John 18-19:12 (Trial and Crucifixion)


Intro:You cannot read Chapters 18 and 19 of the Gospel of John, which cover the trial, crucifixion and burial of the Lord Jesus, without noting that these are very carefully selected events which John records.


A)John’s focus in this gospel has always been to reveal the Deity of Christ.

1)He does so very clearly here in these final Chapters.


B)He focuses on the events that highlight the deity of Christ and the reaction of certain individuals to him – specifically Pilate


C)He leaves out many of the incidents the other gospels include, while supplying details they leave out.

1)He is obviously aiming at creating a certain impression, this is what we want to focus upon tonight


John 18:1

When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered.

Mt. Of Olives


The disciples have now entered the garden of Gethsemane – name means the Olive press

A)Named after the practice of taking the olives and pressing them to make Oil.

B) There is a pressing that is going to happen here on this night -  Oil – for healing will be the result

1) Jesus is going to pray – Take this cup / sweat drops of blood.


C) But Jesus would also say: Not my will but yours be done!

D) Listen we all face our Garden of Gethsemane’s

Place of Pressing – We want the cup to pass


E) We need to learn to say: Not my will but yours be done

1) not my comfort but your GLORY 


Now John skips all the anguish of the Garden scene and moves straight to the arrest. RD V.2-4

2 And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. 3 Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.


A)So Judas shows up with the Soldiers “a detachment of troops” was one-tenth of a legion, or six thousand soldiers. So it is possible Judas shows up with 600 men..


4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" 


B) Notice Jesus steps up to the plate – no shrinking back here:  Who are you seeking. – not hiding in the shadows

C)You see, Jesus is not caught off guard, surprised by what is happening.

No, He’s in complete control of the entire situation.


D)Remember John’s focus is the Deity of Christ – we see that very clearly here in this response


5 They answered Him,"Jesus of Nazareth."

Jesus said to them, "I am He." And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground.


E) The "He" isn't present in the Greek, So  Jesus is actually saying, “I AM,” “Ego Eimi

1)a declaration of deity. Result they are overcome by Power – fall to the ground.


7 Then He asked them again, "Whom are you seeking?"

And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth."

8 Jesus answered, "I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,"  9 that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, "Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none." 


Here we see Jesus to the very end taking care of his own – watching out for His Sheep.  Let these others go!


10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

11 So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?" 

Peter is interesting to see here – He is going to try and live up to his promise – “though all the rest forsake you not I – I will die for you.”

A)Lousy fisherman and a lousy swordsmen – ear


B) Luke’s gospel tells us that Jesus picked up the ear – Healed Malchus

1) last miracle was to cover the mistake of one of his disciples


C) But notice the words of Jesus to Peter - Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?" 


This cup was from His Father

A)This cup would result in His Father being glorified

B) Jesus receiving Glory before the Father

C) Man being Saved.


Has God given you a cup to drink ?

A)Cup of suffering? Illness ? Ruined Marriage? Some heavy trial ?


B) God desires to be glorified in your weakness

1) You receiving glory from Him


C) People around you being blessed and saved.

Listen we can get perplexed by what we don’t understand


I read in Psalm 131 today in my quiet time


LORD, my heart is not haughty,

Nor my eyes lofty.

Neither do I concern myself with great matters,

Nor with things too profound for me.


David declares he is going to come to the Lord in humility and it not going to get worked up about things he doesn’t understand


He then paints an interesting picture.

2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,

Like a weaned child with his mother;

Like a weaned child is my soul within me.


He uses the picture of a weaned Child – calm and quiet!


What makes this an interesting picture is that a Child that is not weaned is anything but calm/ quiet

A)The only way that Child has of notifying it’s parent that it is hunger is to cry and carry on.


B)But the Child who has been weaned is also one who has learned to trust - - My parents are going to take care of me.


C)They are going to see that I get what I need. – So the Child who has been weaned usually is a little mature – and they are a picture of rest


D) David is painting a picture of the believer who is resting in God –

E)The believer who knows no matter what is going on – I know that my heavenly father is going to take care of me {   He is going to meet my needs


F) So I can take the cup and rest – knowing – It is from Him – He has allowed it!


V.12 Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. 13 And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. 14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.


This was a Prophetic statement by Caiaphas – though he didn’t know it. 

