Jesus Humiliation and Torture - John 19: 1 - 15
Jesus Humiliation and Torture
John 19: 1-15
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
- First, Pilate heard Jesus was from Galilee so he sent Him to Herod to make a judgment
- Second, Pilate tried to play the crowd against the Jewish leaders and offered Jesus vs. Barabbas to be released.
- Third, Pilate had Jesus flogged
- All this maneuvering to avoid executing Jesus. He did not have the courage of His convictions to outright release Him
Purpose: Every Christ follower will at some point identify with the loneliness of rejection by the world and experience God’s understanding love.
Transition: Let’s look quickly at the;
The Public Humiliation of Jesus
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him.
- According to Luke’s Gospel, Pilate’s full intention was to whip / flog Jesus and release Him
- Picture of a Roman whip – Reference the scene from the Passion of the Christ 5:00 minutes long
- Sin had brought thorns and thistles into the world (Gen. 3:17–19), so it was only fitting that the Creator wear a crown of thorns as He bore the sins of the world on the cross. The very metal He had created and placed in the ground was used to make nails to pound through His hands and feet. - Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, pp. 379–380). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands.
- Video – Crown of thorns / purple robe – beating and mockery – 25 seconds
- The grammar here tells us that this was done repeatedly for an unspecified amount of time.
John 19:2 – 3
2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face. (NIV)
- Matthew and Mark say they also spit on him which is probably the most despicable thing to do to a human being as far as showing humiliation
- This was an attempt to break the human spirit.
- The crown of thorns represented the curse of man’s sin – Genesis 3:28
- The forces of hell were having a party right in Pilate’s HQ
Application: How well are we standing up in our culture for Jesus?
Transition: Let’s move now to verses 4 – 7 as we see the utter rejection of Christ
The Utter Rejection of Jesus
4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”
- Jesus appears at Pilate’s side beaten, bloody, and crowned with thorns / purple robe/ Reed for a king’s staff in His hand
- “Behold the Man” – Look at this poor fellow, hasn’t He had enough punishment. Take pity on Him and let me let Him go.
- The thirst for blood by the Jewish leaders and the crowd was beyond stopping over the objection of Pilate who said “I find no guilt in Him.”
6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”
- The Jewish leaders screamed for His crucifixion based on Leviticus 24:15
Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death
- The failure of Pilate’s plan teaches us an important lesson: it takes more than human sentiment to bring the lost sinner to salvation. There is a view of the Atonement called “the moral influence theory” that would fit right into the governor’s approach. It states that the realization of our Lord’s sufferings moves the heart of the sinner so that he turns from sin and begins to love God. It is purely subjective and has no bearing on the holiness of God or the importance of satisfying divine justice.
- If any crowd should have been moved by pity, it was the Jewish crowd that waited on Pilate. What nation has suffered more than the Jews? Here was one of their own, a Jewish prophet, suffering unjustly at the hands of the Romans, and the Jews did not repent or even show any touch of pity! If sinners who actually saw Christ in His suffering did not repent, what hope is there for people twenty centuries later who only read about His agonies?
- The cross involves much more than an exhibition of innocent suffering. On that cross, the Son of God paid the price for the sins of the world and thereby declared the love of God and defended the holiness and justice of God. We are not saved by feeling pity for Jesus. We are saved by repenting of our sins and trusting Jesus, the sinless Substitute
- This does not mean that it is wrong for the believer to contemplate the cross and meditate on Christ’s sufferings. The familiar hymn “When I Survey the Wond’rous Cross” helps us realize afresh the price that Jesus paid for us, but we must not confuse sentimentality with true spiritual emotion. It is one thing to shed tears during a church service and quite something else to sacrifice, suffer, and serve after the meeting has ended. We do not simply contemplate the cross; we carry it. - Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 380). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Application: How do we deal with those who reject our message of Jesus?
Transition: Let’s move to our last point this morning.
