John 19

These small group studies of John contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

John 19 Inductive Bible Study

Outline:

  1. Second Roman Trial (1-16)

    1. They mock Jesus (1-5)

    2. The crowd demands He be put to death (6-7)

    3. Pilate questions Jesus again (8-11)

    4. The crowd demands He be put to death (12)

    5. Pilate hands Him over to be crucified (13-16)

  2. The crucifixion of Jesus (17-37)

    1. Jesus carries His cross to Golgotha (17)

    2. They nail Him to the cross (18)

    3. The inscription is nailed over Him (19-22)

    4. Various prophecies are fulfilled (23-37)

      1. They gamble for His clothes (23-24)

      2. Jesus asks John to take care of His mother, not prophecy (25-27)

      3. Jesus drinks the wine (28-29)

      4. Jesus gives up His spirit (30)

      5. Jesus’ avoids broken bones and is pierced with a spear (31-37)

  3. The burial of Jesus (38-42)

Intro: How is this the climax of the history of the world?

You sometimes hear people talk about the climax of their life. Everything in their life was leading up to one point, preparing them and teaching them the lessons that they would need, and then, it happens!

Well, Jesus’ death is the climax of the history of the world. From the early chapters of Genesis hints about the coming Messiah can be seen. The Old Testaments prepares the way for Christ, showing people the terrible problem of sin and the complete inadequacy of people or animal sacrifices to take it away. But mixed in the Old Testament are promises of hope, promises and shadows that one day someone will come to solve this problem for us, someone to bless the whole world. Jesus’ special birth and life create great excitement as to what will come next. It is far out of most people’s expectations, but it has far-reaching influence. After this even the rest of the New Testament looks back to it, interpreting what it means for us, challenging us to learn from it, to appreciate it, to live honorably because we are no longer slaves of sin. It shows how the news of Christ’s death miraculously spreads through world. Outside of the Bible we know of the gospel going to India, to Africa, and to China some hundreds of years later. Millions of churches, hospitals, schools, and orphanages have sprung up because of the cross. Millions of lives have been completely changed. Society and culture around the world have been shaped, many times even unaware, because of the cross. Without the cross and then the resurrection this would not have happened. And we come down through history to each of us. Each of our lives has been shaped and changed forever because of this one even that took place almost 2000 years ago. When we were born, we had no idea it had ever happened, but it still would “catch” us. Not only has the world been forever changed, each of our lives has been forever changed.

The people pushing for it wanted to stop Jesus, not help Him. The one who gave the verdict didn’t want. The disciples were fearful of it. But it happened. It was God’s plan to redeem the world and right the mistake of Adam.

Questions:

What was the point of the thorns and robe?

Explain verse 11.

Why would Pilate have Jesus killed although he knew there was no guilt in Him?

What is ironic about verse 12?

What do you think was Pilate’s view of the Jews?

How did Pilate “get back” at the Jews for forcing his hand?

What was the main purpose for the design of the cross?

How can you see the sovereignty of God throughout these verses?

Why do you think Jesus would ask John to take care of His mother?

Why not ask His brothers?

What does this request show about Jesus heart? What does it show about the need to care for parents?

Why would the soldiers give Jesus a drink when they clearly were trying to torture Him?

What does the phrase “it is finished” mean?

What does it mean to you that Jesus “gave up His spirit”?

What else happened at the time of His death to show that it was not a normal death?

What does verse 34 prove?

What else did Jesus say on the cross?

Cross-references

Other gospel cross-references for background and more details-

Mathew 27:25-26 – Jesus was scourged before He was crucified.

Matthew 27:32-33 – Simon helping to carry the cross and the wine with gall meant to deaden the pain.

Matthew 27:35-44, Luke 23:43 – The thieves of the cross and more mocking of Jesus.

Matthew 27:45-56 – Jesus dies and the accompanying signs: darkness, earthquake, temple veil torn, etc.

Luke 23:8-12 – The trial before Herod.

Luke 23:25 – Barabbas was in prison for insurrection and murder.

Luke 23:27-31 – Jesus talks to the people following Him to the crucifixion.

Luke 23:34 – Jesus asked the Father to forgive the people.

Teaching Plan:

Read through chapter part by part and discuss with questions while flipping to fill in the details in the other gospels.

Discuss the importance, relevance, supremacy, etc. of Christ’s death with questions and cross-references.

Discuss the “theological” terms that help us to understand exactly what Christ’s death accomplished along with cross-references.

(1-16) The second Roman trial

Luke 23:8-12 – The trial before Herod.

Mathew 27:25-26 – Jesus was scourged before He was crucified.