A)He meant it would be better for us to kill one man – than for all the people to die at the hands of the Romans – because they think this is an insurrection –


B)People claiming Jesus as the Messiah the King of the Jews – He is trying to justify what they are about to do. 1) In reality it was expedient for one man to die for the People.


C) Thru one man Adam – sin entered the world and death with it

1) Thru one man Jesus came life and peace.


D)At this point the focus shifts for a minute back to Peter –  V.15

And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple

A)Now I have heard a lot of sermons – getting on Peter – Mark says He followed at a distance./ Many have faulted Peter for following at a distance. 


B)But no one ever commends Peter for following at all. 1) All the other Disciples Scattered accept for Peter and another Disciple – we know to be John.


V.15b Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest.


C) I don’t think Peter’s mistake was following even from a distance: His mistake was not standing.

16 But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in.


17 Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, "You are not also one of this Man's disciples, are you?"

He said, "I am not." This is the first of Peter’s denials { No threat here!

18 Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself.


D) Now John leaves Peter here for a minute and the scene shifts with Jesus being dragged before the religious crowd – { other gospels trumped up Charges of blasphemy

Note that Jesus handles himself here with great Dignity – calmness – He is in Complete Control.


V.19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.

20 Jesus answered him, "I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.  21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said." 


22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, "Do You answer the high priest like that?"


23 Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?" 

24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.


Annas doesn’t know what to do with Jesus – doesn’t know how to respond here – so he sends Jesus away.


Scene shifts back to Peter.

V.25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, "You are not also one of His disciples, are you?"

He denied it and said, "I am not!"   #2


26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, "Did I not see you in the garden with Him?" 27 Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.

Third time – but listen this is not the unpardonable sin! How does God respond when we fail?

A)1st He’s never surprised when we do fail! – 2nd He responds with eyes of compassion, eyes of mercy!

Luke 22:61,62 “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So Peter went out and wept bitterly.”


B)I believe “this look” reached out & rescued Peter,

1) just as Jesus’ hand lifted him from the rough waters of Galilee when Peter’s faith had failed him there.


C) Look of comfort


Listen we all make mistakes

A magazine read: “Just in case you find any mistakes in this magazine, please remember they were put there for a purpose. We try to offer something for everyone. Some people are always looking for mistakes & we didn’t want to disappoint you!”

We all fail, but the key is how do we respond when we fail?

Proverbs.24:16 “For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again,”

Psalm37:24 “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.”

 Failure is a part of life. – - You fell down the first time you tried to walk.

A)Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot.


B)Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.
1)R. H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on. –

2) English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books. -


Question can God use broken things?

It takes Broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. {Vance Havner}


C)It is Peter, broken & weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.

One of the biggest architectural “blow its” of all time was the infamous free standing Bell Tower known as the “Leaning Tower of Pisa”.

The architect only planned for 10’ of foundation for this “8 story round tower, standing 180’ tall”.

The tilt wasn’t planned. The soil was too soft & now leans 18’ from perpendicular (leaning another inch every 25 years).


Imagine this guys resume? – Well I built the Leaning tower of Pisa!

Yet even this became one of the 7 wonders of the Middle ages.

And, The Italian physicist Galileo conducted his famous experiments w/gravity, & the relative speed of falling objects, from the top of the tower!

Why did God have Gideon & his men break their empty clay pots?

A) So the light of their torches inside would shine forth!


B)Here is Peter’s Clay Pot being broken, so God might be able to use him in the future to shine gloriously for Himself!


“Defeat should never be a source of discouragement, but rather a fresh stimulus!”

Isaiah 42:8 “A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench;”

C) Maybe you have been a Peter – Take comfort – His Grace rise go forward



Scene shifts Caiaphas leading Jesus to Pilate

V.28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning.


This was the place where the Roman garrison was kept (likely Fort Antonius, which butts up against the Temple in Jerusalem).

Now, the Holy Spirit indicates that "it was early" in order to remind us that this was a hurry-up operation.

A) The Jews wanted to get Jesus into the hands of the Romans for execution before the people could find out what was going on because many of the people were enamored with Jesus Christ.


B)So the whole mob arrives at the hall of judgment just as the dawn is breaking, and they are ready to hand Jesus over for a judgment on execution.


