Crucify Him

"Crucify Him, crucify Him!"

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Crucify Him

John 19:6-18 Crucify Him

JOHN 19:6  6 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.”

Did Pilate's attempt to appease the Jews by beating Jesus to a pulp work?
No, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"

JOHN 19:7-11  7 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.” 8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 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?” 11 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.”

What does, "Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid" (John 19:8) indicate?
"More afraid" means that Pilate was already afraid.

Why doesn't Jesus answer Pilate's question in John 19:9?
He knew that Pilate was now out of options. All that remained was for him to give in to the Jews.

What is Pilate asking for in John 19:10?
Jesus' help in finding a way to release Him.

Does Jesus comply?
No, Jesus responds as if His crucifixion is a foregone conclusion and almost sounds like He is consoling Pilate: the power "against" (John 19:11) Jesus was really from "above" (John 19:11), meaning God the Father, and he - Pilate - was less guilty than those who "delivered" (John 19:11) Jesus to him, meaning the Jews who were aware of His teachings and miracles and should have recognized the Messiah foretold throughout the Old Testament.

JOHN 19:12-16  12 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.” 13 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. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Look at your King!” 15 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!” 16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.

What finally pushed Pilate to give into the Jews?
Their cry, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar." (John 19:12)

Why would that push him over the edge?
Pilate had been close to Aurelius Sejanus, the commander of Caesar's praetorian guard and one of the most powerful men in Rome. About a year earlier, Sejanus had been executed for plotting against Caesar and many of his other friends had been executed as well. Against that backdrop, Pilate realized that as much as he wanted to release Jesus, he couldn't risk word reaching Rome that he had spared a man who "speaks against Caesar" and was therefore no longer "Caesar's friend."

What ended up happening to Pilate?
He was recalled to Rome in 36 AD.

What is striking about the declaration, "We have no king but Caesar!" (John 19:15)?
It would have been outrageous for any Jew to call his king a pagan emperor who called himself god. Yet this was being shouted by the chief priests of Israel in front of a Jewish crowd.

What did Pilate do after delivering Jesus to "be crucified" (John 19:16)?
He washed his hands: "When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” (Matthew 27:24-25)

What did Pilate and "the people" mean by what they did and said, respectively?
Pilate washed with water to symbolically wash away any sins he may bear for his role, and the Jews were telling him not to worry, that those sins will wash up on them and their children when Jesus' blood is shed.

Who was right?
Neither, since it is the blood of Jesus that washes away sins.

JOHN 19:17-18  17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.

What did “bearing His cross” involve?
Religious art has Jesus carrying the entire cross but this wasn't the case. The vertical beam weighed about 200 pounds and was kept at the site of execution. The condemned person carried/dragged just the horizontal beam, which still weighed about 120 pounds.

Did Jesus carry his horizontal beam all the way?
No, another man carried it for Him part of the way: "Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross." (Matthew 27:32)

Why couldn't Jesus carry His beam all the way on His own?
Having been scourged, His back was shredded from His neck to His buttocks.

Why did Simon have to comply?
Roman soldiers had the legal right to make anyone to carry something for a distance of one Roman mile, which is about 80 yards shorter than the English mile, and this legal right was what Jesus was talking about when He preached, "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two." (Matthew 5:41) during His sermon on loving enemies and turning the other cheek.

How far away was the execution site?
About 450 yards north of Antonia Fortress.

Why was it called the "Place of a Skull" (John 19:17)?
It's facade was and still is a cliff face whose cavities made it look like a human skull (photo).

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