Jesus was appointed with the wicked, as was the case of those who suffered as criminals; but he was with the rich in his death, as prophesied, ( Isaiah 53:9 ) ; these two circumstances it was very unlikely should ever be united in the same person. He was buried in a new sepulchre; therefore it could not be said that it was not he, but some other that rose. We also are here taught not to be particular as to the place of our burial. He was buried in the sepulchre next at hand. Here is the Sun of Righteousness set for a while, to rise again in greater glory, and then to set no more.

Cross References 6

  • 1. +219.11Wisdom 6.3.
  • 2. 19.24Psalms 22.18.
  • 3. 19.28Psalms 69.21; 22.15.
  • 4. 19.36Exodus 12.46;Numbers 9.12;Psalms 34.20.
  • 5. 19.37Zechariah 12.10;Revelation 1.7.
  • 6. 19.39John 3.1, 2.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. believe; [some manuscripts have] continue to believe.

John 19 Commentaries