Day 19 – Nick
Summary of Chapter 19
Verses 1-16: The first 8 words of this chapter take one second to read. Scenes from Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ come to mind as we can only imagine what this ‘flogging’ looked like. Isaiah (52:14) gives us a better idea, approximately 760 years before, who details the Lamb for us,
But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human and, from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.
Though deluded about the power that he thought he had, Pilate is in the hand of a Sovereign God who is playing a key part in the fulfilment of all Scripture (verse 11).
You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above…
It’s difficult and painful to imagine Jesus being butchered but it’s good for our soul as it’s meditation that takes us back to the cross and the awe, worship and wonder that we can so easily forget. But also *remember* that He is now ‘the Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the centre of the throne…’ (Rev. 5:6). He lives; He reigns!
The demonically charged crowd longing for Barabbas at the end of chapter 18 continue to escalate their cries for Christ to be crucified. Barabbas instead of Jesus? This is a laughable example of the way that Satan can deceive us to think that sin is somehow preferable to holiness, or that the world is better than Christ.
Verses 17-27: The Christ carrying the cross. Our mind jolts back to Genesis 22:6 and Abraham laying the wood on Isaac’s back. Again, imagination is vital here. Jesus has already been flogged and the horrors of what that meant included physical exhaustion and a physiological state of shock. Yet he was expected to carry His cross to Golgotha – surely Jesus was a strong man of body and heart.
Earlier (18:14) Caiaphas was used to prophetically declare that it would be ‘good if one man died for the people.’ Here in chapter 19 Pilate is used sovereignly by God in a similarly prophetic way when we writes the inescapable truth on a notice fastened to the cross,
JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS
Despite the Pharisee’s outrage at this, imagine how many people, in the city that Golgotha was close to (see verse 20), would have seen the notice and, perhaps, been convicted and saved! This is especially realistic when you consider the convulsing natural signs on Earth that occurred when Jesus died. (See Matthew 7:54).
With his dying breath, Jesus’ priority was macro and micro. Macro in that He was literally saving the entire human race; micro in that He was ensuring the welfare of His Mother (verses 26-27). Isn’t this a beautiful picture of Exodus 20:12 contrasted horribly by the Proverb that encapsulated the Jewish Nation’s attitude toward God,
The eye that mocks a father, that scorns an aged mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.
Verses 28-37: And so the moment of the Lamb’s death has arrived. What a beautiful Saviour – we will be in awe of this beauty forever. I suspect that Isaiah’s writings were coursing through His mind as the remnants of Jesus’ life, like His garments below, were being handed over to another. Isaiah 55 springs to mind when Jesus says, ‘I am thirsty’; perhaps this is what Jesus was meditating on as He gave up His Spirit. The word is Paradidomi and you can read a related post here.
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Verses 38-42: Nicodemus from chapter 3, and Joseph of Arimathea, were the two people chosen before the foundation of the earth was laid to handle the crucified, butchered body of the Lamb as He lay lifeless in Golgotha’s mud and dirt – what a calling, what favour and unimaginable grace! This is grace! For Nicodemus, formerly shrouded in unbelief and fear, to be the one to bring an expensive 35kg mixture of aloe and myrrh and to wrap Jesus body…my mind boggles, my knees buckle.
Key thought from Chapter 19
- In verse 13, when Pilate brought Jesus out at Gabbatha, I read and I’m in awe again today of the Sovereign and intricately perfect timing of God:
As we’re imagining Jesus being brought out by Pilate, who then sits down on his judgment seat, the text tells us that, ‘It was the day of Preparation of the Passover…’. Think! As painful and horrendous as all of this is, we can be in no doubt at all that this was all happening in the perfect timing of God. As the Jewish festival was being prepared in Jewish culture and in Jewish kitchens, the literal Passover Lamb was being prepared by The Great High Priest before the entire cosmos. *God was the One in perfect control, not Caiaphas, Pilate or the Pharisees. And He is, to no less degree, in perfect control of our lives today*
Prayers from Chapter 19
Thank you Father God for so loving the world that You would give Your one and only Son, Jesus, to become sin for us that we might go free and sit at Your table as perfect sons and daughters. Thank you for healing our lameness and giving us Yourself. Words fail us but we simply say we love and worship You. Amen.