Luke 23:25 – Barabbas was in prison for insurrection and murder.

What was the point of the thorns and robe?

Can our Greek expert give us some insight on verse 6? (According to John Mac the words used show Pilates’ exceptional disgust for the Jews.)

Explain verse 11.

Why would Pilate have Jesus killed although he knew there was no guilt in Him?

What is ironic about verse 12?

The Roman trial here by Pilate is marked by four primary things.

Jesus was continually mocked and ridiculed.

Pilate knew He was innocent and was reluctant to go along with crucifixion.

The Jews refused to give in to any lesser punishment.

Jesus refused to vigorously defend Himself.

This passage makes it clear that Jesus was not guilty. He had done nothing worthy of death. Even a pagan leader acknowledged this. Pilate wasn’t deceived or tricked into thinking that Jesus was guilty. He knew Jesus was not.

God was the one who gave the authority to Pilate and the ones who handed Jesus to him were more guilty. This, however, doesn’t mean Pilate wasn’t guilty for sending Jesus to crucifixion. He was still a moral agent and as a leader obligated to do what was right.

The Jews came up with an ingenious argument to convince Pilate. They appealed to his ties with Caesar and challenged his loyalty and patriotism. Pilate had already made some severe mistakes in Judea and Tiberius Caesar was known as cruel and quick to punish. The Jews were threatening further trouble that could signal the end of Pilate’s power there in Judea. This was the clenching argument that finally caused Pilate to give the verdict. At the end He asks them again what they want, perhaps in yet another attempt to show he was not responsible. Pilate was in a tough situation with a huge crowd of angry and malicious people working together to “force” him to do this. Like most people would have done, he finally gave in.

This was about 6:00 in the morning and it was the day before the Passover. At this time many Passover lambs would have been being prepared. Is it any coincidence that Jesus died so close to the Passover? I think not.

II. Jesus’ crucifixion (17-37)

How did Pilate “get back” at the Jews for forcing his hand?

What was the main purpose for the design of the cross?

How can you see the sovereignty of God throughout these verses?

Why do you think Jesus would ask John to take care of His mother?

Why not ask His brothers?

What does this request show about Jesus heart? What does it show about the need to care for parents?

Why would the soldiers give Jesus a drink when they clearly were trying to torture Him?

What does the phrase “it is finished” mean?

What does it mean to you that Jesus “gave up His spirit”?

What else happened at the time of His death to show that it was not a normal death?

What does verse 34 prove?

What else did Jesus say on the cross?

Cross-References

Matthew 27:32-34 – Simon helping to carry the cross and the wine with gall meant to deaden the pain.

Luke 23:27-31 – Jesus talks to the people following Him to the crucifixion.

Matthew 27:35-44, Luke 23:43 – The thieves of the cross and more mocking of Jesus.

Matthew 27:45-56 – Jesus dies and the accompanying signs: darkness, earthquake, temple veil torn, etc.

Luke 23:34 – Jesus asked the Father to forgive the people.

Teaching Points

Jesus was already beaten and tortured and whipped and bleeding and then had to carry his own cross for a ways. Because He was so exhausted and in no shape to do it, they forced Simon of Cyrene to do it (who was perhaps in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover).

Although Jesus was in this terrible state, he still was reaching out to the crowds around Him with compassion, thinking of the misery that they themselves would face later. See Cross-reference. Some people attempted to give him wine with gall, which was likely to deaden the pain of the crucifixion. He wouldn’t drink it in order to have his full mental capacities for what lay ahead (much like William Wallace in the movie).

Crucifixion was designed to be as painful as possible. Nails would be driven through the wrists and through the two feet. The person would be left baking in the son. These wounds wouldn’t be enough to kill the person, but would be excruciating pain. Sometimes a piece of wood would be nailed below their feet so they could put part of their weight on it. This wouldn’t be to lessen pain, but would be to prolong their life, and thus, their pain. To breathe, one would have to hold themselves up with their arms and feet, putting a lot of pressure on their wounds. Dehydration would set in. Muscle spasms would wrack the body. And what is more, this would be done in front of the world to see, increasing ones shame and disgrace. This wasn’t just a way to kill people. It was a perfected art for exacting as much pain as possible before death. The movies and pictures that depict a kind of lovely and gently scene are ridiculous. It was brutal, bloody, and violent.

Sin is a really ugly and serious thing. There is no pleasant or easy way to deal with it.

Pilate showed again his contempt for the Jews by “getting back” at them by putting this placard of Jesus above the cross. It was kind of a way of making fun of the Jews for having such a “pathetic” king. When the Jews complained Pilate refused to give in. He had had enough.

