- John 19:19-24
- John 19:19 (KJB)
- And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the
writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
- Since Pilate had nothing but disdain for the Jews, he made a sign which
would have infuriated them. He placed a sign on the cross of Jesus
designating Him as the King of the Jews and what made that saying worse was
that he made sure that he wrote Jesus came from Nazareth. Nazareth, as you
recall, did not have a good reputation so the Jews would have also loathed
that part of the saying. The sign also signified the crime of the condemned.
So Jesus was put to death for being a king, which would have pacified Rome’s
requirement for a legitimate reason to crucify Jesus thus letting Pilate of
the hook for abuse of power.
- John 19:20 (KJB)
- 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.
- Hebrew, Greek, and Latin were the three languages which were spoken of
in Israel at that time. The site of the crucifixion was outside the main
city of Jerusalem and it was probably to the north of the city walls. The
reason that the sign was written in these three languages was so everyone in
the city would understand and that fear of committing the same crime would
be prevalent among the three language groups. This way Rome could keep the
peace if the amount of malefactors were kept to a minimum.
- John 19:21 (KJB)
- 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.
- The Chief Priests were vexed when they saw that sign and wanted it
changed because they would not want Jesus as their king and they only saw
Him as a blasphemer. If they did not like the title King of the Jews, then
they should not have brought that false charge against Jesus in the presence
of Pilate. What did they think that Pilate was going to do with the only
accusation that he could possibly use to crucify Jesus? What else was Pilate
going to put up there? Jesus of Nazareth, He healed the Sick, raised the
dead, fed the multitudes? Pilate needed a legitimate crime to attach to the
cross of Jesus and that was being a king which would be a threat to Rome’s
power in the region.
- John 19:22 (KJB)
- Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
- The words “I have written” used both times are in the perfect tense in
the Greek which means it was a permanent inscription and was not going to be
changed. Pilate had acquiesced to their every demand by crucifying Jesus on
such flimsy charges and no evidence at all for guilt. Here Pilate tells them
that what he wrote will stand and he was probably very angry at this point
and wanted nothing more to do with them.
- John 19:23 (KJB)
- Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments,
and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now
the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
- Garments - Cloak, robe
- Once the soldiers had completed their tasks of crucifying the prisoners,
they then went and shared whatever possessions they had amongst themselves.
The first thing they did was to take the outer robe of Jesus and made it
into four parts and each soldier took a part of that robe. The next piece of
clothing they wanted to steal was the coat. The coat was like a shirt which
covered the body from the neck to below the knees. This coat was sown
seamless so they would not be able to part this garment.
- John 19:24 (KJB)
- They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but
cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled,
which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did
cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
- Rend - To tear or split
- (Psa 22:18 KJV) They part my garments among
them, and cast lots upon my vesture. The
actions by these soldiers was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Psalm 22:18.
Instead of them tearing the garment, they cast lots for the coat and only
one would walk away with the coat of Jesus. Since it was seamless, it might
have been a nice coat and was probably a gift from someone. It may have been
a coat of higher quality or else why would the soldiers want it. If it was
just an old coat, they would have probably just discarded it.