St. John’s Gospel (40): The Cross of King Jesus (John 19)

Date: 5/17/2015
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Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Cross
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Sermon: St John’s Gospel (40) - The Cross of King Jesus

The Seven Signs + One: The New Creation
1. New Creation Breaks In at Wedding: Water into wine (2:1-11)
    2. Stopping Death with a Word: Prevents death of king’s man’s son (4:46ff)
        3. Life of the World: True Sabbath - Paralyzed (38 years) at Bethesda pool (5:2-9) (sin no more)
            4. The New Exodus: Bread of Life - Loaves (6:1-14) + Crossing the Sea (6:19)
        5. Light of the World: Blind (born) cleansed at Siloam pool on Sabbath (9:1-7) (not his sin)
    6. Calling Forth Life with a Word: Delays/death, then raises Lazarus (11:1-44)
7. New Adam: Water & blood on the cross (19:34-35)
+ 8. New Adam/Gardener: The resurrection (20:1-29) “First Day” (8th Day)

John 19:1–3 - Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; 3 and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face.

In St. John’s Gospel, even in the crucifixion, Christ is no victim. He is lifted up in glory as the sovereign King. This had been anticipated from the very first (2:4, 7:6, 12:23, etc.). “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You” (17:1).

1) Jesus is a sovereign King in His arrest. We see His sovereign majesty when He says, “I AM” and they fall to the ground.  This is only the smallest pulse of the Word of His Power, but it slays them. Those hundreds of soldiers were not even close to enough to take Him by force. Jesus conducted Himself into their possession.  He is not afraid in the presence of Annas, nor Pilate. He speaks the unalterable truth, even while He is being unjustly treated. Jesus, like a man surrounded by growling dogs, subdues them by showing no fear, for He had no fear. He predicted His death by crucifixion and the Jews, nor the Romans, despite their futile attempts, cannot altar the King’s word (18:32). It will come to pass.

2) Jesus is a sovereign King before Pilate. He is even treated, ironically, as a King. Framing the conversation, Pilate begins with these words, “Are You the King of the Jews?” The last act of Pilate is to write on the cross, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” In the final determination of Pilate, he asks, “Shall I crucify your King?” But even more, when he brought Jesus out to the “Bema” seat (the throne of judgment), Jesus sat down on this throne. Then Pilate said, “Behold, your King!” This is why the Jews “cried out” (kraugazo, Acts 22:23). They saw a battered Jesus of Nazareth be declared as their King. It provoked the vilest demonic hatred: “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!”

3) Jesus is a sovereign King on the cross. Just so it’s clear, there was a sign, literally on the cross, which that said this in three languages. Jesus had refused anesthetic wine with gall (earlier). However, from the cross Jesus commanded, “I am thirsty.” So they gave Him “posca” (Latin) (Gr. oxos), a common wine that soldiers drank. When He had drunk this, like a King in judgment, He says, “It is finished.” Tetelestai! It is accomplished and paid. Jesus reigned as King from the cross.

1) Lift High the cross! The love of Christ proclaim. Believe it.
2) Read cross-like events in your life from God’s view.
3) Embrace the way of the cross in your life.

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more