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Jesus Suffers Injustice from Pilate

(John 19:1-16)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
1. This morning,
We noted that Jesus suffered many more things
At the hands of His people to bring us to heaven.

First, they broke two laws in His trial:


They tried Him at night for a capital crime
Which was only to be done in the day
And they passed sentence the same day.

Second, they tried to convince Pilate


To execute Jesus on the basis of their trial
Not bringing any specific charges against Him,
But simply accusing Him of being an evil doer.

Third, when that failed,


They twisted His claim to be King of the Jews
Into a political plot to overthrow the Roman government.

2. After Pilate had the chance to cross-examine Jesus


He realized that He was innocent of any treason,
And so he tried to have Jesus released.

He first tried to do so
By invoking the annual tradition
Of releasing a prisoner at the Passover.
If he couldnt convince the leaders,
Perhaps he could the people.
But that too failed when the leaders stirred the people up
To ask for Barabbas, rather than Jesus
That too was hypocritical on their part,
Since they hated Barabbas for the same reason they hated Jesus
He had taken part in a rebellion against Rome
That could potentially have caused them
To lose their position and power with Rome.

The result was that Jesus was now slated


To take the place of Barabbas
On the cross that was meant for him,
Between two of his fellow insurrectionists.

B. Preview.
This is where we pick up in the narrative.
This evening, lets see:
1. Pilates further attempts to free Jesus.
2. The Jews continuing unwillingness to allow His release.
3. Pilates increasing fear of Jesus.

4. Gods sovereignty in Jesus crucifixion.

II. Sermon.
A. First, Pilates further attempts to free Jesus.
Pilate, now hoping that he might be able
To spare Jesus from crucifixion,
Handed Him over to be scourged.
We read in verse 1, Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him.

Scourging by the Romans


Was done with a whip called a cat of nine tails:
The nine tails were leather thongs
That had bits of metal and bone tied into them.
The victim was usually whipped forty times,
Though the Jewish tradition was to spare the recipient
One lash as an act of mercy.

The lashing would leave the back raw and bloody.


In the area where they performed this act,
The Romans dug holes where they stored salt
To throw on the wounds to increase the pain.
It wasnt uncommon for one who was scourged
To die from the shock of this process alone.

Though Pilate meant this to placate the Jews

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And as a means to spare Jesus
He was actually fulfilling what God had determined many years earlier.
We read in Isaiah 53:5, But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He
was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and
by His scourging we are healed.
And in 50:6, I gave My back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who
pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.

As Jesus shed blood in the garden


As He prayed in preparation for this,
So He here again sheds blood.
He died a very bloody death.
With each blood-letting,
He inched closer and closer to death
The death that would atone for our sins.
Again we read in Isaiah 53:6, All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has
turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on
Him.

Hoping further to satisfy the Jews,


Pilate next handed Jesus over to his soldiers to ridicule Him:
We read in verses 2-3, And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put
it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him
and say, Hail, King of the Jews! and to give Him slaps in the face.
Instead of a crown of gold,
They planted a crown of thorns on His head
Causing even more blood to trickle out.
They put a purple robe on Him

The color of royalty


A reed in His hand for a scepter,
And greeted Him with, Hail, King of the Jews!
As they slapped Him in the face,
And beat Him on the head with the reed (Matt. 27:30).

Thinking he had done enough to satisfy them


Though what he had done was unjust
Pilate came out again to affirm Jesus innocence.
We read in verses 4-5, Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may
know that I find no guilt in Him. Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of
thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, Behold, the Man!
Pilate left Jesus in His humiliated condition
Perhaps hoping it would move them to pity Him
And declared, Behold, the Man!
He may have laid claims to being the King of Israel,
But He is after all merely a man.

This however wasnt nearly enough


To satisfy their hatred for Him.

B. Second, we see the Jews unwillingness to have Him released.


We read in verse 6, So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried
out saying, Crucify, crucify! Pilate said to them, Take Him yourselves and
crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.
In Mark 15:14, we read, Pilate said to them, Why, what evil has He done?

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He knew they had delivered Him because of envy (Matt. 27:18),
But he wanted them to admit it.

Having some sense of his duty to uphold justice,


And not wanting to execute an innocent man,
He again reaffirms his unwillingness to do this,
Telling them that if this is what they want,
Theyll have to do it themselves.

Pilate likely wasnt telling them


That they should actually do this
They acknowledged earlier
That under Roman law,
They werent permitted to execute anyone.
He was simply telling them
That he would not do it.

But they still refused to give up.


We read in verse 7, The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by that law He
ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.
This is clearly what Jesus claimed.
We read in John 5:17-18, But He answered them, My Father is working until
now, and I Myself am working. For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking
all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also
was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
And in 8:58-59, Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham
was born, I am. Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid
Himself and went out of the temple.

They understood what Jesus was saying


Even though many cults today cant seem to
And for this claim, He must die.

But they cant execute Him,


And so Pilate must
Implying that it was his duty to uphold their law
Which, of course, it wasnt.