V.28b But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.


C) The Jews were hypocrites. Here they were not willing to enter this Gentile hall so they would not be defiled, yet at the same time they were ready to execute the Messiah.

                       They had their priorities  backwards.


29 Pilate then went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?"

A)Here we meet Pilate --a very interesting character.


B)He was convinced of the innocence of Christ -- completely and totally.


C) Several times he will say – I find no fault in this man   Background on Pilate

1)When Herod the Great died, his three sons became Tetrarchs, ruling over Israel.

Herod Archelaus his youngest son 18 was So lousy a ruler, that the Jews appealed to Rome to send someone else to reign in his place.

A)Rome answered with Pontius Pilate—a former slave who, through marriage and political maneuvering, became a Governor, or overseer.


B)The first time he came to Jerusalem, Pilate made a big mistake by bringing with him soldiers carrying busts of the emperor.


C) As they approached the temple area with what the Jews considered to be idols, a riot broke out, and blood was shed. Rome sent a warning to Pilate, saying, “Get it together. We don’t want this kind of ruckus.”


D)Thinking he could appease the people by building them an aqueduct, Pilate diverted funds from the temple treasury to finance the project.


E)The Jews were infuriated. Rome heard about it and issued yet another warning: “You have two strikes against you, Pontius. One more and you’re out.”


F) So Pilate, already on the political hot seat, goes out to survey the situation


30 They answered and said to him, "If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you."

31 Then Pilate said to them, "You take Him and judge Him according to your law."

He really doesn’t want to get involved in this!

In the year A.D. 30—two years prior to these events—the Romans took away the Jewish right of capital punishment.

A)In response, the rabbis ripped their clothes, donned sackcloth, threw dirt on their heads, and said, “God has failed us.


B). Why did they cry, “God has failed us”? Because in the Book of Genesis, the promise was given that the scepter would not depart from Judah until Messiah came (49:10).


C)But the basic foundation of government was the ability to deal with lawbreakers, so the scepter had, indeed, departed—with Messiah seemingly nowhere in sight.


D)But Messiah was there—right in their midst. They just didn’t recognize Him.


33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?"

34 Jesus answered him, "Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?" 

35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?"


Pilate's Illegal Question 

As Jesus stands there, Pilate says, "What have You done?" In the Jewish court and the Roman court, the judge had no right to ask that question.

Under no circumstances was a man to be condemned at the word of his own testimony. It is similar to the Fifth Amendment.


Jesus could not be incriminated by His own testimony. Pilate is asking an illegal question. And notice that Jesus does not answer it. Why?


One  It was an illegal question.

Two he had done nothing wrong to begin with.


Instead Jesus discusses the subject of what really matters – His Kingdom

36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." 


We are told 2 important things in these verses

1) Jesus is a King

2) His Kingdom is not of this world – Spiritual Kingdom


37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?"

Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." 


38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them,"I find no fault in Him at all.   #1


Pilate is moved here – No fault in this man


Politicians want to be liked by everyone – too often – they are men pleasers

Pilate is going to try and appease the people – by being crafty – his plan however is going to back fire.


V.39 "But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"


40 Then they all cried again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber.

A)Now the other gospels tells us he offered them a choice – Jesus – good guy – Barabbas  - murdered insurrectionist – Mob guy – low life


B)They wanted Barabbas released. You can imagine the double take on Pilate's part. What happened?

1)  It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way..


C) Barabbas is a very important individual in this situation because he exemplifies to us the depravity of man. Man at his worst.


D)Here is the best in the universe (God incarnate), and the worst in humanity, and whom do men choose?

1) The worst. This is so typical.

Needless to say, Pilate was dumbfounded at this point. In Matthew 27:22, "Pilate said to them, What shall I do then with Jesus, who is called Christ?..." T


A)That is a profound question. And it wasn't just a question on Pilate's lips; it was a question that came out of his aching heart: "What do I do with Jesus?"


B)He had to release Barabbas, and he is still stuck with Jesus. His proposal had failed. When he said, "What do I do with Jesus?" they screamed in frenzy, "Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!" (Mt. 27:22b).


Plan #2

Pilate tries to take the Politicians easy way out – I will give him a good beating and hopefully everyone will be satisfied    John 19:1-3


So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.  2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3 Then they said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck Him with their hands.

