17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
Jesus is not only King of the Jews, he is King of the world.
Notice that Pilate delivers Jesus to the Jews to be crucified. But it is not quite the way it happened, for we know the Jews had to keep themselves pure on the Day of Preparation, the day before the Passover. Interesting intrigues have been seen in this “trial” all along. Evidently the Jews felt that they were unclean if they entered the court where Jesus was being tried by Pilate. So I see Pilate going into the room to talk to Jesus, and then coming out again to talk to the Jews.
McGee gathers the scriptures to show the back and forth movement: “There is another interesting byplay to watch here. The Jews absolutely would not go into the judgment hall and thus contaminate themselves, but they brought Jesus to be taken into the judgment hall to be tried. So there is a change of scene in this drama from outside to inside and inside to outside. Watch it:
“Pilate then went out” (v. 29)
“Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again” (v. 33)
“And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews” (v. 38)
“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him” (John 19:1)
“Pilate therefore went forth again” (John 19:4)
“And went again into the judgment hall” (John 19:9)
“He brought Jesus forth” (John 19:13).”
The Jewish leaders have already told Pilate that they do not have the power of capital punishment, and when Pilate would release Jesus, they protested strongly, saying, you are no friend of Caesar. The Jews are very anxious to have this done, and tried Jesus illegally during the evening. Thus with Jesus going before Herod, there are three trials of Jesus, with mockeries and beatings in between. And all of this has to take place before the Passover begins at 6 in the evening. So everything is illegal, and rushed, that they might have Him crucified before the beginning of Passover.
It is interesting to note that the Passover Lambs were slaughtered for the observance of Passover during the afternoon of the Day of Preparation. It was during this same time in which Jesus was being crucified! In God’s immutable plan from eternity past, this day was set aside, not as the Jews thought—to remember their flight from Egypt, but rather as the day in which God would Passover the world in judgment, offering grace and forgiveness to all who will believe. The blood, which the Jews put on their doorways as a signal of grace to the angel of death was itself in the gesture of a cross, with the sides being marked and then the head of the doorway.
Which brings me to consider further that which I began looking at yesterday. Who was responsible for the death of Jesus on the cross?
1. The soldiers. Of course those who did the physical act of nailing Him to the cross were responsible.
2. The Jewish leaders and chiefly Annas, the high priest. These leaders were the manipulators behind the cross, working hard to bring about His death.
3. Pilate. The leader of the Romans was a pathetic man wanting to keep his power and please his factions—the Jewish leaders. Of course He was responsible.
4. Satan. Of course Satan is responsible. He, in trying to kill the Christ, manages only to bruise His heel. (Gen. 3)
5. Jesus Himself. The scriptures are very clear that Jesus willingly submitted to this death on the cross.
6. God the Father. It was the Father who sent His Son (Jn. 3:16)
As I tried to point out yesterday, there is a whole lot going on here at the same time. Man and Satan have their very different motives from God the Father and God the Son, yet I find that every single action either of them take, it is fitting into the sovereign plan of God. This cross was not at all a “done deal” until the will of Lucifer and men had been factored in. And yet, it all went exactly as God foresaw. Election and the choices of men and angels working together. Ask me to explain it? I cannot but observe. My God is a Mighty God, slow to anger and rich in mercy. Why not find that mercy today?
McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 103861-103869). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.
1. Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
2. By God's Word at last my I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I'd spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
3. Now I've giv'n to Jesus ev'rything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
4. Oh, the love that drew salvation's plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
Lyrics: William Reed Newell