Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 81 (10-07-19)
Preparation Day. Now if you go down to verse 31. We all together. This was the day of preparation. The next day was to be a special Sabbath. In the Jewish history, there were many Sabbaths. A Sabbath is not just from Friday night to Saturday night. There were many Sabbaths. On this day, it was called a special Sabbath. The special Sabbath was the day, not the day of preparation, but the first day of the celebration of the feast of unleavened bread. That was called a special Sabbath. That was not on Saturday, as we know it today. That would be on Friday, the special Sabbath. The special Sabbath was the day of preparation. The regular Sabbath was on the Feast of Tabernacles.
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath.
Let me go back to this. Thursday, the day Jesus was crucified, was called the day of Preparation. Is it not strange that he was crucified on the day of preparation when the cross was the preparation for the salvation through the resurrection. Is that not strange? You never hear that talked about. The day of preparation is the preparation of God for salvation on Sunday. On that day of preparation is when he was crucified. This preparation day was when the Jews came and cleaned their house of any kind of leaven. It takes just a spec of leaven to spoil the whole loaf. So they got rid of it all, all of the leaven. So we see there that this was the day of preparation and the next day was a special Sabbath, not the sabbath that we know of on Saturday, but a special Sabbath the day before.
Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.
Because he did not want the bodies left on the Sabbath. So you have a special Sabbath and then you have the Sabbath. What is the Sabbath? That is the Saturday. What was the special Sabbath? That was the Friday before. When was he crucified? Thursday. When was he buried? Thursday. Remember the prophecies that he said that just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, so too would he be in the heart of the earth.
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
How could he have been crucified on Friday when he had only been in the ground for two nights? He was crucified on Thursday, which was the day of preparation. The next day was a special Sabbath. That is why we have gotten that confused. Instead of looking at a special Sabbath for what it was, the celebration of the first day of the fruit of unleavened bread, we look at it as the Sabbath. But here we have a special Sabbath and the Sabbath.
So they asked Pilate to have his legs broken and the bodies taken down. We are told that the soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man crucified and then the legs of the others.
That is the chronology of Jesus, the chronology of what happened on the days prior to, and the day of, and the days after the crucifixion and the death and the burial of Christ Jesus. Are we all together on that now? It is not that it is possibly that important, but on the other hand, it is important. It is important for us to know what took place during those times. If we can, can we go back to a scene in the 18th chapter of John, starting in verse 28.
28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.
Now that we know the chronology, the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas. This would be in the morning. This would be Thursday morning. The Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. This would be very early in the morning. To avoid ceremonial uncleanness, the Jews did not want to enter the palace. They did not want to be ceremonially unclean. They just wanted to kill a man. Now is that hypocrisy! They wanted to be able to eat the Passover.
29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”
Their answer was wise to me.
30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”
Kind of arrogant to me.
31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”
“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected.
To which the Jews replied, “We do not want to judge him. We do not have any right to execute anybody. We do not want a trial. We already tried him. We already have a verdict. We just want your stamp of approval. We are not interested in a trial. We have already determined that he is guilty and we have already determined that he needs to be executed. We just want you to carry it out.”
32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
Let us not let people walk around saying we had no responsibility in the death of Jesus. You have Jewish leaders today who cannot handle the fact that they just might of had a bad guy in their midst, as if having a bad guy in your midst, have any of us escaped that? Sometimes the pride of man is such that it says, “Don’t you ever say anything about my race of people? If you say something about him, that reflects on me.” Nonsense. It does not reflect anything on me. People talk about slave owners back in the slave days. It had nothing to do with me. I would have been against it then. I am against it now, and I would be against it again. I am not defending white people. They were stupid, sinful idiots. That has nothing to do with it. I do not want to stand up defending something because of our race or because of our religion, where it does not make any difference. Whether the pope is right or wrong, I am a Catholic. Nonsense. If someone is wrong, they are wrong. I do not care if he is the pope or Peter. We do not seem to have a problem about Peter denying the Lord. It seems he would have been more important than any of us. We do not have any problem talking about that. So all these ideas we come up with, we have to get rid of those things. I am talking about you and me today. I do not have an obligation for my ancestors. I have an obligation today to love people. I have a privilege to love people. I do not care what my great grandfather did. I did not know him.
