Jesus: The Crucifed King (John 19)
Every religion has its symbols, which illustrate a significant feature, often the central truth, of its beliefs: for Taoism it is the Yin and the Yang; for Islam it is the Star and the Crescent; for Wicca it is the Pentagram; for Jews it is the Star of David. These are immediately recognizable symbols and full of meaning for the followers of these religions.
But for Christianity, the symbol is a cross. Though other symbols have been associated with Christianity, the cross has stood the test of time because it represents the heart of the work of Christ. JC Ryle said,“Beware of a religion in which there is not much of the cross.”
The cross is representative of crucifixion, which was a form of execution invented by the barbarians and used by both the Greeks and the Romans. It is an extremely cruel method of execution because it deliberately delayed death until maximum torture had been inflicted. The Romans would not inflict it on a citizen, but reserved it for the most serious criminals.
The barbaric nature of the cross teaches us some things about the crucifixion of Christ. It gives us a proper perspective of: the seriousness of our sin, the wrath of God, the wickedness of man, the cost of our salvation, and the depth of Christ’s love. The more a Christian understands the reality of the crucifixion of Christ, the more they will fall on their faces with gratitude and worship.
But, my task is not to talk about the crucifixion in general. Rather, to give an exposition of John 19. God, in His providence, gave us four accounts of the crucifixion. As a result, in his account of the crucifixion, John emphasizes certain themes not emphasized by other gospel writers.
Jesus: The Crucified King
John gives seven important nuances of the crucifixion of Jesus:
1. The crucifixion of Jesus is a historical fact. (1-42)
a. Credible eyewitness shared “so that you might believe” (35)
b. Jesus was flogged. (1)
c. Jesus was mocked. (2-3)
d. Jesus was rejected. (4-15)
e. Jesus was crucified. (16-22)
f. Jesus was stripped. (23-24)
g. Jesus was mourned. (25)
h. Jesus was compassionate. (25-27)
i. Jesus was thirsty. (28-29)
j. Jesus was finished. (30)
k. Jesus was pierced. (31-37)
l. Jesus was buried. (38-42)
2. The crucifixion of Jesus is the rejection of the King. (2-15)
3. The crucifixion of Jesus is the sacrifice of the Great Passover Lamb of God. (14, 31, 42)
4. The crucifixion of Jesus is the fulfillment of Scripture. (24, 28, 36, 37)
5. The crucifixion of Jesus is a display of the compassion of Christ. (26-27)
6. The crucifixion of Jesus accomplished the mission of the Son. (30)
7. The crucifixion of Jesus brings the true disciples out of the shadows. (38-39)
Often people claim to be a Christian by saying “I believe that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose again the third day.” Believing these truths is an essential step in the right direction. But believing the historicity of Jesus Christ does not make a person a Christian.
John Stott, a renown English Anglican scholar said of the crucifixion of Christ: “Before we can begin to the see the cross as something done FOR US, we must see it as something done BY US.”
It is not enough to say that THEY crucified Jesus. It is not enough to say that WE, as a human race, crucified Jesus. You must come to the realization that YOU crucified Jesus.
1 Peter 2:24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.