Light of the World: John 19:1-42

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On Sunday Peter talked about Jesus's trial before Pilot in Chapter 18. He spoke about how Jesus was steadfast in his identity and his mission, and how as his followers we too can be unwavering in our identity and mission.

Opening Discussion:

Have you ever been really excited about doing or getting something, but then found that it was very different from what you had anticipated? Were you disappointed or delighted? Share your story with your group.

Looking at Scripture:

Read John 19:1-16.

The kingship of Christ has been an ongoing theme in John’s gospel:

• When Jesus tells Nathanael that he had seen him under the fig tree (1:48-49), Nathanael responds “You are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”

• In 6:15 the people try to force him to be king, but he slips away

• In 12:12-15 the people receive him into Jerusalem as king on Palm Sunday

• Much of Pilate’s questioning in 18:33-39 has to do with his kingship

• This all culminates with the sign over his head on the cross (19:19)

How was Jesus’ actual kingship different from what the people were expecting? Were they disappointed, or delighted?

Who killed Jesus? John makes it clear that the religious leaders are the ones who bring him in and insist on his death. The “crowd” shouts “crucify.” Pilate finds no fault in Jesus and tries four times to release him, but ultimately it is his decision, and his soldiers who nail him to the cross.

What might John be trying to tell us about “who killed Jesus?” How does it fit in with what he said in the prologue?

Where does Jesus say all power (or authority) ultimately comes from? What are the implications for all that is happening here?

Read John 19:17-42.

In light of the above account, read Isaiah 53:1-12. Though this reads like a description of Jesus’ death written by a Christian poet/theologian, it’s actually a prophecy written long before the time of Christ (the “Isaiah Scroll” found in the Dead Sea Scrolls demonstrates it was not a later Christian addition). How does this prophecy line up with what John tells us about Jesus’ death?

Why do you think it was important to John (a Jew, who had only the Old Testament as the Bible) to demonstrate that the things happening to Jesus were “in order to fulfill Scripture”?

What else stands out to you from John’s description of Jesus’ crucifixion and death?

Personal Application

On your own this week, re-read the account of Jesus’ suffering and death, stopping after each section to thank him for what he endured for our sake.