So Jesus asked, “Is that your own idea or did others talk to you about me?” Pilate replied, “Am I a Jew? It is your people, the Jewish people. Your Jewish priest handed him over to me.”
34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
So who initiated the crucifixion of Jesus? The Jews. Who carried it out? The Gentiles. In the final analysis, who killed Jesus? You and me. My sin killed Jesus. Your sin killed Jesus. Who carried it out? That really does not make any difference. The Jews were a part of it. The Gentiles were a part of it. The whole world was responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. That annihilates the idea of people in all of their brilliance walking around and announcing the Jews as Jesus killers. The Jews were not Jesus killers. The Gentiles were the Jesus killers. The Jews were the initiators of the death of Jesus. But all were involved but with different things. Do you see how the division has been caused between the Jews and the Gentiles by people saying things like this, when they had nothing to do with it and it was people back thousands of years?
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
If you do not listen to Jesus, then what is the crux of the problem? You are not on the side of truth. There is a line drawn. Over here is truth. Over there is error. Which side are you on? “If you are not listening to me”, says Jesus, “then you are on the side of error. You are listening to the father of lies if you are not listening to me.” Sounds narrow minded does it not?
People say, “You are worshiping a founder”. Jesus did not come to found a religion. He came for a relationship. For who? All mankind. Everyone has the right. The entire Muslim world has a bible they can read. The entire Jewish world has a bible to read. The Buddhists have a bible to read. They have chosen to write their own. It is a choice people have chosen to read some other book instead of the bible. A person says, “I have chosen to be a follower of Calvin instead of following the bible”. Another person says, “I have chosen to be a follower of the Seventh Day Adventist instead of following the bible.” Many others say, “I have chosen to follow the pope instead of following the teachings in the bible.” So people say, “Do not tell me about this bible. My denomination has told me what to believe and that is what I am believing. I do not care whether it is right or wrong. I do not want to mess up my mind what I am believing. This is mom and dad’s denomination and that is whom I am for. I am a Presbyterian.” Someone asks, “What do they believe?” A person responds, “I do not know and I do not care. That is just where I park my car on Sunday.” That is how shallow we are. Total stupidity. That is how shallow we are! That is the majority of where people live, with that kind of mindset. They have a mindset of “I do not care what this book says. I am assuming the guy is teaching out of there.” That is a bad assumption. You and I have the greatest privilege and that is to have a bible in our hands.
Recall Jesus prayer to his Father in John 17, referring to the future role of his disciples when they receive the Holy Spirit, and to us too, who are born again.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
I got eight or ten bibles. I have a book. This book is true. This book was written by the Spirit of God through man. This book contains truth about God. It tells us about the way to God. It tells us about the truths about God. It tells us about the only life that is available to us from God. It seems to me that is what Jesus was saying, does it not? This book tells us the mind of God. For us to ignore this book is about as dumb as anything I can think of.
This is food for your soul. You go three hours without eating, how much catastrophe takes place? We go days and days and days and never read the bible. We say, “I have got more important things to do.” Now, try that with eating. You can become thin and dead some day. The same thing. If you do not read the bible, you will be dead soulishly and spiritually. You do not read it because someone says read the bible or simply because that will do something for you. You read the bible because that is where truth is to be found. If you are going to live in this world we live in, you will be surrounded by error. This world is full of error. If you are ever going to walk in truth that will set you free, where are you going to find truth if you do not read it here. In the Reader’s Digest? Where are you going to find truth? If I were to ask you right now, “Go out and find truth?”, where would you go to find it? Pilate asked that question, “What is truth?” He did not know what truth was. “What is truth? Do not talk to me about truth. Who knows what truth is?”
