By Dr. Jim McCullen
Our King: Condemned! • John 18:33,19:11 • Feb. 2
Introduction: How often have you seen someone who denied Jesus later become a Christian and change his or her attitude completely? It is not happening enough, but it does happen. And it makes a significant contribution to the Christian community. Some people today, like those in our text, condemn our King, but Jesus is the ultimate authority.
1. Our King Condemned; Unlike Any Worldly King. John 18:33-38a
The Jewish leaders could not explain Jesus. One reason stems from their being more influenced by their traditions than from a proper reading and interpretation of Scripture. So they drummed up a perverted, so-called truth and took it to Pilate. It appears he wanted to be thoughtful, perhaps because of his wife’s request, so he asked Jesus if he were a king. Jesus gave a positive testimony that confounded Pilate. He wanted to wash his hands of this matter, as recorded in Matthew, and he told the people he found no fault in Jesus.
2. Our King Condemned; Rejected As King by Some. John 18:38b-40
Pilate thought perhaps he could appease the people and put up two prisoners for release. I think he felt the people would surely release Jesus. Pilate was looking for a way to get himself off the hook, but the people shocked Pilate by choosing Barabbas. Pilate used this custom of the Jews as a political plow to refrain from making a decision. The people made a sinfully wrong choice. It is sad that today many people also make wrong choices about Jesus.
3. Our King Condemned; Mistreated As King by Others. John 19:1-3
It is my opinion that Pilate was doing everything he could to get away from actually making a decision about ordering the crucifixion of Jesus. I also think he ordered the flogging of Jesus to try and appease the people. He thought that might be enough for the crowd. But no doubt they were incited to request the release of Barabbas. The solders made havoc of the setting and proceeded to flog him and made fun of the situation. Bowing to Him and saying, “Hail king,” etc. I certainly hope those men realized at a later date what they had done, repented and acknowledged Jesus as Lord.
4. Our King and His Divine Authority. John 19:9-11
Jesus did not defend Himself to the governor. Sometimes when you know you are absolutely right you don’t have to defend yourself, because you know God will take care of your defense. Some people think they have authority because they do not give recognition to God as the ultimate authority. Pilate only knew about his limited authority. Jesus of course recognized God’s authority. He knew God had allowed Pilate to be in the place of power and that it was simply a place of limited earthly power. Jesus endured all of this ultimately to get to the place of His sacrificial death where the lesson title, Our King: Condemned!, is fulfilled. Amen? Amen! For a more detailed outline, click here.
Our Savior: Crucified • John 19:23-30, 38-42 • Feb. 9
Introduction: Humanly speaking, in the immediate context of the cross, there is little to be pleased about in Christ suffering. Not so, from God’s perspective. When Jesus is very near death, He says, “It is finished,” and we can be very pleased with those words.
1. Crucified and We Can … Analyze the Scripture’s Fulfillment. 19:23-24
It is very interesting that John reports many details that happened while Jesus was on trial and when He was actually crucified. It is further significant that Jesus said He came to fulfill the Scriptures. The solders did not know how they were fulfilling them, but they unconsciously were doing it: For example, they did not divide His tunic, and they gambled for it, not intending to fulfill Scripture but to save a nice garment. I am impressed when things like this happen and demonstrate how even small details are completed.
2. Crucified and We Can … Appreciate the Savior’s Tender Care. 19:25-27
We do not worship Mary, but we should respect her as a lovely and dedicated woman. Christ made sure she was taken care of not only during His life on earth, but He is also very thoughtful as He prepares her for His death and ascension. I find it very interesting that the baby Jesus was identified as the Lord and Savior even before His birth. Mary knew who Jesus was, and God the Father made sure His Son protected and provided for her. John the beloved received the responsibility and evidently took the task seriously.
3. Crucified and We Can … Affirm the Savior’s Finished Work. 19:28-30
The Lord earlier refused the drink offered to him. It had a deadening effect on the pain of the cross. Jesus refused that drink. But now He receives the drink to quench His thirst, not to deaden pain. Many times we fail to remember Jesus was both human and divine. This thirst relates to a human need. The words, “It is finished,”
when analyzed properly, are very significant. The emphasis on “it” being finished refers to the plan of salvation. Christ completed the work He came to earth to do and that is the sacrifice of Calvary.
4. Crucified and We Can … Applaud the Devotion to the Savior. 19:38-42
If we had been present at the cross we could have easily wondered, where will Jesus be buried? Will it be a nice burial tomb? Joseph was not that well known as a disciple, so the text calls him a “secret disciple.” Is that possible? Yes! However you can only keep quiet until you can’t be still. A true believer has to stand up and be counted for the cause and need of Christ. Joseph knew he had a tomb worthy of being a place for Christ’s burial, and I believe it delighted him to go to Pilate and ask for the right to take Jesus and bury Him. It is interesting that Nicodemus also takes a public stand to be identified with Christ and the act of Our Savior: Crucified. Amen? Amen! For a more detailed outline, click here.