Sermon #123 — John’s Gospel

 

Title:                           The Crucifixion of Our Lord

 

Text:                            John 19:13-37

Subject:                     Christ the Man Ordained and Accepted

Tape:                          John #123

Reading:       Psalm 22:1-31

Introduction:

 

My subject is The Crucifixion of Our Lord. My text is John 19:13-37. Before we read again the story of the crucifixion, pause for just a moment. Ask God the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts by that which we are about to read. —— O Spirit of God, don’t allow me to think, read about, or hear about the crucifixion, sufferings, and death of my Lord (even for a moment) without my heart being moved and broken for Him Who loved me and gave Himself for me! —— We will begin our reading at John 19:13.

 

(John 19:13-37) “When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15 But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”

 

“16 ¶ Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led [him] away. 17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called [the place] of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: 18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.”

 

“19 ¶ And Pilate wrote a title, and put [it] on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, [and] Greek, [and] Latin. 21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. 22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. 23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also [his] coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the [wife] of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home]. 28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put [it] upon hyssop, and put [it] to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

 

“31 ¶ The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and [that] they might be taken away. 32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw [it] bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.”

 

How great the love of Christ must be! He voluntarily endured all the agonies of Calvary, all the agonies of death as the cursed one of God upon the cursed tree, for the salvation of poor sinners like you and me! What a horrid, evil thing sin must be! It could not be atoned for, it could not be forgiven, it could not be removed and washed away, not even by God Himself, without the sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus Christ as our Substitute.

 

This part of John’s Gospel gives us information about our Savior’s crucifixion and death at Calvary that is not revealed by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. We are not told why one of the other Gospel writers was inspired to include certain things others were inspired to omit; and we do not need to know why. We are content to know that, both in what they recorded and in what they omitted, all four wrote by inspiration of God.

 

These verses describe the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ when He was made sin for us and hanged upon the cursed tree. John’s brief record of our Lord’s crucifixion is not to be read casually, but with great thoughtfulness and adoration. This is an inspired record of the most amazing thing in history. It is amazing and marvelous in our eyes when we remember...

Š      Who Suffered These Things — The Lord Jesus Christ, The Son of God, The Lamb of God, The Only Truly Holy and Good Man Ever to Live in this World — The Incarnate God!

Š      For Whom He Suffered (Romans 5:6-8) "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Š      Why He Suffered The cause of His great sorrow and agony of body, soul, and spirit was the fact that the Son of God suffered for sin, as the sin-bearer. — “Christ died for our sins!”

 

THE SORROW IN GETHSEMANEWe have seen our Savior’s sorrow in Gethsemane, when He prayed three times, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Such was the shock of His holy soul at the thought and prospect of being made sin that our Redeemer broke out into a sweat of blood. Luke describes it in these words…

 

(Luke 22:44) "Being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

 

THE SCOURGING OF GABBATHAWe have seen the scourging of Gabbatha, too. Our Lord was condemned in a mockery of justice at Pilate’s judgment hall, called Gabbatha. There He was delivered into the hands of cruel, barbaric Roman soldiers to be scourged. They took Him into the common judgment hall, where they gathered an entire band of soldiers, between five and twelve hundred of them, to scourge our Savior.

 

They stripped Him. They mercilessly whipped Him with a Roman scourge. They mocked Him.

  • The Scarlet Robe!
  • The Crown of Thorns!
  • The Reed Scepter!
  • The Spitting!
  • The Beating!

 

“Then they led Him away to crucify Him!” —      After our Lord was paraded through the streets of Jerusalem as a common criminal, we behold…

 

THE SLAUGHTER AT GOLGOTHA. — And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called [the place] of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha” (v. 17).

 

Proposition: Hanging upon the cursed tree on Golgotha’s hill, the Lord of Glory suffered and died in the place of poor, ruined sinners, that sinners like you and me might live forever with God.

