John 19:1-16: Jesus: "Mocked and Scourged"
So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said,* "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck Him with their hands. Pilate then went out again, and said to them, "Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him."
Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold the Man!" Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"Pilate said to them, "You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him." The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and according to our* law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God."
Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" But Jesus gave him no answer.Then Pilate said to Him, "Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?" Jesus answered, "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin."
From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar." When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!"
But they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him! Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?"The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!" Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.*
Bible Study Outline: Outline Study on John Chapter 19:1-16
The Crucifixion and Burial of Jesus Christ Part 1: “Sentenced and Scourged” Introduction:
In Chapter 18, Jesus had been marched from the Praetorian judgment hall where after being examined by both Annas and Caiaphas respectively, they sent him to Pilate to execute the death sentence they had “pre- passed” upon him. Had Jesus been tried in a legal court of law and examined by legal standards, there was no way Jesus would have been found guilty, but as it was prophetically predicted that they would crucify him, they used whatever illegal means they deemed necessary During the time Jesus was being illegally tried in the Jews judgment hall, Peter while on the outside of the hall denies Him 3 times, just as the Master said he would and left the area among the judgment hall crying bitterly.
In John 18:28, they led Jesus to Pilate who was waiting for them later in that early morning on the day of preparation called the “Special Sabbath”. This Sabbath started on Tuesday at sunset and concluded Wednesday evening at sunset. Interesting enough with all the illegal maneuvering they did to get Jesus arrested, tried and convicted, they had no problem making sure that they didn’t violate any “external” Mosaic Law by entering in that Roman judgment hall. The claim was if they did, they would be ceremonially unclean to eat the upcoming Passover. Pilate accommodated them by meeting them on the outside in front of the entrance and having examined Jesus found no fault in Him at all and sought to obtain His release, but the Sanhedrin wouldn’t have none of that. In fact, they entreated the waiting crowd to cry “Crucify Him” several times and they chose Barabbas over releasing Jesus.
I. Jesus Scourged: “Crowned With a Crown of Thorns” (verses 1-3)
Whenever a person received a death sentence from the Roman court, it was customary to scourge or whip the condemned person before he was crucified. By scourging them, there would be infliction of excruciating pain causing greater suffering than crucifixion would alone. Our Lord, being about to be put to death after the manner of a slave, was also treated as a slave as one of the lowest and most despised of mankind. (vs. 1)
As Jesus was scourged by order of Pilate, he was scourged in the Roman manner, which was much more severe than that of the Jews. The Sanhedrin sent him to face Pilate, because they wanted Jesus executed in the Roman manner being the more severe and because the Jewish Law placed stoning as the severest from of capital punishment. The Jews never gave more than thirty-nine blows; for the law had absolutely forbidden a man to be abused, or his flesh cut in this chastisement, (Deuteronomy 25:3).
The common method of whipping or flogging in some places, especially that of a military style, is a disgrace to the nation where it is done, to the laws, and to humanity. Though it was customary to scourge the person who was to be crucified, it apparent Pilate had another purpose in view by scourging our Lord. He had hoped that this scourging would have satisfied the Jews, and that he might then have set Jesus free. (Luke 23:16)
This "crown of thorns" they placed upon Jesus head was intended to be an instrument of punishment or torture to his head, but rather to make him look ridiculous; for which cause they also put a reed in his hand, to symbolize a "royal" scepter and bowed to their knees pretending to pay homage to Him.
Adding Insult To Injury: “Spat upon and hit in the head”
The next thing they did according to Matthew 27:30- 31 was to spit upon him This was a vile example of the deepest contempt and insult from the Roman guards. If you remember, Jesus experienced he same thing from the Jewish guard while he was in their custody when Jesus was going through interrogation in Matthew 26:67. And if that wasn’t enough, they took a large reed and hit him in his head, not merely to injure him by the force of the blow, but to press the "thorns" into his head, and thus to add cruelty to insult. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
- Jesus: Brought before the Mocking Crowd (Verses 4-7)
The Implication of John 19:5
The Pilate conduct and purpose for putting Jesus on public display was to say to the mob crowd: "See! This man whom you accuse is arrayed in a purple robe, as if a king. He has been scourged and mocked. All this he has borne with patience. Look! How calm and peaceful! Behold his countenance! How mild! His body scourged, his head pierced with thorns! Yet in all this he is meek and patient. This is the man that you accuse; and he is now brought forth, that you may see that he is not guilty." (vs. 5)
Reaction of the Chief Priest and Officers: Crucify Him, Crucify Him! (vs. 6)
Pilate: “Well, take Him and crucify him! I find no fault in Him!”
(In other words) Pilate said:
"I am satisfied that he is innocent and I will not pronounce the sentence of death. Since YOU are bent on ruining him…Since YOU are determined to put to death this innocent man and my judgment does not satisfy YOU….YOU take him and put him to death and YOU will be responsible for it. YOU take the consequences. This cannot be done with my consent. Nor will it be done in the due form of Roman law; and if this is done, it will be by YOU, without authority, and in the face of justice."
(Note what Pilate does next according to Matthew 27:24-25)
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but the restless crowd was creating an uproar instead, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!" All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!" (NIV)
Chief Priest and Officers respond: WE have a law and by our law HE ought to die, because HE made HIMSELF the Son of God! (vs. 7)
Concerning” that Law”
The “law” they are referring to id the law concerning blasphemy. Based on Leviticus 24:16 and Deuteronomy 13:1-5.
