John 19:16b–27: The Crucifixion of Jesus

by Dec 18, 20170 comments

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When the Son of God came into this world, he set aside the riches, glory, and joy in which he had delighted from all eternity past. Instead of riches, Jesus plunged himself into poverty. Instead of glory, Jesus embraced an estate of humiliation. Instead of joy, Jesus became the Lord’s suffering servant. From the beginning of his life to the end, Jesus endured what theologians call his “passive obedience”—that is, Jesus faithfully endured lifelong suffering (cf. Heb. 5:8–10).

Certainly, Jesus experiences the most acute form of suffering at the cross as he endured the physical of crucifixion and the spiritual agonies of the curse of God against our sin. In John 19:16b–27, we also see that Jesus had to experience the suffering of losing every remaining blessing in his life: To gain his heavenly kingdom, Jesus must give up every worldly good.

Discussion Questions

1. Why is Jesus’ passive obedience in suffering necessary? How far was the extent of his suffering? Did he suffer at the cross only, or at other times in his life? What would be missing in God’s plan of redemption for us if he did not suffer at other times in his life?

2. What does the Apostle Paul mean when he writes, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21)? How did the Father make Jesus “to be sin,” even though Jesus “knew no sin” in complete innocence? How does the Apostle John demonstrate the way that Jesus gave up his moral purity as he became sin for us during his crucifixion?

3. What is significant about Jesus’ giving up his final possessions? Why did Jesus live in such poverty throughout his life? Why must he descend even further into poverty at his death? What do these actions teach us about wealth and possessions in this life? What do these actions teach us about wealth and possessions in the next life?

4. Why must Jesus give up his mother at the cross? Why can he not retain that relationship? How does Jesus also fulfill the commandment to honor his mother here? What does Jesus teach us about the balance between our relationships with our heavenly Father and our earthly parents?