George Methodist Church
30th March 2018
With Peter Veysie
THIS SERMON WAS NOT RECORDED
Four painful situations. The suffering servant of Isaiah is expressed in detail here by John:
- Judgment and abdication
19 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. 2 The soldiers twisted thorns together to make a crown. They put it on Jesus’ head. Then they put a purple robe on him. 3 They went up to him again and again. They kept saying, “We honor you, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
4 Once more Pilate came out. He said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing Jesus out to you. I want to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Then Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. I myself find no basis for a charge against him.”
7 The Jewish leaders replied, “We have a law. That law says he must die. He claimed to be the Son of God.”
8 When Pilate heard that, he was even more afraid. 9 He went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus. But Jesus did not answer him. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you understand? I have the power to set you free or to nail you to a cross.”
11 Jesus answered, “You were given power from heaven. If you weren’t, you would have no power over me. So the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free. But the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are not Caesar’s friend! Anyone who claims to be a king is against Caesar!”
13 When Pilate heard that, he brought Jesus out. Pilate sat down on the judge’s seat. It was at a place called the Stone Walkway. In the Aramaic language it was called Gabbatha. 14 It was about noon on Preparation Day in Passover Week.
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Should I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
16 Finally, Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be nailed to a cross.
- Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 He had to carry his own cross. He went out to a place called the Skull. In the Aramaic language it was called Golgotha. 18 There they nailed Jesus to the cross. Two other men were crucified with him. One was on each side of him. Jesus was in the middle.
19 Pilate had a notice prepared. It was fastened to the cross. It read,
jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews.
20 Many of the Jews read the sign. That’s because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city. And the sign was written in the Aramaic, Latin and Greek languages. 21 The chief priests of the Jews argued with Pilate. They said, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews.’ Write that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
22 Pilate answered, “I have written what I have written.”
23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes. They divided them into four parts. Each soldier got one part. All that was left was Jesus’ long, inner robe. It did not have any seams. It was made out of one piece of cloth from top to bottom.
24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s cast lots to see who will get it.”
This happened so that Scripture would come true. It says,
“They divided up my clothes among them.
They cast lots for what I was wearing.” (Psalm 22:18)
So that is what the soldiers did.
25 Jesus’ mother stood near his cross. So did his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 Jesus saw his mother there. He also saw the disciple he loved standing nearby. Jesus said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.
- Jesus Death described by John as an eyewitness.
28 Later, Jesus knew that everything had now been finished. He also knew that what Scripture said must come true. So he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there. So they soaked a sponge in it. They put the sponge on the stem of a hyssop plant. Then they lifted it up to Jesus’ lips. 30 After Jesus drank he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and died.
31 It was Preparation Day. The next day would be a special Sabbath day. The Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath day.
If Jesus was crucified on the Day of Preparation, why had He already eaten the Passover meal?
Question: “If Jesus was crucified on the Day of Preparation, why had He already eaten the Passover meal?”
Answer: All four Gospels state that Jesus was crucified on the Day of Preparation (Matthew 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14, 31, 42). Mark, Luke, and John all state that the following day was the Sabbath. John’s account uses this wording: “It was the day of Preparation of the Passover” (John 19:14). The question becomes, since Jesus was killed on the Day of Preparation, why had He already observed the Passover with His disciples (Matthew 26:17–29; Mark 14:12–25; Luke 22:7–22; John 13:1–30)?
First, we should discard the theory that the writers of the New Testament made a mistake. Theorizing that all four of the Gospel writers got the chronology wrong stretches credulity to the breaking point. Are we really to believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all forgot what they had written from one chapter to the next? No, there must be a better explanation for why Jesus ate the Passover before the Day of Preparation.
Next, we need to identify what the Day of Preparation was preparing for. Every week, preparations had to be made for the Sabbath—food had to be prepared ahead of time. This led to the “Day of Preparation” becoming the common term for “Friday.” Although many preparations also had to be made for the Passover, there is no record of “Passover Eve” being called the Day of Preparation. The Day of Preparation was always Friday, the day before the Sabbath. Mark 15:42 makes this clear.
How then do we explain John’s statement that Jesus died on “the day of Preparation of the Passover” (John 19:14)? It’s quite possible that John simply meant that this particular Friday fell during Passover week; we could understand his words this way: “It was the day of Preparation, the one that happened to come during the season of Passover.” So, the Day of Preparation was to prepare for the Sabbath, not the Passover.
The Mosaic Law stipulated what day the Passover lamb was to be eaten: Nissan 14 (Numbers 9:2–3). We must assume that Jesus kept the Law and observed Passover at the appointed time (see Galatians 4:4). After the Passover (Thursday) came the Day of Preparation (Friday) on which Jesus was killed. The Sabbath (Saturday) followed, of course, and then the first day of the week (Sunday)—the third day after the crucifixion and the day on which Jesus rose from the dead.
One objection to the above chronology is based on John 18:28, which says, “The Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.” At first glance, it seems that, whereas Jesus had eaten the Passover the night before, the Jewish leaders had not yet eaten the Passover—they still “wanted to be able to eat” it after Jesus was arrested. To reconcile this verse with the Synoptic narratives, we must remember this: Passover was the first day of the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread.
The Feast (or Festival) of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot) lasted for a full week, from Nissan 15 to Nissan 22. The first day of Unleavened Bread coincided with the day of Passover. Because of the close relation between Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the whole week was sometimes referred to as “Passover.” The two holidays were (and still are) considered a single celebration. This explains John 18:28. The Jewish leaders had already eaten the Passover proper, but there still remained other sacrifices to be made and meals to be eaten. They were unwilling to defile themselves (Pilate’s palace contained leaven) because it would disqualify them from participating in the remainder of the week’s ceremonies (see Leviticus 23:8).
There are other difficulties in pinpointing the exact chronology of Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. But this seems to be a workable solution:
Thursday – Passover proper. The lamb is killed, and Jesus and His disciples eat the Passover meal in the upper room.
Friday – the Day of Preparation. Jesus is tried and executed (although never convicted). The Jews continue their “Passover” celebrations with the chagigah, offerings made during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Saturday – the weekly Sabbath.
Sunday – Resurrection Day.
Recommended Resource: Jesus: The Greatest Life of All by Charles Swindoll
So they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus. Then they broke the legs of the other man. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead. So they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers stuck his spear into Jesus’ side. Right away, blood and water flowed out. 35 The man who saw it has been a witness about it. And what he has said is true. He knows that he tells the truth. He is a witness so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened in order that Scripture would come true. It says, “Not one of his bones will be broken.” (Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalm 34:20) 37 Scripture also says, “They will look to the one they have pierced.” (Zechariah 12:10)
- Jesus Is Buried
38 Later Joseph asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Joseph was from the town of Arimathea. He was a follower of Jesus. But he followed Jesus secretly because he was afraid of the Jewish leaders. After Pilate gave him permission, Joseph came and took the body away. 39 Nicodemus went with Joseph. He was the man who had earlier visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought some mixed spices that weighed about 75 pounds. 40 The two men took Jesus’ body. They wrapped it in strips of linen cloth, along with the spices. That was the way the Jews buried people. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden. A new tomb was there. No one had ever been put in it before. 42 That day was the Jewish Preparation Day, and the tomb was nearby. So they placed Jesus there.