The Gospel of John – Lesson 49 – John 19:17-30

17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to what is called the Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him with two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate also had a notice written and fastened on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this notice, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that ‘this man said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier. They also took his tunic, which was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it. Instead, let’s cast lots to see who gets it.” This was so that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. So the soldiers did these things. 25 Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene were standing near the cross. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother!” And from that time this disciple took her into his own home. 28 After this, knowing that everything had now been finished, and to fulfill the Scripture, Jesus said, “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was sitting there. So they put a sponge soaked in sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished!” Then, bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.

So it all came down to this. The Son of God took on human flesh and came to mankind to rescue us from sin, death, and the devil. Human beings responded to God’s mercy and love by condemning Jesus to die the death that was reserved for the worst criminals. No one would listen to the obvious evidence that Jesus was innocent of all charges brought against him. No one would carry his cross for him until a man named Simon was forced to do the work. (See Luke 23:26) The only earthly possession Jesus had left (his clothing) was taken away and gambled for by the Roman soldiers. The crowd gathered at the cross hurled insults at Jesus. (See Mark 15:29-32) Mark records that even Jesus’ heavenly Father needed to abandon his Son on the cross so Jesus would suffer God’s full judgement against our sins completely alone. (See Mark 15:34) Who could have blamed the Son of God if he finally decided enough was enough. He had every right to use his divine power to come down from the cross and to force human beings to pay the penalty for their own sins.

But during the final hours before Jesus died we can’t help but marvel at the incredible love Jesus shows to us. He came to save us from our sins. To the very end, Jesus carefully fulfilled every detail that was necessary for our salvation to be complete. Jesus’ mother and his disciple; John were there at the cross. Joseph was dead by this time. Jesus, as the oldest son in the family was supposed to see to the care of his mother. Although, Jesus would always watch over her, he gave John the responsibility to visibly be with Mary and to provide for her. This act is a more than a tender moment that warms our heart. Jesus also thinks of us with this action. For our salvation, Jesus needed to fulfill the Law of God throughout his entire life. That obligation didn’t go away in the final hours of his life. It was necessary for our salvation that Jesus perfectly obeyed the Fourth Commandment and all God’s other commands. Jesus honored his mother for her sake and for ours.

Jesus had one more task to carry out. As he reached the final moments of his life it’s not surprising that Jesus was thirsty. But as he asked for something to drink, he wasn’t thinking of his own needs. John points out that even here our Savior was fulfilling Scripture. Psalm 69:21 said, “For my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.” Everything written about Jesus in the Holy Scriptures had to be perfectly fulfilled down to the smallest detail. Even as he asked for a drink, Jesus completing everything just as it was foretold about him.

At this point, Jesus knew that everything he went to the cross to accomplish was completed. Jesus had one more thing to say. After he received the sour wine offered to him he called out “It is finished.” With these words, Jesus announced to us that nothing turned him aside from his mission. The anguish he endured, the cruel mocking he faced, and even the rejection by his own heavenly Father were not too much for Jesus to overcome. Jesus carried his mission on to completion. Jesus’ words proclaim that our sins are fully forgiven. There is nothing more we need to add to what Jesus did perfectly. There are no sins that his sacrifice didn’t atone for. There will never be a time when the grace God showed us will run out. Believe that in Jesus Christ your sins are forgiven now. Believe that they are forgiven forever.

If you ever find yourself doubting your salvation, if the guilt of your sins seems like too much to bear, if you ever feel worthless or unloved, then look to the cross. Listen to Jesus as he takes his dying breath. Believe that God loved you enough to give his own Son to save you. Believe that in Jesus Christ you have been fully pardoned of all your guilt. Believe that Jesus is your only Savior. Believe that he has completed the work of your salvation for all time.

Discussion Questions

1 – Crucifixion involved terrible physical pain. Yet this was only the beginning of Jesus’ suffering. What might we miss if we dwell only on the physical horrors of Jesus’ suffering and death?
Remember that Jesus was enduring all this while carrying the full burden of our sins and the sins of the whole world. Jesus also needed to endure rejection by his own heavenly Father while he hung on the cross so that he would endure all of God’s anger against sin completely alone.

2 – What is the significance of the soldiers taking Jesus’ clothing and dividing it among themselves?
This also was done to fulfill the Holy Scriptures. Psalm 22:18 said “They divide my garments among them. For my clothing they cast lots.”

3 – What did Jesus mean when he proclaimed “It is finished” as he died?
John 1:29 proclaimed that Jesus is “The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus announced from the cross that he had completed this task. He knew that God that Father was fully satisfied with his Son’s sacrifice. Our guilt is fully taken away now and for all time.

4 – What important truth did the last part of verse 30 confess?
After Jesus said “It is finished” we’re told that “Bowing his head, he gave up his life.” Death didn’t claim Jesus. Jesus willingly gave himself over to death. Jesus always said it would be this way. He said in John 10:17-18, “This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life so that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This is the commission I received from my Father.” Death didn’t have the power to take Jesus’ life away from him. Nor would death have the power to stop Jesus when it was time to rise again on Easter morning. The Son of God proved again that he has full authority over life and death.

If you have any questions about the Word of God we studied in this lesson please contact Pastor Greg Tobison. You can send your questions to