taking care of each other

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John 19:25-27

John 19:25 Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

John 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”

John 19:27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own family.

taking care of each other

Jesus’ love for his mother and for John is seen here in the fact that even as he is in agony on the cross, he brings these two lonely people together to take care of each other. Jesus cares about our needs – even our need for family.

Verse 27 literally says “the disciple took her into his own (ἴδιος).” The word is twice used in John for family relationships.

  • Andrew found his own brother (1:41)

  • Jesus said God was his own Father (5:18)

So, it is my opinion that John was talking about adopting Mary into his family. Granted, Mary had other children, but I think that is why Jesus did this. He wanted these two believers to invest their lonely lives in each other.

That is what church fellowship is all about too. It pleases our Lord when we take care of each other.

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he gave everything

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John 19:23-24

John 19:23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, a part for each soldier. They also took the tunic, which was a seamless tunic, woven in one piece from the top.

John 19:24 So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but gamble for it, to see who gets it.” This happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled that says: They divided my clothes among themselves, and they gambled for my clothing. This is what the soldiers did.

he gave everything

When I was young, just starting out in my missionary work, I had an interesting take on the idea of sacrifice for Christ. People would remark about my personal sacrifices in giving up family and possessions and going overseas to serve Christ. I would tell them that it was no sacrifice. I brought my family with me, and I had everything I needed.

That was true. But I have to confess – I feel some of the by-product of that lifestyle now. Following God’s call to separate myself from forms of stability has left me wondering what is going to happen when I can no longer “go therefore.” I have no home, and my family is scattered with their own places and families.

What does this have to do with today’s text? Well, my Lord himself went to the cross with nothing – literally only the clothes on his back. Then the soldiers took those too. If I have to endure hardship because of my commitment to him, I know I am in good company.

Lord, thank you for giving your all for us. Give us courage to keep on sacrificing for you.

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INRI

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John 19:19-22

John 19:19 Pilate also had a sign written and put on the cross. It said: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.

John 19:20 Many of the Jews read this sign, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek.

John 19:21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.'”

John 19:22 Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.”

INRI

Jameson, Fawsett and Brown show the significance of this nameplate:

it was written in Hebrew – or Syro-Chaldaic, the language of the country and Greek – the current language and Latin–the official language. These were the chief languages of the earth, and this secured that all spectators should be able to read it. Stung by this, the Jewish ecclesiastics entreat that it may be so altered as to express, not His real dignity, but His false claim to it. But Pilate thought he had yielded quite enough to them; and having intended expressly to spite and insult them by this title, for having got him to act against his own sense of justice, he peremptorily refused them. And thus, amidst the conflicting passions of men, was proclaimed, in the chief tongues of mankind, from the Cross itself and in circumstances which threw upon it a lurid yet grand light, the truth which drew the Magi to His manger, and will yet be owned by all the world!”1

The famous paintings with “INRI” as a shorthand for the Latin do not really convey the embarrassment the Jews must have felt by reading this sign. But one day this king will return, and many more will be ashamed that they did not submit to his rule. This king who died in shame rose in victory. He is coming again as king of the universe.

Get ready.

1Jamieson, Robert; A.R. Fausset; and David Brown. “Commentary on John 19.” . Blue Letter Bible. 19 Feb, 2000. 2018. 17 Nov 2018.

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final act in the farce

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John 19:15-17

John 19:15 They shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?” “We have no king if it isn’t Caesar!” the chief priests answered.

John 19:16 Then he handed him over to be crucified. Then they took Jesus away.

John 19:17 Carrying the cross by himself, he exited to what is called Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.

John 19:18 There they crucified him and two others with him, one on each side, with Jesus in the middle.

final act in the farce

None of the trials Jesus had undergone resulted in anything like justice. They were all a pretense – a sham. Now our King is handed over to those who had mocked and insulted and cruelly abused him – for the final act in the farce.

He begins by carrying his own instrument of torture and execution. His destination is death. He still had the power from the sky to destroy the entire city. But he has a purpose which necessitates his submitting to their power. His purpose is us. For the sake of those whom he would redeem, he suffered and died on the cross.

Thank you, Lord, for your sacrificial love.

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a preparation day

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John 19:12-14

John 19:12 From that moment Pilate kept trying to release him. But the Jews shouted, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Anyone who makes himself a king speaks against Caesar!”

John 19:13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside. He sat down on the judge’s seat in a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Aramaic, Gabbatha).

John 19:14 It was a preparation day during the Passover, the hour was about noon. Then he told the Jews, “Here is your king!”

a preparation day

The preparation day that the Gospel authors speak of was apparently not the preparation for the Passover itself. Jesus and his disciples had already eaten the Passover meal the night before. It appears that “preparation day” (παρασκευή) had become a regular term for Friday, the day of preparation for a regular Sabbath.1 This particular Friday fell within an entire week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the whole week was sometimes called Passover.

