MAY 3 READINGS…JOHN 19
Pilate had Jesus scourged, literally beaten so badly that you could see His bones and organs. The Romans mocked “king Jesus”. For the Jewish religious leaders this horrible beating was not enough…they wanted Jesus dead, they wanted Him crucified. Those who hate God can never get enough to satisfy their bloodlust. In their hatred they pushed their religious law on Pilot, this brought great fear into Pilot. So much so that he turns to Jesus and asks Him where He was from…it is more than likely Pilot had never seen such hatred for one person from these Jewish leaders. He knew of their hatred for him and the Romans, but he had never seen anything like this. Pilot claimed power over this situation, but it was Jesus who told him that he actually had no power, except that which God allowed him to have. The Jewish leaders were willing to take the responsibility for Jesus’ death upon themselves and upon the Jewish people.
Finally, the Roman soldiers took Jesus to the place of the skull, Golgotha…and there they crucified Him. The Romans had a practice of putting the crime for which a person was crucified on a piece of wood and hanging that above the head of the one crucified. Pilot had them write in on the sign over Jesus, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”. Of course, this incensed the Jewish leaders, but Pilot did not give into them and left the sign. Upon the cross we see the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophets who spoke of this day…even to the dividing of Jesus’ garments. Just before Jesus’ death He declares the eternal truth that all was accomplished, “It is finished”, means that our sin has been paid for, in full. There is nothing else that had to happen…it’s done! The Romans made sure that Jesus was dead by taking a spear and piercing the Lord’s heart. Joseph of Arimathea steps forward and takes the body of Jesus, this was a huge thing for an orthodox Jews to do…touching a dead body. He takes Jesus’ body and places it in his own tomb…but we know His body would not be there long!
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READING…JOHN 20