NLT Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition - Flipbook - Page 69
J ohn 1 9
would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom
is not of this world.”
37Pilate said, “So you are a king?”
Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world
to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”
1 Jn 4:6
Pilate Hands Jesus Over to Be Crucified
(232/Matthew 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:13-25)
38“What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He
is not guilty of any crime. 39But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner
each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’?”
40But they shouted back, “No! Not this man. We want Barabbas!” (Barabbas was a
Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. 2The soldiers wove a crown
of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. 3“Hail! King
of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.
4Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you
now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 5Then Jesus came out wearing
the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!”
6When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify
him! Crucify him!”
“Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”
7The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself
the Son of God.”
8When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. 9He took J
esus back into the
headquarters* again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer.
10“Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power
to release you or crucify you?”
11Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you
from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”
Isa 50:6; 53:5
19:9 Greek the Praetorium.
sentence him to death. It is a tragedy when we fail to recognize the truth.
It is a greater tragedy when we recognize the truth but fail to act on it.
18:38 Pilate was cynical; he thought that all truth was relative. To many
government officials, truth was whatever the majority of people agreed
with or whatever helped advance personal power or political goals. We
see the same thing today. If we refuse to accept any standard of truth, we
have no basis for claiming something to be morally right or wrong. Many
people today have rejected the idea of objective truth, so every truth claim
is revamped or criticized as a narrative, spin, or agenda. Justice becomes
defined as whatever works or whatever helps those in power. In Jesus
and his Word, we have a standard for truth and for our moral behavior.
Perhaps Pilate should have asked, “Who is truth?”
18:40 Barabbas was a rebel against Rome, and although he had committed murder, he was probably a hero among the Jews. The Jews hated
being governed by Rome and paying taxes to the despised government.
Barabbas, who had led a rebellion and failed, was released instead of
Jesus, the only one who could truly help Israel. (For more on Barabbas,
see the notes on Luke 23:18-19.)
19:1-42 To grasp the full picture of Jesus’ crucifixion, read John’s perspective along with the other three accounts in Matthew 27, Mark 15, and
Luke 23. Each writer adds meaningful details, but each has the same
message—Jesus died on the cross, in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, so that we could be saved from our sins and be given eternal life.
19:1-3 Flogging could have killed Jesus. The usual procedure was to
bare the upper half of the victim’s body and tie their hands to a pillar
before whipping them with a three-pronged whip that had pieces of
lead in the prongs. The number of lashes was determined by the severity
of the crime; up to 40 were permitted under Jewish law (Deuteronomy
25:3). After being flogged, Jesus also endured other agonies recorded
here and in the other Gospels.
19:2-5 The soldiers went beyond their orders to whip Jesus—they also
mocked his claim to royalty by placing a crown on his head and a royal
robe on his shoulders.
19:7 The truth finally came o
ut—the religious leaders had brought Jesus
to Pilate not because he was causing rebellion against Rome but because
they thought he had broken their religious laws. Blasphemy, one of the
most serious crimes in Jewish law, deserved the death penalty. Accusing
Jesus of blasphemy would give credibility to their case in the eyes of Jews;
accusing Jesus of treason would give credibility to their case in the eyes
of the Romans. They didn’t care which accusation Pilate listened to, as
long as he would cooperate with them in killing Jesus.
19:10 Throughout the trial we see that Jesus was in control, not Pilate
or the religious leaders. Pilate vacillated, the Jewish leaders reacted out
of hatred and anger, but Jesus remained composed. He knew the truth,
he knew God’s plan, and he knew the reason for his trial. Despite the
pressure and persecution, Jesus remained unmoved. In reality, Pilate and
the religious leaders were on trial, not Jesus. When you are questioned
or ridiculed because of your faith, remember that while you may be on
trial before your accusers, they are on trial before God.
19:11 When Jesus said the man who delivered him to Pilate was guiltier
than Pilate, he was not excusing Pilate for his reaction to the political pressure placed on him. Pilate was responsible for his decision about Jesus.
But Caiaphas and the other religious leaders were guilty of a greater sin
because they had premeditated Jesus’ murder.
19:12-13 This veiled threat by the Jewish leaders pressured Pilate into
allowing Jesus to be crucified. As Roman governor of the area, Pilate was
expected to keep the peace. Because Rome could not afford to keep large
numbers of troops in the outlying regions, they maintained control by
crushing rebellions immediately with brute force. Pilate was afraid that
reports to Caesar of insurrection in his region would cost him his job and