John 19

     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

 

John 19:6-7 

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

NKJV

 

 John 19:10-11

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

NKJV

 

John 19:15 

Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”   Roman law

 

The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”    Jewish law

NKJV

 

Note:  The Jewish religious leaders made this to look like it was a rebellion against Rome and therefore punishable by law.

 

John 19:19

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

NKJV

 

John 19:21-22 

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

NKJV

 

 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.

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Spiritual Warfare: My God is sufficient 2 Corinthians 12:9

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The recent storm stories served to press home the fact that we are in spiritual warfare and none of us is exempt.  We are equipped to wage that war when we stay close to the Lord through prayer and study of his Word.  Just as we keep our relationships with each other alive  by talking to each other and staying in touch, so we keep our relationship with Him alive by staying in touch with Him.  He is able to hold us up, heal our hurts and brokenness when we stay in contact.

For me this was daily, sometimes hourly; stopping to pray, listen to worship music, read from His word during the blackest of the storm, with the pieces of my life, love,world laying around me.    When I called others and they weren’t home, no answers on the phone, I was left with only one, the only one I needed, truly, that was the Lord and He heard.  I learned what it means to give Him my heart, the essence of me.  He rewarded me with healing that is still ongoing, physically, emotionally, spiritually.  The mind is used by the enemy to torment us if we give him a toehold.  The thoughts run round and round.  Prayer makes it stop.  He is sufficient for all my needs.

Hearing from Isaiah

Going to the Word gave an explanation for the dream.  The encouragement received and the dream were more indications of the healing process God makes available to us…

Isa 43:18-19 18

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. NKJV

Do not dwell in our past. God has forgiven and forgotten. What we need to focus on is what he is doing today, the plans he has for us,

Jer 29:11-14 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

My dream revealed the place in Conshohocken [the place I grew up]  totally demolished, leveled, the blocks stacked, survey markers and digging flags placed. There was heavy equipment ready to create a new project. My past was totally obliterated, in its place there was evidence of readiness for something new

Study of John – chapter 18

 

John 18:19-24

 

Jesus Questioned by the High Priest 

19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.  

20 Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.  21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.”  

22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?”  

23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?”  

24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

NKJV

 

Do You answer the high priest like that?”

 

What was the stimulus for this action?  Was it questioning the high priest?  Was there something in the tone of the voice that we are not privy to?  Whatever, Jesus did not back down but continued to answer with the confidence he had as Son of God.  I find no sign of disrespect here.

 

John 18:33-38

Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”  

34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”  

35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”  

36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”  

37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” 

Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”  

38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.

NKJV

 

My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

 

The others, Pilate, soldiers, etc., were speaking from the perspective of the natural world.  They could not understand (What is truth?) because he spoke about a spiritual world.  Nature that is not born again and filled with the Spirit cannot discern the things of the spirit.

 

John 18:38-40

 Pilate said, “What is truth?” 

Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, “I find nothing wrong in this man. 39 It’s your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover. Do you want me to pardon the ‘King of the Jews’?”  

40 They shouted back, “Not this one, but Barabbas!” Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.

(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

 

Not this one, but Barabbas!” Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.

 

Barabbas operated in the natural realm.  His rebellion did not threaten the religious leaders.  Jesus operated in the spiritual realm.  He was perceived as a threat to their leadership in the spiritual realm.  Therefore they wanted Jesus removed, not Barabbas.