Next comes two sections (surrounding Jesus request to John) relating to prophecies. Read cross-references and discuss.

Psalms 22:18

Psalms 69:21

Psalms 34:20

Zech 12:10

Most of these prophecies were fulfilled by Romans who didn’t even know them. They were simply being greedy or doing their job, yet in the process were proving God’s Word, spoken hundreds of years before. God is completely sovereign.

Jesus asked John to take care of His mother. This tells us several likely things. Joseph was probably dead already. His brothers still hadn’t believed in Him. And it was still important to Jesus to honor his parents (his mother who was left). Jesus came for such a high and noble purpose, to die for the world. Yet even in that, He still was remembering His duty to take care of His mother and make sure this was performed adequately. See Mark 7:11. As believers, we are obligated to make sure our parents are taken care of. Even at this point Jesus is concerned for others, not Himself.

The wine was likely given to Jesus as a calculated attempt to prolong His life and suffering, not out of mercy.

“It is finished” is a reference to the completed work of the cross. Jesus came for one major purpose. He had a mission and a goal, seen again and again in the book of John. Now it was finally finished. It was finished once-for-all. It need never be repeated. He had done God’s will and done it perfectly.

In verse 30 it says “gave up His spirit.” What does that mean? I believe that even at this point, Jesus life wasn’t simply taken from Him, but He gave it up Himself. He laid down His life voluntarily as a sacrifice. As Son of God, I guess He could have stayed hanging on the cross forever if He desired. Read Cross-references about what happened at His death and discuss.

God made it clear that Jesus’ death wasn’t ordinary. Even a pagan there believed in Jesus because of all of the amazing things that happened right at that moment: darkness, earthquake, saints arising, temple veil torn, etc. What is the significance of the veil being torn from top to bottom?

The Romans normally left their victims on the cross for days to first die and then start rotting and be eaten alive. But this would have violated the Sabbath and violated the custom set down by Moses not to leave a person overnight so in this case the Romans broke their legs to kill them. Jesus was already dead and the piercing proved it beyond a doubt. It is really interesting that God already let a lot of things happen to disprove later theories that would come out (such as the swoon theory).

Finally Jesus was buried, proving again He hadn’t just fainted. Joseph and Nicodemus take initiative to help with the burial.

Buried with a rich man. Isaiah 53:9.

Lessons of the Cross:

Discussion Questions

Why did Jesus have to die? What precedents can we find in the Old Testament for sacrifice for sin?

Why do you think God decided on such an ugly and even sick form to take away sin?

Scripture says that Jesus gave His life a “ransom for many” Mark 10:45. Who is the ransom to?

What do you think was the painful aspect for Jesus of dying on the cross?

In what way is this the climax of God’s plan for the world?

Why is Jesus’ death complete and permanent whereas animal sacrifices are not?

In what way is Jesus similar to Adam?

What lessons can we learn from Jesus’ death? How should this “inspire” us?

Why should we emphasize the cross when sharing the gospel?

Cross-References

Genesis 3:15 – The first prophecy of Christ’s death.

Genesis 3:21 – The first sacrifice.

Genesis 12:3 – In Abraham (through Jesus) all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Isaiah 53 – Clear prophecies about Jesus’ suffering.

Psalms 22:18 – Prophecy about Jesus’ clothes being divided.

Psalms 34:20 – Prophecy about Jesus’ bones not being broken.

Zechariah 12:10 – Look on Him whom they have pierced.

Romans 5:12,18-19 – Through one man sin came into the world and through one man justification resulted in life.

John 3:16, Romans 5:8 – It was God’s love.

John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:19 – Jesus, the lamb without blemish and spot dying, His blood shed for us.

2 Corinthians 5:21 – Jesus was made sin for us.

Galatians 3:13 – The cross was a shame and disgrace (cursed are those who hang on a tree).

Hebrews 9:22 – One may almost say without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Propitiation (An offering that turns away the wrath of God)

1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10

Atonement (The act whereby God deals with sin and makes forgiveness possible)

Theories –

Moral influence, ransom, satisfaction (brings back the honor to God that is due Him), substitution

Daniel 9:24

Reconciliation – The change from enmity to peace. Bringing a hostile world to Himself through Christ’s death.

Colossians 1:20, 2 Corinthians 5:19

Redemption – The “payment” of Jesus’ death purchasing us out of the slave market of sin.

Ephesians 1:7

Justification – A legal term related to the idea of acquittal.

Romans 3:24, Romans 5:1

Study John 20

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