 

“Golgotha” means “place of a skull.” This was just another name for Calvary. It was called Golgotha because in this place of slaughter, people who were stoned to death or crucified were simply covered over with a little dirt. Consequently, in a matter of time skulls and bones were everywhere. But the place of execution is insignificant. The only matters of importance are…

  • Who is this Sufferer?
  • Why was He made to suffer this horrid, cursed death?
  • For whom did He suffer and die?
  • What did He accomplish by His death?

 

If you could find the actual spot where Christ died and the actual cross on which He was crucified it would be of no benefit to your soul. You will never find redemption, salvation, and the forgiveness of sin in “holy place” and religious relics (2 Kings 18:1-4).

 

(2 Kings 18:1-4) “Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, [that] Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also [was] Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. 3 And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.”

 

Divisions: I will call your attention to just five things in this message.

1.    Our dear Savior bore His own cross to the place of execution.

2.    Our Lord Jesus Christ was executed as a King.

3.    In the crucifixion of our Lord we are given many great and marvelous displays of God’s absolute sovereignty.

4.    Our blessed Savior really suffered and died as our sin-atoning Substitute.

5.    Our dear Savior, by His sin-atoning sacrifice and death at Calvary, finished the work of redemption.

 

Bearing His Cross

 

The first thing to which I would call your attention is the fact that our blessed Savior went forth from the judgment hall to Golgotha bearing His cross (vv. 16-17).

 

(John 19:16-17) “Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led [him] away. 17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called [the place] of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha.”

 

One portion of the punishment imposed on the vilest criminals, was that they were required to carry their own cross when they went to execution. Thus, our Lord Jesus went forth from the judgment hall “bearing His cross,” because He was, in the fullest sense, made sin for us, numbered with the transgressors, reckoned a sinner, and counted a curse for our sakes!

 

For another thing, this was a fulfillment of the great type of the sin-offering of the Mosaic law. It is written, that — “the bullock [for] the sin offering, and the goat [for] the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy [place], shall [one] carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung” (Leviticus 16:27).

 

Little did the blinded Jews imagine, when they madly hounded on the Romans to crucify the Lord Jesus outside the gates, that they were unconsciously perfecting the mightiest sin-offering that was ever seen. — It is written, “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate” (Hebrews 13:12).

 

Like our Master, let us be content to go forth "outside the camp," bearing His reproach. Multitudes wear crosses around their necks, as lapel pins, tie tacks, or earrings. Multitudes put crosses on graves, erect crosses on hillsides, and put crosses on stickers. Churches everywhere have crosses on their buildings and in them. All that is easy and cheap and meaningless! Believers bear the cross! Like our Master, we must be willing to take up our cross daily and follow Him.

  • If we are persecuted for our doctrine, so be it.
  • If we are derided for our simplicity of worship, so be it.
  • If we are mocked for our Lord’s ordinances, so be it.
  • If we are counted the filth and off-scouring of the earth for our dogmatism and separation from the world, so be it!

 

(2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 7:1 ¶ Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

 

Crucified King

 

Second, the Holy Spirit tells us that our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified as a King, as “the King of the Jews” (vv. 13-14, 19-22).

 

(John 19:13-14) “When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!”

 

(John 19:19-22) “And Pilate wrote a title, and put [it] on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, [and] Greek, [and] Latin. 21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. 22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.”

 

He who hung on the central cross of the three on Golgotha, had a royal title over His head: — JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. Because God ordered it, Pilate wrote out the inscription and stood by it. The inscription was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin that it might be read by all Jews, Greeks, and Romans, because our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Savior of men of every nation and the King of all (Philippians 2:9-11).

 

(Philippians 2:9-11) “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; 11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 

Even before our Savior was born, the angel Gabriel declared to His mother, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). — Almost as soon as He was born, wise men came from the East, saying, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" (Matthew 2:2). — The very week before His crucifixion, the multitude who accompanied our Lord at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, had cried, “Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed [is] the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13).

