Day 31

The Innocent One Is Crucified

from the John reading plan

John 19:1-42, Psalm 22:1-8, 1 Peter 2:22-25

BY Tameshia Williams

With unhurried detail, John gives us eyewitness access to Jesus’s physical suffering, from the crown of thorns pushed into His scalp to the nails driven through His feet. The resurrection is just beyond this chapter, but John forces us to linger over the imagery of crucifixion day. The details are cruel, unbearable even, but they present us with this challenge: don’t look away. 

Instead, the Gospel narrative invites us to pause, to sit with Jesus in His suffering. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on what that suffering means for us, for the world. 

The apostle’s account of Jesus’s crucifixion includes the events leading up to it. A beaten Jesus stands before Pilate, the religious leaders, and the crowd. Although he had previously ordered Jesus’s lashing, the Roman governor finds no reason to proceed with convicting Jesus.

“I find no grounds for charging him.” —John 19:6 

Pilate makes this statement twice, in verse 4 and again in verse 6, not realizing the spiritual truth in his words. Jesus’s innocence wasn’t tied to living as the model Jewish citizen or even to Pilate’s not-guilty verdict. No. Here was the sinless Son of God, ready to die for the sins of the ones who had brought Him to trial…ready to die for the sins of the world. 

No matter how much authority Pilate thought himself to have, Jesus’s crucifixion could only happen by God’s authority and power (John 19:11). Not Pilate’s, or the crowd’s, or the religious leaders’. They were carrying out God’s will and didn’t even realize it. Jesus’s suffering and death, foreshadowed in the Old Testament, were part of the divine plan of salvation (Psalm 22). With every word and every action, Scripture was being fulfilled. 

“I find no grounds for charging him.” Those become haunting words, knowing that Pilate proceeded with Jesus’s crucifixion in spite of His innocence. And if we keep reading, if we don’t look away, we get a clear depiction of the depth of sin. This is seen, not just in the torturous method of death inflicted upon Jesus, but also in the reality that only God Himself could satisfy the penalty of death—our penalty.  

It’s a solemn reading, seeing the Savior’s body abused over and over. Death by crucifixion was humiliating and agonizing. Slow. It’s an even weightier reading, knowing the pain-filled hours Jesus spent on the cross were for us, for our sin. But John 19 is not meant to leave us with an overwhelming emotion of guilt. The imagery of the crucifixion points to this: Jesus embraced the ultimate death so that we wouldn’t have to. It’s the imagery of redemption. 

We can never repay Jesus for His sacrifice, and He doesn’t ask us to. Instead, He calls us to respond. Our response is one of gratitude and joy, as we reject the sin that He died for and embrace the life He freely offers us (1Peter 2:22–24).

Post Comments (52)

52 thoughts on "The Innocent One Is Crucified"

  1. Ali Adair says:

    Psalms 22 always leaves me with chills. This was God’s plan from the beginning. Jesus could have stopped it at any time, but did not, out of love for us. Thank you Lord! Thank you for saving us!

  2. Jamie T says:

    Oh my. How I love Jesus. Do you ever wonder what it would have been like to be one of the Marys. Not because I want to witness His pain and suffering but because he deserves our love, praise, and worship. To cry for Him at the cross near His death, to be with him, to tell him He is loved and His sacrifice will forever be remembered.

  3. Katie Jorgensen says:

    Hi ladies could you please pray for me. I have a college tour tomorrow and a meeting with an admission person. I am anxious for this so please pray I feel the Lord’s comfort and do not feel too nervous. Praying for you all! Reading the comments and being apart of the SRT community has brought me a lot of joy in my life!

  4. Claire B says:

    @Churchmouse Well said and thought provoking.

  5. Dorothy says:

    Something I never caught in the scripture, that I noticed today, in verse “25 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene.” was that the second Mary mentioned was Jesus’ mother sister or His aunt. I wonder if it was her blood sister or a sister-in-law. For it wo be her blood sister it would be strange to have two Mary’s in the same family. I think I will look further into this.
    This devotion really brought home some things to think about. Tameshia brings up some very good points. I’m SOOOO glad I DON”T have to repay Christ for dyeing for my sins and that I have eternal life to look forward to.
    Be blessed and remember your faith will carry you, sisters.

    1. Ali Adair says:

      Never Noticed that before. I do know that Mary comes from Mara or Bitter. I wonder the circumstances of each women’s birth for her parents to name her that.

  6. Gwineth52 says:

    The three Marys at the foot of the cross (John 19: v.25). Searing images. Grief & Intimacy. Son & Teacher. Unthinkable & unmerited violence. In the fulfillment of scripture. Unknowing, in the horrific moments, there will come the empty tomb. Christ Jesus, center me through constant praise & prayer & acts of faith so I might commemorate their vigil, planted & rooted at the foot of Your cross. Thanks be to God.

  7. Sky Hilton says:

    “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister Mary, and Mary of Magdala.”

    I don’t know about you.. but in my life.. no matter how hard it gets..I want to remain in that small groups that still praises Jesus at the cross. I don’t want to abandoned him again or go away from Him. I am His and He is mine!

  8. Linda Branch says:

    Thank you LORD for removing our sins. It cost you everything. You endured our pain and paid our debt. May we forever praise You and bring honor to your Name.

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