What did I learn about Jesus?
- John’s gospel emphasizes the sheer brutality of Jesus’ beating and death more than the other gospels.
- Do I truly comprehend that Jesus endured this brutality for my sake?
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Do I believe that God is Sovereign over every aspect of my life?
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Good morning Disciple-makers –
I wonder if this is the most brutal chapter in the Bible? John shares details with us regarding the torture of Jesus that others do not. The sheer, bestial brutality of the first 3 verses alone is staggering, much less the evil genius of crucifixion as a means of execution. If you witnessed such treatment…flogging until the back was a bloody pulp, pressing a circle of vines covered with thorns 2-3 inches long (found only in that area and one other place in the world!); placing a rough purple robe upon his open wound of a back and then, hardened soldiers punching Jesus in the face repeatedly as he was held up to receive the blows, all the while being mocked with the words, “Hail, king of the Jews”… if you witnessed such treatment, it would likely sicken you. If you knew that he had stepped in to take your place in that torture…how would THAT make you feel. For he did. And it was not yet over. Wow.
I asked myself a different sort of question of this chapter. How do these, the last four sayings of Jesus before his death, relate to what we have learned about him earlier in John’s gospel?
V 11- (His last words to Pilate). Compare to John 6:35, 40 and many other similar passages. “I am the bread of life…For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” John underscores the sovereignty of God more than any other gospel. Jesus only does what the father sends him to do, teaches what the Father tells him to teach. Complete submission. If Jesus himself exercises only the authority given him by the Father, how much more does Pilate, the saddest sort of man, especially in John’s gospel? Pilate is a wavering, frightened, crowd-pleasing soul who can’t bring himself to act upon what he knows to be true: the innocence of Jesus. But even his cowardly leadership decisions were granted by God himself. Question- Do I believe that God is truly sovereign over every aspect of my life?
V 26-27 (His words of care regarding his mother, entrusting her to John.) Only John includes these words and this detail. It makes me mindful of John 10: “I am the Good Shepherd.” Even as he was dying, the Good Shepherd was caring for his sheep, in this case, the remarkable woman who bore and raised the Son of God. Question- Do I honor and care for my parents or family like a good shepherd?
V-28 “I am thirsty.” Again, only John mentions this among Jesus’ last words. I think back to his conversation with the woman at the well in ch. 4:13 “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.” Again, 7:37: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” Question- Am I thirsty for what only Jesus can provide for me?
V-30. “It is finished.” Again, the last of three unique words of Jesus from the cross that only John mentions…and his last words before he volunteers… “gave up” his spirit. (By the way, he predicted that, too. 17.4 Only HE could lay down his life. It could not be taken from him.) I am mindful of John 3:16-17. God loved the world so much that he sent his only son to save it. In this final act of sacrifice, Jesus finished his work of salvation. Question- Do I REALLY believe that Jesus’ work on the cross has finally and forever saved me?
These are interesting things to ponder as we approach Easter. Thank you for sharing in this journey together. We are almost done. Your thoughts?