Three points to meditate upon appeared to me in my reading of John 19 today. I read from the NIV translation but am posting from the New King James Version.
1. Dueling between sets of laws
Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” Roman law
7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” Jewish law
Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” Roman law
11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” Jewish law
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” Roman law
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” Jewish law
Note: The Jewish religious leaders made this to look like it was a rebellion against Rome and therefore punishable by law.
Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was:
JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Roman law
21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”‘” Jewish law
22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” Roman law trumps
Note: Pilate was clear there was no reason under Roman law to execute, however, because the Jews put the King of the Jews on the plate, Pilate made them eat it. In this he was following Jesus’ lead; “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
2. Contrast between the disciples and those who believed that were from the religious leadership.
Disciples: followed from afar,( a distance), during the trial. Denied him (Peter). Left him hanging on the cross and went into hiding.
Believing leadership: stuck with him, (though in secret), requested his body, cared for his body as was Jewish custom, buried and secured his body.
3. The thread of love continues:
Jesus reaching out to heal the ear cut off and asking the sword be put away,
Jesus placing his mother in the care of the disciple.
Jesus not answering the accusations placed against him by the religious leaders.