C. Third, we see Pilates increasing fear of Jesus.


Here was something Pilate had not yet heard
Jesus was claiming to be the Son of God?
Now we see his fear begin to escalate.
We see in verse 8, Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more
afraid.
It appears to have had the effect
Of confirming something his wife
Had warned him of earlier in Matthew 27:19,
While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying,
Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a
dream because of Him.

And so he again retreated to consider what to do.


We read in verse 9, And he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus,
Where are You from? But Jesus gave him no answer.
He appears to have wanted to know

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If Jesus really could be the Son of God.
But Jesus didnt answer.
We read in Isaiah 53:7, He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not
open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent
before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.

So we see in verse 10, Pilate tried to compel Him to speak:


Pilate said to Him, You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have
authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?
He thought perhaps the promise of release,
As well as the threat of crucifixion
Would loosen His tongue.

But release wasnt important to Jesus.


He knew why He was there
He knew what had to take place.

And so we come to our last point:

D. Gods sovereignty in Jesus crucifixion.


We read in verse 11, Jesus answered, You would have no authority over Me,
unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to
you has the greater sin.
This authority to release or crucify Me,
You have only because of My Fathers will.
He is the One who established authority
Who gave you this authority
And all who exercise it are accountable to Him

So you had better use it righteously.

Jesus goes on to say,


This is also why the one who delivered Me to you
Has committed a greater sin.
In this case, Hes likely not referring to Judas,
But to Caiaphas,
Though both are guilty.

Jesus is telling us
That there are degrees of sin,
And so there are degrees of punishment.
Caiaphas sinned against Jesus
By misusing his authority
In the face of the clear light of Gods Law;
And Judas betrayed Jesus
After having spent the last three and a half years
Under His teaching,
Seeing His miracles,
Even doing some himself
Both were inexcusable,
And so both were more culpable.

The realization that he might do the same

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Made Pilate even more fearful,
And so he made an even greater effort to release Jesus
To get the Jews to agree to this.

But the Jews werent about to release Him


They finally had Him where they wanted
And so they threaten him:
We read in verse 12, As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the
Jews cried out saying, If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar;
everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.
If you release Jesus
A potential insurrectionist
You are betraying Caesar:
And if you betray Caesar,
We will see you impeached.
Impeachment was something procurators dreaded.

When Pilate heard this, he finally relented and gave in to the Jews
We read in verse 13, Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus
out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in
Hebrew, Gabbatha.
The Pavement was an area built from blocks of stone
That formed a mosaic.
It was also called Gabbatha in Hebrew
Which means a raised area.

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John writes in verse 14, Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was
about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, Behold, your King!
The day of preparation was Friday,
The day before the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday).
It was about the sixth hour (Jewish), or about 6 AM.

Pilate knew he had been forced to this by the Jews,


And so he retaliates by making a stinging remark, Behold, your King!

This only made them angrier.


So they cried out, Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him! (v. 15).

Pilate stung them again: Shall I crucify your King? (v. 15).
The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar (v. 15).

Again, notice their hypocrisy:


They hated Caesar;
They hated the Roman occupation of their land;
But at this moment, they hated Jesus more.
Henry Alford points out, Some of those who thus cried died miserably in rebellion
against Caesar forty years afterwards. But it suited their purpose.

Knowing nothing else would satisfy them,


And that he was in danger of impeachment,
Pilate finally handed Jesus over to be crucified (v. 16),
Just as God had planned.

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Application:
Here we have a clear example
Of Gods sovereignty and mans responsibility.

Its clear that all of this was Gods plan


That Jesus be betrayed and arrested,
That He be tried by both the Jews and Romans,
That He be condemned by both,
That He be treated as weve seen,
And that He be executed by the Romans.

But its also clear that in His plan


God allowed for the free choices of those involved
Judas, Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod
So that they would be responsible for those choices
Gods sovereignty never cancels mans responsibility.

We read in Acts 4:24-28,


That after Peter and John had been arrested and then released,
They returned and reported what had happened to their companions,
And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and
said, O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND
THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM, who by the Holy Spirit, through the
mouth of our father David Your servant, said, WHY DID THE GENTILES
RAGE, AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS? THE KINGS OF THE
EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND, AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED
TOGETHER AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS CHRIST. For truly
in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom
You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the

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peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to
occur.
God, in His plan, arranged things in such a way
That the greatest crime in history
Would also be His greatest act of Redemption:
God uses evil for good purposes.
He can and will rule and overrule all things
For the advancing of His kingdom,
And for your good,
As He said He would (Rom. 8:28).

So dont be afraid of the wicked things


That are happening in the world today,
Or at the particular struggles
You find yourself faced with in life
If you love the Lord
If youre trusting Him
If youre turning from your sins,
If youre following Jesus,
He will help you in each of your trials
And work them all together for good.

He gave you His Son


To go through what weve seen
So that He would sanctify all these things

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To your growth in Christ.

Next week, well look at the crucifixion.

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