The King of the Jews

The Jews brought Jesus to Pilate requesting a death sentence. In John 19:16 Pilate said to them, “You take him and crucify him! For I do not find a basis for an accusation against him”. But Pilate knew the Jews had no authority to carry out a death sentence and might have let Jesus go, except the Jews then said in John 19:12 “Everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar!” Pilate pronounced the judgment, crucifixion and the charge, the reason for his death? Pilate had written, “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews.” and the sentence was immediately carried out. Within a few hours, Jesus was dead, then quickly buried before sunset which was the beginning of the Sabbath. Then in John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early” and Jesus wasn’t there! 

The King of the Jews

John 19:17–27
Pilate had tried to satisfy the anger of the Jews by having Jesus flogged, beaten and presenting him to them in a robe with a crown of thorns, but they continued to cry “Crucify, Crucify” in John 19:6. Then in

John 19:16 So then he handed him over to them in order that he could be crucified. So they took Jesus.

Pilate had issued the judgment and “There was no more terrible death than death by crucifixion … the most dreaded … the death of slaves and criminals … The routine of crucifixion was always the same. When … the judge uttered the fateful sentence … The verdict was carried out there and then. The condemned man was placed in the center of a quaternion, a company of four Roman soldiers. His own cross was placed upon his shoulders. Scourging always preceded crucifixion … Before him walked an officer with a placard on which was written the crime for which he was to die, and he was led through as many streets as possible on the way to execution … (so) as possible should see and take warning … (and) so that if anyone could still bear witness in his favour, he might come forward”1 It is this placard, this notice that is referred to in

John 19:19 And Pilate also wrote a notice and placed it on the cross, and it was written: “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews.”

This was his crime, this was the reason for his death. But even in the midst of this, even at the end, Jesus calls out to his mother to offer her comfort in

John 19:26 So Jesus, seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing there, said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!”

and he charges John with her care in John 19:27. 

It is Completed

John 19:28–37
Crucifixion is a gruesome death, yet Jesus was not holding on to his life. He finished preparing his disciples, even though they didn’t yet understand. He spoke his final words to his mother and John and in

John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that now at last everything was completed, in order that the scripture would be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.”

then, having given him “sour wine” in John 19:29, what we might call wine vinegar, in

John 19:30 Then when he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed,” and bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.

Mark doesn’t record these words but says in

Mark 15:37 But Jesus uttered a loud cry and expired.

and Mark also records the great spiritual event that also occurred in

Mark 15:38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

opening the way for us in

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us approach with confidence to the throne of grace, in order that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The Tomb Was Close By

John 19:38–42 

They Ran to the Tomb

John 20:1–9
Jesus had been buried hurriedly because it was nearly the time of the Sabbath which began at sundown. The Sabbath would have been over at sundown on Saturday, but it is early on Sunday, maybe before sunrise in

John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

In other gospel accounts, we find that Mary was not alone, but she is the only one mentioned here. And when she found the tomb empty, “she ran” in John 20:2. When she came to Peter, John was with him and when they heard this news in

John 20:4 And the two were running together, and the other disciple ran ahead, faster than Peter, and came to the tomb first.

Clearly, Jesus was not there, only his grave clothes were, and they didn’t know what to do because in

John 20:9-10 (For they did not yet know the scripture that it was necessary for him to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

The Disciples Went to Their Own Homes

John 20:10–18

The Doors Had Been Shut Because of Fear

John 20:19–23

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • John 19:17-42
  • John 20:1-23


  • 1. Barclay, W. (2001). The Gospel of John (Vol. 2, pp. 291–292). Louisville, KY: Edinburgh.