John 19

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“But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out” (John 19:34 NKJV).

May 31, 2017

The apostle John, who was the only disciple near the cross when Jesus was crucified, was also the only gospel writer who reported these final details of Christ’s death. Perhaps John made sure to include his eyewitness testimony of the grisly details because of the Gnostic heresy that was already at large by the time of John’s writing.

The Gnostics (From the Greek word “gnōsis,” meaning “knowledge”) believed that they had obtained mystical or secret knowledge of the divine. They saw the material world as inherently evil and only the spiritual as good. Therefore, they rejected the idea that Jesus had actually come in the flesh. And as a result, they rejected that Jesus had truly died on the cross. In their view, “it only appeared” as if Jesus had died (The Gnostic heresy clearly affected Islam’s view of the crucifixion as the Quran uses an almost identical description).

John’s gospel was especially concerned with reporting the diligence of the Roman executioners in confirming Christ’s physical death. He reported the soldier’s spear piercing Christ’s side and the mixture of “blood and water” pouring out. Although John had no awareness of modern medical knowledge, many physicians today have noted that a piercing of the pericardium, the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the heart, would’ve resulted in the sight that John witnessed. The blood and water was a sure sign of Christ’s death.

John followed his reporting of the blood and water with a strong declaration that reminds one of a courtroom witness taking an oath to speak the truth. He said, “And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe” (John 19:35).

John wanted to make sure that everyone knew that he had witnessed Christ’s physical death. For if Jesus didn’t die, there would be no redemption, no payment for our sin. And if Jesus didn’t die, there would be no need for his resurrection.

But Jesus did die and He was raised. That is the truth that John reported. And that is the truth that we believe.

‘Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.”‘ (John 19:11 NKJV).

May 30, 2017

The Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, warned Jesus that he had the power to crucify or release him. Jesus replied that the only reason he could have any authority against Him was because it had been given him “from above.” In other words, God the Father had authorized the crucifixion of His Son.

Jesus gave His life willingly, no one took His life from Him. As Jesus said, “I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10:17-18).

As believers, we are under Christ’s authority. We have received His charge. We can walk in confidence that no worldly power can touch us without His knowledge and permission.

The Word of Triumph

April 2, 2017 | John 19:28-30 | crucifixion, jesus

Do you ever feel defeated? Have you ever felt as if you were a failure at everything? School, work, marriage, parenting, etc? Do you ever feel defeated by sin? Like certain sins continue to beset you? Jesus took what looked like complete failure and turned it into total triumph!

In the Gospel of John, Jesus let out a triumphant cry from the cross that He had finished the work of salvation. This salvation is a finished work, yet we still have to respond to it.

The Word of Distress

March 26, 2017 | John 19:28-29 | crucifixion, jesus

Are you thirsty today? Would you admit your thirst? What are you thirsty for? What desire goes unsatisfied, so that you thirst for it always? As Americans, we rarely go thirsty for basic needs. Food, water, clothing, housing… most of us have these needs met. Yet, our thirst remains. Have you tried to quench your thirst with material things? You spend money you do not have to purchase things that will not satisfy. Yet, the thirst remains, so you keep spending. You thirst for love and relationship, so you give your body away, and settle for sexual lust rather than waiting for covenantal love. So your thirst remains. We thirst for significance, for meaning, for happiness, yet the more we have, the more we drink from every worldly fountain, the more we thirst!

Jesus cried out with the constant cry of all humanity, “I thirst.” Jesus took on our thirst that we might be satisfied. He poured out his life that we might be filled.

The Word of Care

March 12, 2017 | John 19:16-27 | crucifixion, jesus, relationships

Have you ever wondered whether God cares? Especially asking, “Does God care for me?” I’ve heard some say, “I’m sure God has better things to do than care about my little problems. Shouldn’t He be busy solving world hunger or peace on earth?” What do you think? Does God care for the details of your little life? Or is He too busy running the universe? In this third word from the cross, we will realize how much God cares for us. He cares for the big stuff and He cares for the little stuff too. There’s no detail too small for His loving care. In the third saying of Jesus from the cross found in the gospel of John, Jesus revealed the loving care that He had for His mother. We can know the loving care that Jesus has for us.

‘When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit’ (John 19:30 ESV)

May 31, 2016

The final words of Jesus on the cross were not words of defeat, but of ultimate victory. He shouted, “It is finished!” His last words expressed exultation at accomplishing the task He had come to complete. In the Greek, it is one word: Τετέλεσται (Tetelestai), which is in the perfect tense. The basic thought of the perfect tense is that the progress of an action has been completed and the results of the action are continuing on, in full effect. In other words, the progress of the action has reached its culmination and the finished results are now in existence. It might also be translated: “fulfilled, accomplished, paid-in-full.” Essentially, Jesus, with this one word, “tetelestai,” announced that He had accomplished His God-given mission, fulfilling every prophetic detail, and paid-in-full the price for our sins, so that we might be forgiven and receive eternal life. His salvation work is complete and its finished results are even now in existence for those who would believe on Him.

‘So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit’ (John 19:30 NKJV)

May 31, 2015

The final words of Jesus on the cross were not words of defeat, but of ultimate victory. He shouted, “It is finished!” His last words expressing exultation at accomplishing the task He had come to complete. In the Greek, it is one word: Τετέλεσται (Tetelestai), which is in the perfect tense. The basic thought of the perfect tense is that the progress of an action has been completed and the results of the action are continuing on, in full effect. In other words, the progress of the action has reached its culmination and the finished results are now in existence. It might also be translated: “fulfilled, accomplished, paid-in-full.” Essentially, Jesus, with this one word, “tetelestai,” announced that He had accomplished His God-given mission, fulfilling every prophetic detail, and paid-in-full the price for our sins, so that we might be forgiven and receive eternal life. His salvation work is complete and its finished results are even now in existence for those who would believe on Him.