By LYNN WADDY
The Mineral Wells Wednesday Bible Study Club, continuing with its 78th year of study, met in the home of Mrs. Nikki Murphy and Mrs. Elaine Summers was the lesson leader for the 19th Chapter of the Gospel of John.
This 19th Chapter continues with the bringing of Jesus before Pilate.
Mrs. Summers’ discussion focused on the centuries-old debate of who was responsible for the death of Jesus Christ.
Some blame the Romans for the death of Jesus, while others argue that the Jews (particularly, their leaders) were responsible. Ultimately, the Romans played a part, while the Jews were the instigators.
However, the real responsibility lies with neither of these groups of people. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was God’s own plan to have His Son bear the sins of all who would ever be saved.
Jesus was no victim. Neither the Romans nor the Jews had the power to take His life.
Jesus told Pilate: “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.”
But God’s sovereign control of events does not relieve individuals of responsibility for their actions.
John 19 gives the account of the last phase of Christ’s civil trial.
As was the case with the first phase of that trial in John 18, it was presided over by Pontius Pilate, Roman governor of Judea.
Pilate ordered that Jesus be scourged by the soldiers.
He hoped that this horrendous punishment would satisfy the angry mob.
It did not!
The soldiers made a crown of thorns for Jesus and put a purple robe on him in mocking imitation of the royal robes worn by kings and shouted, “Hail, King of the Jews.” Disgusted with the Jewish leaders’ callous attitude and wanting simply to be rid of Jesus, Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”
The specific charge that the Jews brought against Jesus was that he made himself out to be the Son of God.
They had tried, unsuccessfully, to have Jesus condemned on political grounds as an insurrectionist and now they wanted Pilate to sentence Him, based on Jewish religious law.
Thus Pilate was maneuvered into ordering the execution of Jesus.
Jesus carried his own cross to the Place of the Skull, or in Hebrew: Golgotha. There Jesus was crucified with two others who were criminals. Here, the soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ garments.
As Jesus looked down upon His mother and his disciple, John, he told His mother to behold her son; and He told John to behold your mother.
Even as He was dying Jesus selflessly cared for those He loved. The horror of this day continued with placing of sour wine to His lips as He thirsted.
The soldiers pierced His side to make sure He was dead.
Having received the governor’s approval, Joseph of Arimathea immediately came and took away Christ’s body and hurriedly began preparing it for burial with the mixture of myrrh and aloes provided by Nicodemus.
Joseph and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices.
The Gospel of John relates that near Golgotha there was a garden which contained a new tomb – Joseph’s own tomb – and this is where they laid Jesus.
Throughout the 19th Chapter of John, Mrs. Summers pointed to the Old Testament writings that foretold the coming of the Christ and His sacrifice for the world.
The Wednesday Bible Study Club had a short business meeting.
Then the members concluded with the club’s closing prayer.