Leviticus 24:16: “Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death”.
Deuteronomy 13:1-5: “If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you”.
Observe how the Chief Priest and Officers are being manipulative before Pilate concerning Jesus:
They had arraigned Jesus on this charge of blasphemy before the Sanhedrin, and condemned him for it before Ciaphas in Matthew 26:63-65. But this is not the same charge on which they arraigned him before Pilate. They accuse him of sedition before Pilate in hopes that accusing Jesus of starting a movement to overthrow the Roman government would excite Pilate to put Jesus to death. They accused him of “subverting” the nation, being in opposition to paying taxes to Caesar and “claiming” to be Christ, a King. ( Luke 23:2)
But based upon Pilate’s declaration of innocence, they were now convinced that they could not get Pilate to condemn Jesus. He declared him innocent, but they, still bent on his ruin resolved to gain their purpose. Now in their next act, they moved from the sedition charge and brought forth the accusation of “blasphemy” on which they had already condemned him on and pronounced him guilty. They reasoned since they could not get Pilate to condemn him as a rebel, maybe he will condemn him as a blasphemer. So now they appealed to Pilate to sanction their condemnation of Jesus what they believed was required in their law. Thus, to Pilate, it became more clearer that Jesus was innocent, the Chief Priest and Officers had attempted to deceive HIM, and that the charges on which they accused Jesus of before him were a mere pretence to obtain his sanction to their wicked plot.
- Pilate Re-examines Jesus (Verses 8-11)
- That offending the Sanhedrin and the populace on this matter would provoke them to file formal charges of treason and sedition against him to Caesar.
- Cause an immediate rebellion by killing an innocent man, a miracle-worker, a prince and an offspring of Deity, and being the very one whom he had been warned of by his wife and his own growing conviction not to have a part in His death. After all the Jewish people had an open disdain against the Roman government.
Note: Pilate asked the first question to find out if Jesus was the real offspring of deity or not, to see if Jesus who was so different in character and demeanor was a supernatural being.
Jesus: No answer. (vs. 9)
Because Jesus didn’t answer Pilate, he now flexes by reminding Jesus that he had the power to control whether Jesus lived or not.
Pilate: “You’re not talking to me? Don’t you know I have to power to crucify you, and have the power to release you”? (vs. 10)
Jesus: You don’t have any power to do anything at all with me unless it is given to you from God above. Therefore those who delivered me to you have the greater sin. (vs. 11)
In other words: You could not do one thing unless God willed. It is a sin for you to condemn Me, because you are convinced by your conscience of My innocence; but the Jews have the greater sin, because they willfully sin against Me.
Pilate Brings Jesus again before the Chief Priest (Verses 12-14)
After hearing what Jesus said to him, Pilate now before the waiting Chief Priest, Officers and restless crowd and takes his seat in the judgment seat in the place that was called “The pavement” which is translated in Hebrew: Gabbatha. The “pavement” was a stone platform in the open court in front of the Praetorium . It was the place where final sentencing took place. It is about the 6th hour (about 12:00 midnight) and the time of the preparation of the Passover. Still seeking to get the Chief Priest and officers to release Jesus Pilate tries to reason with the chief priest and the crowd.
Finally the Jews cried out : “If YOU let this man go, YOU are not Caesar’s friend: Whoever makes himself a king, SPEAKS against CAESAR!”
In other words: We will accuse before Caesar of preferring another king over him if you let him go. Notice, the implication here is not that they had love for Caesar, but they had that much hate for Jesus. They rejected Messiah that much. After hearing this, Pilate now brings Jesus out front before them the last time. Being back into a political corner, Pilate feels forced to execute Jesus.
Here’s his reasoning for his decision….He knew that Tiberius Caesar was one of the most jealous and distrustful rulers in the Roman Empire, and that during his reign accusations and conspiracies were plentiful and not uncommon. These rumors, accusations and conspiracies were mainly being founded on foolish pretenses, and being insanely jealous, Tiberius Caesar would punished the accused with excessive rigor, even execute them if he saw fit.
Pilate now makes the following bold statement to the Jewish crowd:
“Behold Your King!"
Response: “Their Final Rejection of Jesus” (verses 15)
“Away with Him…Away with Him…Crucify Him!”-
Pilate: “Shall I crucify your King?
Chief Priest: “We have no King but Caesar!”
Final Note : Concerning the Trial and Judgment of Jesus
With their final outcry against Jesus, the Chief Priest, the officers and the Jewish crowd that completely rejected Jesus in favor of choosing to release Barabbas, a murdering Zealot (Luke 23:25) and remaining under the guidance of the erring religious factions of the Pharisees, Sadducces, Herodians and Zealots now have plunged deeper and deeper into sin and rebellion by choosing an enemy instead of a friend, choosing Satan instead of God, and eternal damnation instead of eternal life. As they said: "His death be upon us and our children!"
As for Pilate, Pilate now surrendered to the political pressure of possibly facing Tiberius in trial for not yielding to the Jews to crucify their King. He delivered Jesus to their will. Thus the Jews are accused of crucifying the Messiah (Acts 2:23). The Romans merely carried out the will of the Jews, Pilate having pronounced no sentence but having washed his hands of the whole affair signified by washing his hands in a wash basin before the Jews and publicly saying I wash my hands on this whole matter. In the second part, we will discuss the actual events of the crucifixion itself.
Rev. Dr. William Edward Boddie