I. AND PILATE WROTE A TITLE.
A. Matthew and Mark tell us it was the accusation.
1. It was customary to put the crime above the prisoner's head.
2. This is the accusation that they brought before Pilate so as to make Him guilty before the Roman court of a crime punishable by death.
a. Before their court, He was adjudged guilty of blasphemy for His confession that He was the Messiah, and thus the Son of God.
b. That charge would never stand up in the Roman court.
3. According to Luke's gospel they made three charges against Him.
a. Perverting the nation.
b. Forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar.
c. Saying that He was Messiah the King.
4. The first two charges were false.
a. He did not pervert the nation.
1. He did speak against their traditions.
2. He did violate their rules of the Sabbath.
3. He did drive out the money changers from the Temple.
b. He advocated their paying their taxes to Caesar. He said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.
5. The third charge was developed before the high priest, when Jesus in answer to the question of the high priest, "Are you the Messiah?" And Jesus answered in the affirmative, he then asked "Are you then again the Son of God?" And again Jesus answered in the affirmative. The Messiah was to be the King of Israel, so by claiming to be the Messiah, He was also claiming to be their King.
6. This is the charge that was of concern to Pilate.
7. This would be subversion against Rome.
8. When Pilate asked Him if He were the King of the Jews, He answered that His kingdom was not of this world, or else His disciples would be fighting to keep Him from being turned over to the Jews.
9. This became His crime, and thus the inscription above the cross.
B. Pilate had no love for the accusers of Jesus.
1. He knew their craftiness.
2. He did not like them forcing him to make a judgement that went against his own conscience, and the advice of his wife.
3. He, to needle them, said, "Behold your king." He no doubt motioned toward Jesus who was bloodied, and beaten. It was in a sneering way to irritate them. They cried, "Away with Him. Crucify Him." He said, "Shall I crucify your king?" rubbing it in. They responded, "We have no king but Caesar."
4. They had won the argument. They had forced Pilate's hand.
5. Pilate however will get in the last word, he will dig them once more with the accusation above the cross, "JESUS OF NAZARETH, KING OF THE JEWS."
a. He had it written in three languages just to gall them, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.
b. The place of the crucifixion was near the city so that all could read it.
6. It had its desired effect, and the chief priest came to Pilate and said, "Don't say the king of the Jews, but that He said that He was the King of the Jews."
a. Pilate stood his ground, they had no power over this decision. "What I have written, I have written."
b. He is not about to do any favors for them.
II. THE PARTING OF THE GARMENTS.
A. It was the custom that the soldiers who performed the actual mechanics of the crucifixion, get as a bonus, the clothes of the prisoners.
1. Evidently there were four soldiers involved in the actual crucifixion, for they divided His garment into four parts.
2. Jesus had a special robe that was without a seam, for it was woven from the top throughout.
3. They decided to cast lots to see who would get the coat.
B. We stand in awe of the word of God and the wisdom of God as we read this, for we realize that this is just one more part of the plan of God that He had revealed in advance.
C. Psalm 22
is a prophetic declaration of His death on the cross.
1. It begins with the words, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me."
a. The very words that Jesus cried from the cross.
b. Perhaps in His cry He was seeking to give a message to the disciples, "Go home and read the whole psalm."
2. They shoot out the like, they shake the head saying, "He trusted on the Lord to deliver Him, let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him.
a. Matthew tells us in 27:39, that they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads.
b. Matthew 27:43
tells us that the chief priests said "He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him, for He said, "I am the Son of God."
3. All My bones are out of joint.
a. This was a common occurrence during crucifixion. When the muscles would give out from hanging on the cross, the bones would begin to come out of the joints causing excruciating pain.
4. They pierced My hands and My feet.
a. This we know was done as they drove the spikes in His hands and feet to hold Him on the cross.
5. They part My garments among them and cast lots on My vesture.
a. It amazes me that God saw fit to record this small detail in the prophetic record.
b. God had planned every little detail of the death of His Son for our sins.
c. He laid out the plan in advance, and then carried it out to each little detail.
6. I believe that God prophesied all of these things even the insignificant ones so that you would never doubt that this was all a part of the eternal plan of God to demonstrate how much He loves you.
C. Do you know how much God loves you tonight?
1. How do you feel that you should respond to the love?
2. After all He's done for me, how can I do less than give Him my best and live for Him completely after all He's done for me.
3. John said, "We love Him because He first loved us."
4. Do you love Him tonight? How long has it been since you have told Him?