He Loved Them to the End

He Loved Them to the End

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Each weekday morning, we’re going to spend a few minutes in a passage in John. Here’s the goal: read it, pray it, share it. Every post will have a passage of Scripture, a short prayer, and a question to meditate on and talk about. In a few minutes every day, we can prepare our hearts for all that God has planned in this season of Lent.

Read: John 19:1-16
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. [2] And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. [3] They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. [4] Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” [5] So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” [6] When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” [7] The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” [8] When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. [9] He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. [10] So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” [11] Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

[12] From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” [13] So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. [14] Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” [15] They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” [16] So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

Jesus has been flogged and beaten, mocked and accused, and shortly, he’ll be humiliated and killed on a Roman cross. Why didn’t somebody stop this? How could the crowd be so blind that they didn’t see the king of glory standing right in front of them? Though Pilate saw nothing worth condemning in Christ, the crowd demanded that he hand him over to be crucified.

Earlier in John, Jesus said something startling to the crowd; “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10:17-18).

He went to the cross on purpose. He laid his life down. This story is not just an instance of a crowd that got out of control or a Roman ruler playing pragmatics, but of a Savior who came to earth for the very purpose of dying for the sins of his people. He wasn’t compelled and he wasn’t forced, but he chose to go to the cross to die for you. He endured the cross for us. His sacrifice made a payment for your sins, for my sins, and for everyone who trusts in him. 

Lord, I can’t grasp the fullness of your sacrifice for me. Help me today to see a little bit more of Christ’s love for me. Help me to see the majesty of the cross. Help me to feel sorrow for my sin and relief in your Son’s death. Make Christ’s sacrifice my greatest joy. Amen.

Why was the crowd so angry at Jesus? Why did Pilate hand Jesus over to die?

What are you learning this year about the cross? Who can you share the gospel with this week?

No Comments