38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.”
The world is full of error. What we think as true one day is not true the next. You marry somebody. Are you going to be with her forever? Do you stand before a pastor when you get married and say, “If I do not like her, I am going to get rid of her”. Did you not take your wife for better or for worse. A man says, “Yes, but she is worse than what I took her for”. We have to understand that to us that was true. This is true. This is real. The next day it is not real. That is just one illustration. In our lives, we are told lies continually. This will do it over here. No, it will not. Look at Solomon. He had thousands of women. Did any of them satisfy? It is all vanity. That should be a lesson to us. Should that not teach us something? He had anybody he wanted. We guys sit around and say, “Wow. Let me have a little bit of that”. No, it does not satisfy. It is all vanity. Just a vapor in the wind. Relationships are not held together by sex. They are held together by friendship, by two people who have learned to like each other. They are not held together by sexual acts. Satan tells us it is, does he not?
38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”
So Pilate even asked, “What in the world is truth? What are you talking about? There is no sense in even dealing with it”. He went to the Jews, “I have no basis for a charge against this man. But your custom is for me to release one prisoner at a time during the Passover season. Do you want me to release the king of the Jews? Do you want me to release your king to you?” They responded, “No, not him”.
40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!”Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.
Barabbus had taken part in a rebellion, we are told. So, Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. We know the beating of that. Those of us who saw the film, the one produced by Mel Gibson, saw a very detailed description, and probably not as bad as it really was, as to what happened to Jesus during those days he was tortured both by the Jews and by the Roman army. So he had him flogged.
1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
When you are talking about flogging in those days, you are talking about a whip with a bone on the end of it that had ripped the entire back of Jesus to the point of being able to see the sinews of his own body. Put the cloak back on him. Tortured as the bible says as no man. These were cruel people. They were very cruel individuals. The soldiers thought it would be funny, I am sure, to twist together a crown of thorns, a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They put it down on his head. They thought that would be funny. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews”, and they struck him in the face, mocking him saying, “Who hit you?”. Beating him as no man.
13 See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him –
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness –
so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.
4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.”
When they brought him up this time, you would have seen a man beaten beyond recognition. You would have seen a man whose eyes were swollen shut, a face battered beyond recognition, bleading from his scars in his head, the laceration in his back. All of these things on top of no sleep. Sleep deprivation. All of the things of ultimate torture, weakened beyond measure. They brought him out wearing that crown of thorns and a purple robe, saying, “Here is your man. Here is your king.”
5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
The Jews insisted that we have a law. Without a law, he cannot be crucified. It does not matter if it makes sense or not, that is our law, and according to that law, he must die. Why? Because he claimed to be the Son of God.
8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
Jesus said, “The people that handed me over to you are guilty of a greater sin.” They initiated it. Cruel just like the Romans. Cruel people. In leadership role, Jewish by birth, they were cruel. Does that mean all Jewish people are cruel? No. Does that mean all Gentile people are cruel? No. They were cruel, vindictive, and hard-headed people.
12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”
They were finally going to death for him.
13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.
It was the day of preparation of the Passover week. We just studied that. The first day. It was the sixth hour, which was noon.
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
“Here is your king”, Pilate said to the Jews. That is the day of preparation.
15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
The Jews were determined to have Jesus crucified. Pilate was adamant, trying to do anything he could to release Jesus. But eventually Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified.
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others – one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
There again. Here is a man who has not been asleep since Tuesday. He has been up all night being tortured. All the next day and now had to carry his cross. He had to carry the burdens of this cross. It is no wonder he fell. What a weakened condition a man would be in, with a loss of blood and your body beaten up with all the torture that man could place upon him. Finally they hung him on a cross. They crucified him, with two others, one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,
“They divided my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.”[Psalm 22:18]
So this is what the soldiers did.
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
The disciple whom Jesus loved was the the disciple John.