Putting Your Life on the Line

Key Verse: “Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of the skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.”
—John 19:16-18

Selected Scripture:
John 19:16-24, 26-30

THE KEY VERSE OF THIS lesson records the events concerning our Lord Jesus as he was being led away to die for our sins. He had put his own life on the line, and has invited his followers to do likewise.

Jesus had come unto his own people, Israel, but they were not ready to receive him, demanding his death instead. “They cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”—John 19:15

Our Lord was crucified along with two other men, one on either side of him. Thus was he numbered with the transgressors according to Isaiah’s prophecy which reads, “He hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”—Isa. 53:12

Jesus applied this prophecy to himself following the Passover celebration a few hours earlier. Substituting himself as the Passover lamb, and having invited his disciples to partake of the cup which symbolized his shed blood given on behalf of the world, he said, “I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.” (Luke 22:37) Jesus knew that all things concerning his earthly life were about to be fulfilled, and that soon he would be put to death as a blasphemer.—Matt. 26:65

John records the fact that the Jewish religious leaders were quite willing to have our Lord condemned to death by way of crucifixion. However, they were not prepared to have him publicly proclaimed as the King of the Jews, and Pilate refused their request to have the inscription above Jesus’ head changed to indicate that he alone claimed to be a king.—John 19:21,22

The parting of our Lord’s garments, and casting of lots, gives evidence of the indifference of the soldiers attending Jesus’ crucifixion. Little did they realize their hard-hearted actions were in fulfillment of prophecy. “They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.” (John 19:24) This was in fulfillment of Psalm 22:18.

Jesus had placed a very high level of commitment for his followers as expressed by Mark, “When he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”—Mark 8:34,35

Jesus was explaining the sacrificial life required of those who are baptized into his death. May we rededicate ourselves to this calling.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |