Introduction: Last week we studied the arrest and the unjust trials
of Jesus. This week we continue our study on the conclusion to those
trials – the torture and death of Jesus on the cross. Part of me
wants to close my eyes. Part of me is astonished that God would allow
this to happen. At the same time I rejoice that Jesus, in His
boundless love, went through this for me. Let’s plunge into our

  1. Torture Under Pilate

    1. Read John 19:1-3. The Roman soldiers have no stake in the
      effort of the Jewish leaders to kill Jesus. Why would they
      act like this?

      1. Have you ever seen this kind of mockery of another
        person? (Sometimes, to a lesser degree this kind of
        behavior occurs among teenagers. It happens at a time
        in life when they lack self-confidence, and mocking
        someone else makes them feel like they are more
        important. Of course, it does nothing good for self-esteem of the person being mocked.)

      2. Have you ever seen this kind of thing happen to
        someone who real power to stop it?

      3. Those of you who are parents, imagine your children
        mocking you and hitting you. How would you handle

      4. Again, as parents, imagine coming across other
        children who are mocking and hitting your child.
        Would you allow this?

    2. Read John 19:4-6. Verse 6 tells us that when the Jewish
      leaders saw Jesus beaten, bloody, and mocked, called for
      His crucifixion. Why do you think seeing Jesus like this
      prompted them to call for His death? (They could see that
      things were going “their way.” Pilate was allowing this
      abuse even while saying Jesus was innocent.)

    3. Read John 19:7-8. Of what was Pilate afraid?

    4. Read John 19:12. What did Pilate want to do? (Set Jesus

      1. Did Pilate have the power and authority to set Jesus
        free? (Yes.)

        1. Why didn’t Pilate do what was right? (Political
          pressure. Job pressure.)

      2. What kind of intentions did Pilate have? (The right

      3. How about you? Do you allow the pressures of work and
        the pressures of life to interfere with your
        obligations to Jesus?

        1. Will having the right intentions save you?

    5. Read John 19:14-16. Was Pilate saying what he really
      thought about Jesus? (Read John 19:19. There is good
      reason to believe Pilate concluded Jesus was the Messiah.
      However, it might be that he was just annoyed with what
      the Jewish leaders had “forced” him to do.)

      1. What do you think about what the Jewish leaders said
        in John 19:15, the last sentence?

    6. Read Matthew 27:30-32. Would the soldiers have shown any
      mercy to Jesus? If not, why did they have Simon carry
      Jesus’ cross? (This shows us the extent of the beating
      Jesus had taken. He was a young, physically fit man. He
      had been beaten so severely that He was no longer capable
      of carrying the cross. The movie, The Passion of The
      Christ, seems to correctly portray the extent of Jesus’

  2. Torture on the Cross

    1. Read Matthew 27:35. What further indignity is Jesus’
      suffering? (He is hanging there naked.)

    2. Read Matthew 27:39-40. Consider the words, consider their
      head shakes. What are they saying to Jesus? (That He is a

      1. Why would this be a particularly cutting insult for
        Jesus? (Because it is Satan, not Jesus, who is the
        “father of lies.” John 8:44)

    3. Read Matthew 27:41-43. Is what is said in Matthew 27:42 about
      saving Himself the truth? (It is precisely the truth. Were
      Jesus to save Himself, He could not save us.)

      1. Under what circumstances can you imagine the
        dignified High Priest, teachers and elders engaging
        in this type of behavior? (The unstated sub-text here
        is that Satan has inspired men to engage in the
        basest of activities. Although they had engaged in
        the most serious sin – rejecting and conspiring to
        kill the Messiah, I cannot imagine that they were
        truly animals. This must be the influence of Satan.)

    4. Consider all of the abuse Jesus has taken: physical abuse,
      mental abuse, and a type of sexual abuse (hanging naked
      before all). What additional abuse could humans give Him?

    5. Read Matthew 27:45. The “sixth hour” is noon and the
      “ninth hour” is 3 p.m. Why did the land become dark during
      the brightest part of the day?

      1. Read Isaiah 13:9-11. What does this describe? (God’s

      1. Read Joel 2:1-2. What does this describe? (The day of
        God’s final judgment.)

      2. What do both of these descriptions of judgment have
        in common with what happened between noon and 3 p.m.
        of the day of Jesus’ crucifixion? (They all had

      3. Was Jesus’ crucifixion “judgment day?” (Yes. Read 2
        Corinthians 5:21 and Galatians 3:13-14. We must not
        miss this truth. Jesus suffered all the abuse we just
        discussed because Satan was doing all in his power to
        cause Him to sin. But, on top of that Jesus was
        suffered because He was experiencing judgment for
        your sins.)

    1. Who is more to blame for Jesus’ death? The Jewish leaders
      who successfully plotted against Him, the Roman’s who
      tortured and killed Him, or you – who created the sins for
      which Jesus suffered judgment?

    2. Read Matthew 27:46. Get the full picture here. The Jewish
      leaders are mocking Him. The authorities on earth are
      torturing and killing Him. Satan is pulling out all the
      stops to make Him sin. God the Father is pouring out
      judgment for the sins of the righteous against Him. What
      is going through the mind of Jesus?

      1. Notice that He does not call God “Father.” What does
        this suggest?

      2. Does this break your heart to see what your sins did
        to apparently rupture the relationship between Jesus
        and His Father?

        1. Was the relationship actually ruptured?

    3. Read Psalms 22:1. Were you aware that Jesus was quoting
      Scripture in Matthew 27:46?

      1. How does Psalms 22 end? (I want you to read the
        entire text of Psalms 22 because it is an amazingly
        accurate prophecy of Jesus. If you are uncertain that
        Jesus is the Messiah, this psalm of David should go a
        long way towards taking away all of your doubts.
        However, for our discussion, read at least Psalms
        22:22-24, 31. This chapter ends in victory! This
        shows that the relationship between God the Father
        and Jesus was not truly ruptured by His load of our
        sins. I believe that Jesus was holding on to this
        promise in Psalms.)

  1. Death and Victory

    1. Read Matthew 27:50-51. Why would the veil in the temple
      between the holy and the most holy place be torn? (It was
      all over. All of those animal sacrifices, all of the blood
      ceremony, the entire sacrificial system came to its climax
      and its fulfillment, in the death of Jesus, the Lamb of

    2. Read Matthew 27:52-53. Why is this possible? (Read 1
      Corinthians 15:20-26. Jesus’ death gave us victory over
      eternal death.)

    3. Read Matthew 27:54. These are probably the fellows who so
      badly abused Jesus. Is it in their best interest to
      acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God?

    4. Friend, the evidence stands before you. Jesus suffered the
      most extreme abuse because of your sins. Will you
      acknowledge Him as the Son of God, confess and repent of
      your sins, and accept the salvation that He offers which
      was purchased at such a great price?

  2. Next Week: He is Risen.