An accurate Greek translation of verse 3 is, "And they kept saying, Hail, King of the Jews, and they kept giving Him blows with their hands."


The Romans used to play a game with the prisoners who were waiting to be crucified. Philo, in his work On Flaccus, tells us of a game that a mob in Alexandria would play with idiots and imbeciles.

They would catch them and dress them up like kings. Then they would sit them down & mock worship them.


 They found great entertainment in making fools out of idiots. The Roman soldiers liked to play this game, too. They would take one of their prisoners and make a mock king out of him.


 The great crowning event would be when they nailed him to the cross, and dropped the cross in its hole. Mockery


So the soldiers played this game with Jesus because He claimed to be a King.

A)They crammed the thorns of the mock crown into His head. Then they threw an old, faded robe on Him and told Him that He was king.


B)Then they stuck a phony scepter in His hand and sat Him up. Matthew 27:30 tells us that they walked by and spit all over Him and then beat Him in the face with their fists.


C) They made a caricature of Jesus as a king. The irony of it is that they didn't know that He indeed was a King -- the King of kings and Lord of lords.


4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, "Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him." #2 5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold the Man!"

Another  An Attempt at Satisfaction

A)In other words, "This is no king. Look at Him." Pilate doesn't say, "Behold your king," he says, "Behold the man.


B)This is a man -- He's no threat to you, or to me, or to anybody."

1)There Jesus stands, covered with gashes, blood streaking down His face from the crown of thorns on His head.


C) Isaiah said he is disfigured beyond recognition 


D) And Pilate says, "Look at Him. That is the man, nothing more, just helpless, powerless, and feeble."

1)This is Pilate's effort to get off the hook.


He figures, "Seeing Him in this condition will be enough. These people aren't bloodthirsty."

A)Pilate, in effect, is saying to the people, "Does He look like a king? Does He look dangerous?


B)Look at Him. Isn't it enough for an innocent man to be beaten like this? This should satisfy you."

1)So Pilate thinks by showing Jesus as a pathetic, beaten, bloody piece of flesh, they will ask for no more punishment.


C) Doesn’t work . Pilate is reluctant to take a stand !

No decision was a decision made by Pilate.

D)The point I want to emphasize to you is this: Pilate repeatedly attempted to get rid of Jesus, but couldn't do it, because no man can.


E) If you think you can wiggle out of a commitment and a final decision about Christ, you are wrong. Not for me you are against me


6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him." #3


It may have been at this point that Pilate called for the basin of water and washed his hands.

A)The water would clean his hands but could not cleanse the guilt of his heart.


B)The oldest creed of the church states that Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate –

1) According to many historical records Pilate committed suicide not long after this.


7 The Jews answered him,"We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God."

8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid,


C)I think at this point Pilate realizes he isn’t dealing with an ordinary man or a normal situation here.

D) Plus in Matt 27 we are told his wife tells him to have nothing to do with this man –

1)Pilate is in a quandary here.


E)He has Choices what is he going to do – if he stood his ground the Jews would have no doubt found another way  appealed to a hire authority


F) Is Pilate going to do what is right or what is politically correct? Watch how this wrestling unfolds

9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" But Jesus gave him no answer.


10 Then Pilate said to Him, "Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?"


11 Jesus answered, "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." 


12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar."


This is the trump card – They knew what button to push – Pilate is going to choose Power / safety over conviction and compromise


Know this that is always a mistake – always a poor choice

13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" 15 But 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!"


Throughout history, the nation of Israel has undergone unparalleled pain and problems. Why?

A)In 1 Samuel 8, we see the Jews rejecting the Father as they begged Samuel for a king to rule over them.


B)Here in John 19, we see them refusing the Son as they cry, “We have no king but Caesar.”

1)Finally, in Acts 7, we see them resisting the Spirit, and stoning Stephen as a result.


C)Rejecting the Father in the Old Testament, refusing the Son in the Gospels, and resisting the Spirit in the 1)Book of Acts caused the collapse of the people of Israel.


D)But God is faithful. The message of Romans 9–11 is that even though Israel has refused the Son, rejected the Father, and resisted the Spirit—God will keep His promises to her. And all of Israel shall be saved.