During this week of celebrations, the Jews made a series of special offerings meant to encourage sincerity and honesty. This is the time in which our Lord offered himself as a sinless sacrifice to purchase deliverance for us.

Notice what Paul told the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 5:7 Thoroughly cleanse out the old yeast, so that you may be a new product, because you are unleavened. Since Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed,

1 Corinthians 5:8 so that we can celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of evil and wickedness, but with the unleavened product of purity and truth.

Paul contrasted the evil and wickedness that resulted in Jesus arrest and death with the kind of people Christians should be. We also should keep the feast by cleansing ourselves of the old yeast.

Lord, give us the courage to live cleanly in light of your sacrifice for us.

1https://www.gotquestions.org/Day-of-Preparation.html

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what the crowd wants

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John 19:10-11

John 19:10 So Pilate said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Don’t you know that I have the right to release you and the right to crucify you?”

John 19:11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no right to deal with me at all if it hadn’t been given you from above. This is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”

what the crowd wants

David Guzik makes an interesting comment on this text:

Pilate thought he had power, but what he had was the power to do wrong, to do harm. He didn’t have the power to do what was right. The right thing to do was to release an obviously innocent Man instead of sending Him to death, but Pilate was weak before the strength of the religious leaders and the crowd they commanded. To say, “I have power to do what the crowd wants me to do” is to say you have no power at all.”1

We are not walking in integrity unless we realize the power to do what the crowd does not want us to do.

Lord, give us true integrity, not just the power to do what the world wants us to do.

1Guzik, David. “Study Guide for John 19.” Enduring Word. Blue Letter Bible. 21 Feb, 2017. 2018. 14 Nov 2018.

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where he is from

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John 19:6-9

John 19:6 When the chief priests and the temple officers saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” Pilate responded, “Take him and crucify him yourselves, since I find no grounds for charging him.”

John 19:7 “We have a law,” the Jews replied to him, “and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself a Son of God.”

John 19:8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was more afraid than ever.

John 19:9 He went back into the headquarters and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus did not give him an answer.

where he is from

The psalmist says that the law of the Lord is perfect1 and it is. But even God’s perfect law can become a tool for evil. Even the good things that we seek to do can be tarnished by our bad motives. Jesus came to fulfill God’s righteous law, and he went to the cross partly because his people used that very law against him. If Jesus were not who he said he was it would have been appropriate to condemn him for claiming to be the Son of God. Pilate recognizes this, so he goes back to Jesus with the question of his origin. We need only settle that question, and then all the rest will fall in place.

Lord, we confess that you came from heaven. We believe and trust that you are the Son of God.

1Psalm 19:7.

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error of comedies

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John 19:1-5

John 19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped.

John 19:2 The soldiers also twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on his head, and clothed him in a purple robe.

John 19:3 And they kept coming up to him and saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and were slapping his face.

John 19:4 Pilate exited to outside again and said to them, “Look, I’m bringing him out to you to let you discover that I find no grounds for charging him.”

John 19:5 Then Jesus exited wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Notice the man!”

error of comedies

Disrespecting an authority by making fun of him or her seems to be the going thing. Perhaps in a future generation people will look back on this time in shame. I hope so. I shutter to think that the soldiers mocking and beating Jesus would accurately represent humanity. Where are our manners?

Lord, regardless of our political views, help us to be respectful of those who lead.

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not from here

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John 18:36-40

John 18:36 “My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If my kingdom were of this world, my officers would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”

John 18:37 “You are a king then?” Pilate asked. “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to give evidence of the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

John 18:38 “What is truth?” said Pilate. After he had said this, he exited to the Jews again and told them, “I find no grounds for charging him.

John 18:39 You have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”

John 18:40 They shouted back, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was an insurrectionist.

not from here

Jesus did not deny being a king. He denied the physical Judea as his kingdom. He said his kingdom was from a different cosmos – a different universe. But the Judeans had him tried and convicted as a rebel king, and chose the insurrectionist Barabbas to be freed instead.

Some think that Jesus made a mistake by letting himself be tried, and that mistake cost him his life. But Jesus knew what he was doing. He had come to testify the truth, and he did that. The choice to trust him or betray him was that of this universe. Mosrt will not, but some will.

Lord, thank you for testifying truth, and opening the door to deliverance.

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confessing Christ on my own

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John 18:33

John 18:33 Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”

John 18:34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own, or have others said this to you about me?”

John 18:35 “I’m not a Jew, am I?” Pilate replied. “Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”

confessing Christ on my own

Jesus’ question is one I should put to myself. Is my confession of Christ coming from me – or merely reflecting what others have taught me about him. Pilate had no interest in confessing Christ as Lord. He just wanted to get out of the unwelcome task of murdering an innocent man. He was not interested in justice. He was not interested in salvation.

What is my interest in Jesus? I confess him as the universe’s savior. He has my allegiance. What the world says about him does not matter.

Thank you, Lord.

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