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I know it’s been a while since I’ve shared my devotions, sorry about that, I’ve been in a bit of a slump since Christmas. Anyways, last time we met we talked about how Pilate tried to release Jesus but the Jewish leadership would have none of it. Today we will look at John 19:16-27.
So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
Jesus Was Taken
So they took Jesus,
Four simple words eh? And tonight I read them and my heart sank. Jesus, the only human who did no wrong, he was taken. We know what is going to happen, because … they took him.
They made Jesus carry his own cross. This wasn’t a special to Jesus thing, it was the normal practice for prisoners. Carry your cross to where you will die. So Jesus carried his cross to The Pace of a Skull (also known as Golgotha). Jesus was crucified along with two others.
Pilate had an inscription written saying “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” It was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek so anyone passing by could read it. The Jewish leadership wanted Pilate to change it, lots of Jews were able to read it, but he said “What I have written I have written.”
Jesus is on the cross, which means he has no use for his clothes. Soldiers do what they do eh? Who needs what? Four soldiers, four articles of clothing, so each took their bit. One small problem… the tunic was seamless and they didn’t want to wreck it. They did what soldiers often do… they gambled for it.
“Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.”
What is significant about this is that it was just another detail that God had covered. He knew this would happen: They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did was soldiers do, but juxtapositioned against them were Jesus’ relatives. The three Mary’s… his mom, his aunt (Mary the wife of Clopas) and Mary Magdalene.
Jesus saw them standing there with the disciple that he loved (most likely John) and said “Woman, behold, your son!” And to that disciples “Behold, your mother!” From that point onward, Jesus’ mom had a home.
Do you see how John was unselfish? The soldiers well, let’s just say they weren’t. Casting lots for items of a dead man.
I don’t know what to say about this passage and how it reflects on me in my life.
I know that I am so pleased with Pilate for not changing what he wrote, not bowing to that pressure from the leadership.
Delight fills me when I see how God orchestrated even the details of Jesus’ clothing. That attention to detail shows his love for his boy. And makes me consider all the more the attention to detail he gives to my life.
The care that “the disciple Jesus loved” took in providing for Jesus’ mom. Under the pain of losing Jesus, the disciple followed through on Jesus’ last request to him.
All these things flood my brain and I don’t know what all to do with them. I never thought I’d be pleased with Pilate for standing his ground. I always thought of him as the bad, wishy-washy, let’s push you around guy. But here, he stood his ground. So perhaps there’s hope for me too eh? Hope for me too.