We believe people who were there to see it, feeling all the “feels”, while observing what was happening around them. If we can’t be there, we listen to those who were, right? So, believe John. He knew Truth, walked with Truth, lived Truth and told Truth…so that we will believe.
Take note of John’s observations of others:
The soldiers, “thinking only of themselves” and what they could get out of the situation, gambling for the coat of Jesus.
In contrast, Jesus, nailed to a cross, is still thinking of others. He looks down to see his earthy mother weeping uncontrollably then looks to John to accept her as his own mother so she is cared for when he goes back to His Father.
Every detail of the mocking, beatings and crucifixion, foretold in Scripture by the prophets and by Jesus, were completely fulfilled. Truth verifies Truth.
We talked yesterday of Pilate being “caught in the middle” between the shouting Jews and Jesus who was Truth. Now Truth is crucified in the middle of two thieves.
Jesus declared the mission complete with “It is finished.” Only Jesus, for He was in control at all times. He laid down his life for ours willingly. He thought of you and I as the nails pierced his hands and feet. He took the punishment for our sins. He could have stopped the madness and called down legions of angels—but Jesus did not.
Think about it, friends, probably the greatest pain of all was the turning of God from His Son. Why? Because sin and God cannot be in the same place at the same time. All the sins of the world were placed upon Jesus, the Lamb of God. His Father turned his face from Him until the deed was done. Punishment for our sin complete. Paid in full by the Son of God.
After three days, that same great, divine power that held Jesus to the cross bursts forth in the tomb to bring Jesus back to life forevermore! Jesus defeated death for all who believe this eyewitness account of Truth!
Because Jesus suffered, died and rose again, we can now approach God with boldness, grateful praise and honest humility. We can now talk to God about anything because of the One in the middle who saved our souls! Wow.
Believe and be saved.
John 19:20-42, The Message
They took Jesus away. Carrying his cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill (the name in Hebrew is Golgotha), where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a sign and had it placed on the cross. It read:
JESUS THE NAZARENE
THE KING OF THE JEWS
20-21 Many of the Jews read the sign because the place where Jesus was crucified was right next to the city. It was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The Jewish high priests objected. “Don’t write,” they said to Pilate, “‘The King of the Jews.’ Make it, ‘This man said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’”
22 Pilate said, “What I’ve written, I’ve written.”
23-24 When they crucified him, the Roman soldiers took his clothes and divided them up four ways, to each soldier a fourth. But his robe was seamless, a single piece of weaving, so they said to each other, “Let’s not tear it up. Let’s throw dice to see who gets it.” This confirmed the Scripture that said, “They divided up my clothes among them and threw dice for my coat.” (The soldiers validated the Scriptures!)
24-27 While the soldiers were looking after themselves, Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her. He said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother.
28 Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, “I’m thirsty.”
29-30 A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, “It’s done . . . complete.” Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit.
31-34 Then the Jews, since it was the day of Sabbath preparation, and so the bodies wouldn’t stay on the crosses over the Sabbath (it was a high holy day that year), petitioned Pilate that their legs be broken to speed death, and the bodies taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man crucified with Jesus, and then the other. When they got to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. One of the soldiers stabbed him in the side with his spear. Blood and water gushed out.
35 The eyewitness to these things has presented an accurate report. He saw it himself and is telling the truth so that you, also, will believe.
36-37 These things that happened confirmed the Scripture, “Not a bone in his body was broken,” and the other Scripture that reads, “They will stare at the one they pierced.”
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38 After all this, Joseph of Arimathea (he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he was intimidated by the Jews) petitioned Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission. So Joseph came and took the body.
39-42 Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus at night, came now in broad daylight carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. They took Jesus’ body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices. There was a garden near the place he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed. So, because it was Sabbath preparation for the Jews and the tomb was convenient, they placed Jesus in it.
There are not enough words to say how grateful I am for what you did for all who believe. I am so glad that you so loved that you sent Jesus, dear Father. Amazing love, mercy and grace set us free to love like you. Help us to love like you today in all we think, say and do.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen. I believe.