The Torment of the Soul over Executing Jesus
- Pilate’s fear of executing an innocent man
John 19:8 – 12a
8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” 12 From then on Pilate sought to release him
- Pilate’s fear of executing an innocent man
- Pilate’s response was one of fear. As a pagan he had heard stories of humanlike gods who visited men and judged them. Perhaps the solemn majesty of Jesus with His claims of truth began to convict his conscience. Jesus’ refusal to answer Pilate’s question, Where do You come from? fulfilled the words of prophecy in Isaiah 53:7.- The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth
- Jesus had already answered Pilate’s question John 18:36 - 37
- The Romans and Greeks had numerous myths about the gods coming to earth as men, so it is likely that Pilate responded to the phrase “Son of God” with these stories in mind. Already the governor had been impressed by the words and demeanor of our Lord; he had never met a prisoner like Him before. Was He indeed a god come to earth? Did He have supernatural powers? No wonder Pilate was starting to be afraid! Also, Pilate’s wife had sent him a strange message that he should have nothing to do with Jesus (Matt. 27:19). Jesus had even come into her dreams! - The Bible exposition commentary
- In verse 10, we see while Pilate thought he held all the cards of authority, Jesus shared with him that he was merely a tool in God’s sovereign plan. It was God who was in charge
- In verse 11;
11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
- Who was the ONE Jesus is referring to in this verse? Was it Judas? Satan? Caiaphas?
- First, we saw the fear of Pilate but now his fear turns to anger and utter frustration. By declaring his power, he is showing his weakness. If Pilate truly had all the power he said he did, then he could have released Jesus because he was declared innocent.
- Pilate’s fear of being viewed as disloyal to Rome
John 19:12b - 15
But the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
- When Pilate heard that phrase “You are not Caesar’s friend.” if you release Jesus, I am sure he bristled at that
- Pilate, probably under conviction, wanted to free Jesus but the Jews now tried a new attack. To let Jesus, go free, they argued, would be disloyalty to Caesar. The title friend of Caesar was an important consideration. Tiberius was on the throne and he was sick, suspicious, and often violent. Pilate had plenty to cover up and he did not want an unfavorable report to go to his boss. If he had to choose between showing his loyalty to Rome or siding with a despised and strange Jew, there was no question in his mind. The dilemma had to be resolved so Pilate made the official decision.
- Verse 12 – Matthew’s Gospel tells us that Pilate washed his hands before the crowd (Matt. 27:24), but this did not cleanse his heart. For you see, in all reality, it was Pilate who was on trial, not Jesus! - The Bible exposition commentary
- Sixth hour – 6 am.is what most scholars think the time reference meant.
- That day was the Passover proper, the day on which Christ died. But it was also the preparation for the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, which followed immediately after the Day of Passover, and which was sometimes called the Passover Week – Bible Knowledge Commentary.
- In verse 15, Pilate says to the crowd and the Jewish leaders; Shall I crucify your King?
- He loved to call Jesus the King of the Jews to goad and put down the Jewish people he governed over.
- He said this with sarcasm as if Rome would not consider killing a rival king that may be a threat to them.
- The leaders replied; ““We have no king but Caesar.”
- The irony in that statement is they were pledging their support and loyalty to Rome while disclaiming the true Messiah, the King of the Jews!!
Psalm 2:2 – 3
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
Application: How do we deal with obeying God’s truth spoken to us?
Key Thought: Enduring the loneliness of rejection draws us nearer to God and surrounds us with His understanding love.
- The loneliness of rejection takes us to a deeper level of commitment to knowing God
- The loneliness of rejection allows us to know on a richer level just how much God loves us.
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him (KJV)
Be like the great George Mueller of Bristol England. On the Lord's Day, February 6, 1870, his wife Mary died of rheumatic fever. They had been married 39 years and 4 months. The Lord gave him the strength to preach at her memorial service. He said,
“I miss her in numberless ways, and shall miss her yet more and more. But as a child of God, and as a servant of the Lord Jesus, I bow, I am satisfied with the will of my Heavenly Father, I seek by perfect submission to His holy will to glorify Him, I kiss continually the hand that has thus afflicted me.” – John Piper
Questions to Ponder this Week
1. How well are we standing up in our culture for Jesus?
2. How do we deal with those who reject our message of Jesus?
3. How do we deal with obeying God’s truth spoken to us?