  • He was born the King.
  • He lived as the King.
  • He died as the King.
  • He arose as the King.
  • He reigns as the King.
  • And He is coming again as the King.

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is not your Savior if He does not reign in your heart as your Lord and King (Luke 14:26-33).

 

(Luke 14:26-33) “If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish [it], all that behold [it] begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

 

Divine Sovereignty

 

Third, in the crucifixion of our Lord we see numerous displays of God’s absolute sovereignty. Every description of our Savior’s death upon the cursed tree given in Holy Scripture is replete with these displays of God’s total, absolute sovereignty in the whole affair. The four Gospel narratives (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are filled with them. Let me remind you.

 

In this scene of slaughter at Golgotha the Holy Spirit shows us a tremendous display of God’s glorious sovereignty in three things.

 

1stThee two thieves who were crucified with our Lord give us a display of God’s sovereign, distinguishing grace in salvation.

 

(John 19:18) “Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.”

 

You do not need me to remind you that one of these thieves was plucked as a firebrand from the burning out of the very jaws of hell by God’s sovereign grace, while the other was left to suffer the just consequences of his sin. Let it never be forgotten by us that if we are saved, we are saved because God did it. The only distinction between you and me and the damned in hell is the distinction that grace has made.

  • 1 Corinthians 4:7
  • 1 Corinthians 15:10
  • Romans 9:16

 

2ndThe fulfillment of Scripture by men who had no regard for the scriptures is another great display of God’s sovereignty (vv. 23-24).

 

(John 19:23-24) “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also [his] coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. {woven: or, wrought} 24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.”

These soldiers had no more regard for the Scriptures than hogs have for diamonds. Yet they did exactly what God ordained that they would do and said that they would do (Acts 4:27-28; 13:27-29). Thus the Lord God makes even His Son’s murderers to be His witnesses!

 

(John 19:28-30) “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put [it] upon hyssop, and put [it] to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

 

This mixture of vinegar (flat wine that had gone sour and bitter) mixed with gall was thought to be a mixture that would prolong one’s life. It was given by the soldiers because they must, according to God’s decree, fulfill the prophecy of Psalm 69:21. — "They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

 

John Gill wrote, “This potion of vinegar with gall, was an aggravating circumstance in our Lord's sufferings, being given to Him when He had a violent thirst upon Him; and was an emblem of the bitter cup of God's wrath, He had already tasted of in the garden, and was about to drink up”

 

Matthew tells us that “when He had tasted thereof, he would not drink." Our Lord refused to drink of this mixture because He was determined to suffer the wrath of God for us without any distraction or intoxication of mind. And He refused to drink of it because He would make all to know that He would do nothing to prolong His life, but was willing to die now that His hour, the fullness of time, had come.

 

Again, we are reminded that the Lord God Almighty was in total control of the affairs on this day of infamy by the fact that these barbaric soldiers did nothing except what God had long before said they would do. This parting of our Lord’s garments was a fulfillment of Psalm 22:18. — "They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture."

 

Look at John 19:31-37 again.

 

(John 19:31-37) “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and [that] they might be taken away. 32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw [it] bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.”

 

3rd There is another great display of God’s sovereignty in the fact that He caused unbelieving, reprobate men to declare His truth, to declare the very essence of the Gospel, though they never knew it themselves. I do not know, but it may be that it was the testimony of spineless Pilate, the testimony of the wicked, taunting, jeering Jews, and the testimony of the mocking chief priests, scribes, and elders that became the instruments by which God taught that elect thief the Gospel and brought him to faith in Christ.

 

Have you ever thought about the testimony that he heard that day? Pilate declared, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” The priests, scribes, elders, and people, danced in a drunken, hellish party around Immanuel’s cross, and in their blasphemy spoke the truth of God as distinctly as inspired apostles.

Š      Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days.” Though they knew it not, those religious ritualists proclaimed the fact of our Lord’s death and resurrection. — He destroyed the temple of His body in death. —  He raised it up again in three days!

