John 19:17-18 (NIV) 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 Here they crucified him, and with him two others–one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
On verses 17-18: The pain, suffering and humiliation of Jesus is taken to a climactic level as Jesus, carrying his own cross, to taken to the place of the Skull and crucified. That Jesus carried his own cross and was crucified in between two criminals shows that Jesus identified in every way with sinners like us. Jesus stood right in the middle of us all and received the punishment we deserved for our sin.
John 19:19-22 (NIV) 19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
On verses 19-22: At the same time that Jesus was dying on the cross like a criminal for our sins, Jesus was also, ironically and to the dismay of the Jewish chief priests, affirmed as “The King of the Jews”, which he truly was.
John 19:23-24 (NIV) 23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did.
On verses 23-24: Here we read of even more pain and humiliation that Jesus endured on our behalf. Jesus was stripped of his clothes and nailed to a Roman cross. Soldiers even played games to see who would get his final undergarment, and in so doing unknowingly fulfilled the prophecy about the Messiah contained in Psalm 22:18. To think that Jesus was stripped so that we could be clothed with His righteousness. He was shamed before men so that we could be honoured before God. If Jesus endured such shame and humiliation for us, how can we not be willing to endure shame and humiliation for Him? My prayer for you and me today is that we wouldn’t be so concerned about protecting our own image, but that we’d be willing to be fools for Jesus Christ.
John 19:25-27 (NIV) 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
On verses 25-27: It amazes me that even as Jesus is in excruciating pain that would result in his death, Jesus still thinks about his mother and how as the oldest son it was his responsibility to take care of her. He places his mother in the care of John, “the disciple whom he loved” (v26). Jesus faithfully fulfilled every responsibility he was given and was full of selfless love even till the end.
Jesus, as great as the pain, suffering and humiliation You went through, far greater is the courage, selflessness and love that You have in Your heart. Thank You for being my hero, my saviour, my example, my friend and my king. You are the greatest hero who ever lived. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!