“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30
John chapter 19 is one of the saddest chapters in all the Bible. It begins with Jesus being flogged, having a crown of thorns pressed into his head and being struck over and over again by the soldiers. He is brought before Pilate, who has the power to punish Him or release Him. The Bible tells us that Pilate really wanted to release Jesus, but the Jewish leaders would be satisfied with nothing less than Jesus’ crucifixion.
It is one of the biggest ironies of the Bible that these Jewish leaders, who were longing for a Messiah who would free them from their Roman oppressors, who they hated, actually pledged their allegiance to Caesar in their rage filled desire to see Jesus crucified (Verse 15). The Romans were the ones who actually crucified Jesus, but it was the Jews who made sure it happened. And so, Jesus was crucified in between two criminals.
In this chapter, we see the physical torture that Jesus endured at the hands of the Romans, and the emotional torture He suffered as His own people, the Jews, when they turned against Him and called for His death. The chapter ends with Jesus’ last words, “It is finished” and then He gave up His spirit. Or to put it bluntly– Jesus died. He is then taken and laid in a tomb so His friends could wait for the Sabbath to pass. After that they would properly prepare His body for burial. There the chapter ends.
If John’s gospel ended with chapter 19, there would be no need for the church, faith, or Christianity. But chapter 20 is coming and with it, the glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!
“Heavenly Father, thank you that chapter 19 was not the end of the story. God, it is heartbreaking to consider all the suffering that Jesus had to endure as He made payment for sin on the cross, tortured, beaten, and crucified. But none of this could overcome the loving sacrifice of our God and our King–Jesus the Christ. Thank you Jesus, for being willing to sacrifice so much so that I could know you and love you!”
What emotions do you experience as you think about and consider all of Jesus’ sufferings?
How do the sufferings of Jesus demonstrate His love?
How does thinking of Jesus’ suffering help us to love