Š      He saved others; himself he cannot save.” — That is the very essence of the Gospel! The Son of God died as our Substitute. Because He saved us He had to sacrifice Himself!

Š      He trusted in God. — Our Lord Jesus Christ, as a man, lived by faith, in all things trusting God His Father. Thus He taught us how to honor, obey, and live for God in this world — BY FAITH!

Š      He said, I am the Son of God.” — Our modern infidels choose to ignore it, but those people heard His doctrine plainly. Jesus Christ of Nazareth openly, publicly declared Himself to be the Son of God. And that is who He is! He is God and man in one glorious Person — THE GODMAN! — The Godman in Mary’s Womb! — The Godman in Obedience for Us! — The Godman Dying upon the Tree! — The Godman Exalted to Save!

 

Real

 

Fourth, I remind you again that the sufferings and death of the Lord Jesus Christ upon Golgotha’s brow were real. Our Lord Jesus endured all the hell of God’s wrath for us when He bore our sins in His own body on the cross. He suffered all the wrath of God that we deserved in His body, in His soul, and in His spirit. The listing of His agonies is torturous to read. What must it have been to experience! The most savage barbarians in history have not been able to equal the tortures heaped upon the Son of God by the Jews and the Romans who crucified Him.

 

J. C. Ryle rightly observed, “Never let it be forgotten that He had a real human body, a body exactly like our own, just as sensitive, just as vulnerable, just as capable of feeling intense pain.”

 

Crucifixion was the most indescribably horrid form of execution ever forced upon a human being. The person crucified was stretched out on his back on a piece of timber. His hands were stretched out on the cross piece, and nailed through the wrists to the wood with huge spikes. His feet were crossed one on top of the other and nailed together with a huge mallet driving the spike through them both and fastening them to the wood. Then the Lord Jesus was picked up on the cross and it was dropped into a socket three or four feet deep, with His body attached to it! There He hung, not dying suddenly (No vital organ was touched!), in excruciating pain for six long hours. There He hung, naked, shamed, covered from head to foot with the excrement of others men’s foul throats and His own holy blood. His head, His hands, His feet oozing with blood, throbbing in pain, the Lord of glory hung there for six indescribable hours of hell.

 

Yet, His agony of soul was infinitely more excruciating to Him than that of His body.

Š      The Lamb of God was made to be sin for us!

Š      He was forsaken by His Father.

Š      He was slain by the sword of His own holy justice.

 

Redemption Finished

                                              

Fifth, Our dear Savior, by His sin-atoning sacrifice and death at Calvary, finished the work of redemption.

 

(John 19:30) “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

 

  • Types Fulfilled
  • Justice Satisfied
  • Righteousness Brought In
  • Sin Put Away
  • The Way Opened
  • Salvation Obtained — “With His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us!

 

Application

 

  • Behold, the Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness!
  • There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus!

 

“And can it be that I should gain

An interest in the Savior’s blood?

Died He for me, who caused His pain—

For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! How can it be,

That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Amazing love! How can it be,

That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

 

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:

Who can explore His strange design?

In vain the firstborn seraph tries

To sound the depths of love divine.

’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,

Let angel minds inquire no more.

’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;

Let angel minds inquire no more.

 

He left His Father’s throne above

So free, so infinite His grace—

Emptied Himself of all but love,

And bled for Adam’s helpless race:

’Tis mercy all, immense and free,

For O my God, it found out me!

’Tis mercy all, immense and free,

For O my God, it found out me!

 

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,

Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;

Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free,

I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

My chains fell off, my heart was free,

I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

 

Still the small inward voice I hear,

That whispers all my sins forgiven;

Still the atoning blood is near,

That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.

I feel the life His wounds impart;

I feel the Savior in my heart.

I feel the life His wounds impart;

I feel the Savior in my heart.

 

No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness divine,

Bold I approach th’eternal throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Bold I approach th’eternal throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com