GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE, John 19, Tom Bradwell, Assistant Pastor, Rob Harlan, Teaching Team

Good Friday

John 19:16b-30

So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” 23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic.[d] But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. 28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

  1. V17-18 “17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.”
    1. Jesus was taken to a place of death, with those deserving of death.
    2. The exact location of this place is now not known, but we know it was outside the city, and with in the context of the Old Testament law this would have been associated with being unclean.  Levitical law dictated that if someone were ceremonially unclean in certain ways, for instance leprosy, they were sent to live outside camp for the duration of their uncleanness. 
    3. Lev 16:21, gives a stark prophecy in action – it commands that on the day of atonement the sins of the people were transferred to what they called the scape goat, which was sent outside the camp.  
    4. Heb 13:12 “12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.”
  1. V19-22 “19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
    1. The detail of the inscription above Jesus is mentioned by all the Gospels, but none give this detail about the contention this caused between Pilot and the Jews, except John.  
    2. You can see the extreme nature of the hatred and insecurity of the Jewish leaders when they want to make it clarified that HE SAID – obviously the fact that this was a crucifixion would be symbolic enough that this was a charge of a crime than a statement of fact, but ironically, it WAS the fact.  It would become a sign to the world.
  1. V23-24 “23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic.[d] But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things,”
    1. The degree to which these words fulfill prophecy is chilling in is accuracy.  Jesus is crucified in a way that was particular to this world empire – the Empire of Rome.  The excruciating nature of hanging by one’s pierced limbs would have caused such strain on the joints and the heart over time the hours before death that it could separate the shoulder – in fact this actually happened to one of the shoulders of the man who played Jesus in the Passion – excruciating.  
    2. Psalm 22:16-18 “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet[b]— 17 I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
  1. V25-27 “25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
    1. This detail is only included by John.  Jesus, far from being self-obsessed, is providing for His mother in the midst of unimaginable pain and suffering.  He is enduring not just the shame and torture of a roman crucifixion, but the wrath of God for the sins of the world.  In this, Jesus thinks of his mother.  
    2. Luke records similar feelings of compassion in Luke 23:28-31, when Jesus was walking past the lamenting women, he says the following: “28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 
  1. V28-30 “28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
    1. Darkness. All of the other Gospels record that from 12 noon until 3:00 darkness had fallen- as if nature itself was bowing its head.  It was as if the sun itself refused to shine as its maker gasped for breath and slowly succumbed to death. 
    2. Jesus Cries Out. Matthew and Mark record that at 3:00 cries, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Again, pointing us to Psalm 22 – this time the first verse where the Psalmist also cries, “My God, My God, what have you forsaken me?” It is at this point that God is finally laying upon Christ every sin, every wicked act, upon the perfect lamb of God as He stands in place of the World in this final act of atonement.  
    3. The Vail Torn. Matthew and Mark record that as this was happening, the curtain in the temple that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies where the ark of the covenant was, was torn from top to bottom. Matthew records a great earthquake that rent the very rocks.  
    4. Complete. That brings us to what John records – that there was a point in this crucifixion that Jesus knew that what He had come to do in the atoning work on the cross, was complete. 
    5. Previously he had refused the wine mixed with myrrh, but that was refused because myrrh could act as a pain killer.  Now he is asking, not for the painkiller but a drink because His suffering has accomplished what is was meant to and he only had left but to die. His last request is itself a fulfillment of prophecy – how so? 
    6. We know from the establishment of the Lord’s supper that wine can symbolize blood and for it to have been sour would conger the bitterness of drinking the cup of God’s judgment for our sins.  
    7. The rod was hyssop, which was used on Passover on the door posts and cross beam to cause the angel of death to Passover their houses as they ate the Passover lamb.  It was also what was used to purify all the old testament implements of worship – by this act, He purifies the churches worship just as the high priest would have in the Old Testament, but unlike the sprinkling of a symbolic lambs blood, our high priest sprinkles us, with his own.  
    8. As He dies, Matthew and Mark records that he cried out in a loud voice – it is Luke that records what He cries – it is a final prayer from Psalm 31:5 “Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit.” 
    9. But it is amazing because we know that John was close enough to the cross to hear what Jesus might have said quietly and he is the only one that records that Jesus said, “It is finished.”  FINISHED! All of the sin, all of the impossible expectations, all of the impossible to follow laws, all of the ancient prophecies of this point, all of the striving without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and all of the penalty for all of our sins – all of that is finished!  
    10. When it says here that he “gave up His Spirit” this is the word paradidomi – meaning to yield up and it is in the active voice.  Christ was not hanging on to His life, but He willingly gave His life when He had completed the work that He had been sent by the Father to accomplish – that is, that He bought with His own blood His bride, which is the church.