Resurrection Road: Dead in Christ (John 19:1-30)

Resurrection Road

Part II: Dead in Christ

{Genesis 3:15, 21; 22:1-2, 7-14; Psalm 22:1-21; John 19:1-30 Romans 3:23-26}


We ended last week by looking in the Garden of Eden at God’s verbal initiation of the plan of redemption in Christ alone. Understanding that before God had even created it was already determined that Christ would die at the hands of godless men in order to save mankind.[1]

I would like us to start there this morning ultimately working our way to our text in John. My desire is that we will walk away today:

1.) Glorifying God for His faithfulness to His Word in providing a Redeemer for us.

2.) Worshipping God in understanding the implications His death has in our lives.

Let’s dig in!

Genesis 3:15

What we have here in this promise after man’s fall into sin is a very broad stroke of a very specific event. The First Gospel provides us with some details of an act that is going to take place in the future. There is certainly information we can ascertain. Most notably the final portion:

1.) Satan’s head will be crushed.

2.) The Person doing the crushing will be injured in the process.

After God has made this statement to Satan we see an event take place in the garden. Before we look at the event remember, prior to the fall of man, God said:

“…From the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”[2]

This death speaks of both spiritual and physical separation for humanity from God. We understand that a spiritual death occurred between God and man once they ate from the tree; However, we can read in Genesis and see that Adam and Eve did not physically die immediately. Did a physical death occur in the Garden of Eden? Yes, a physical death did occur.

Genesis 3:21

We often have a tendency to overlook the implications within a verse. Within this verse we see death in the garden. Who died? An innocent lamb. Who should have died? Adam and Eve. It is in the beginning after the promise of a coming Redeemer Who will crush Satan and be crushed in the process, that we are introduced to substitution; the innocent dying in the place of the guilty.

Notice, God killed the lamb and clothed the guilty. We saw the mercy of God as He withheld humanities destruction, and we now see the grace of God as He gives them what they do not deserve.

What about the justice of God? Did this innocent animal’s death satisfy the totality of God’s justice? No, but it foreshadowed what the crushing of the Redeemer’s heel would be to do so. Lewis Sperry Chafer explains it well by saying:

“The meaning of all sacrifice is here explained. Every offering was an execution of the sentence of the law upon a substitute for the offender, and every such offering pointed forward to that substitutional death of Christ which alone vindicated the righteousness of God in passing over the sins of those who offered the typical sacrifices.”[3]

If we jump forward 21 generations from Adam we will see the substitutionary concept of God’s redemptive plan from eternity come into focus. As we read this familiar portion of Scripture there are certain words that should jump out at us.

Genesis 22:1-2

Talk about a portion that receives constant criticism from the world, and one that I fear many Christians struggle to grasp. We must understand that even if Abraham had in fact killed his son, Isaac would still have walked down the mountain with him. God had promised the Redeemer would come through Isaac,[4] since God keeps His Word Abraham believed that God was going to raise Isaac from the dead.[5]

Genesis 22:7-14

Again, we see God provide an innocent ram to die in place of a guilty individual as a substitute for sin. There are at least two things I want us to notice, and one major thing we must understand:

1.) Notice Abraham calls the place Jehovah-Jireh, which means The Lord Will Provide.[6] As Moses wrote this it was still said, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.”

2.) This should call our attention to God’s statement to Abraham, “You have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”[7]

3.) We must then understand that 2,000 years after this account God The Son, like Isaac will lay down on the alter, but God The Father will not withhold the knife from Him.

Let it be known The Father provided and killed The Lamb, His Beloved Son, His only Son, Jesus Christ:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”[8]

In John’s gospel, let us read of the cutting knife across The Innocent Substitute for sin, Who was given by The Father desiring to redeem us.

As Paul says and quotes in Romans:

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.”[9]

What we are about to read is a serious debacle of justice within the Roman Empire; however, it was through the injustice of godless men putting to death the innocent Christ the justice of God was satisfied.

Pilate had already declared once before the people, “I find no guilt in him.” Meaning Christ is innocent! Realize the next portion of Scripture does not read of Jesus’ release because He is innocent.

John 19:1-4

J. Vernon McGee plainly states:

“If Jesus was innocent, He should have been turned loose. If He was guilty of the charge brought against Him, He should have been crucified. To scourge Jesus was entirely unlawful and wrong. Pilate did it because he thought this would placate the Jews.” [10]

Let us read how further injustice plays out.

John 19:5-18

An innocent Man was just crucified! The prophet Isaiah describes His visage as being “marred more than any man.”[11] Certainly from the scourging. The Psalmist prophetically declared:

“Can a throne of destruction be allied with Thee, one which devises mischief by decree? They band themselves together against the life of the righteous, and condemn the innocent to death.”[12]

Peter points Israel to the Holy Spirit’s words through King David:

“Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples devise futile things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ.”[13]

The gospel records Pilate, Herod, Israelites and Gentiles gathering against the Anointed One, and crucifying Him in fulfillment of the Scripture.

John 19:19-22

They give the crucified King the inscription, Jesus The Nazarene, The King of the Jews. The inscription is in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. Some say this shows the gospel is for all people.[14] Hebrew being the language of religion. Greek being the language of culture and education. Latin being the language of law and order. After all Christ declared:

1.) “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life.”[15]

2.) “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”[16]

In these following verses we will see man’s interactions with the lifted Messiah.

John 19:23-27

All gospel accounts speak of the soldiers dividing His garments and then casting lots for His tunic.[17] This is in fulfillment of the Scripture and we will look at that prophecy in a moment, because it is within an even greater one.

This text in John shows the soldiers were not the only ones standing by the cross. We see Mary, Jesus’ mother; Mary, Jesus’ aunt; Mary Magdalene, a woman healed by Christ; and John, Christ’s disciple. We watch as Christ commits His mother to the disciple Whom He loved, and as John takes her in as his own. You almost wonder if words spoken 30 years prior were emerging in her mind as she stood by the cross:

“…you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.”[18]

She looks and sees a cross rather than a throne. She hears men mocking and hurling abuse at their King on the tree saying:

“You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”[19]

“He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him. He trusts in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”[20]

Around this time Matthew and Mark record that she heard Christ cry out in Hebrew:

“’ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?’ which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?’”[21]

On lookers thought He was calling to Elijah; however, He directed His audience to Psalm 22, which I believe is the cup He requested His Father to remove if there be another way to save humanity.[22] He ends the request with, “Not My will, but Yours.” Showing perfect obedience to Him. Know that Christ’s perfect obedience led The Father to turn away from The Son as our sins were laid on Him. It was our sin on Christ that made Him turn! The perfect fellowship that was there from all of eternity was now severed when:

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we may become the righteousness of God in Him.”[23]

In John’s account we have seen mankind’s interaction with the crucified Christ. Do you want to know the conversation that took place between the crucified Son and The Father? Do you want to know the mind of Christ as He hung upon the tree as a curse?Read Psalm 22, and realize it was written 1,000 years before the incarnation of Christ.

Psalm 22:1-21

It is after this we read:

John 19:28-30

Christ dies on the cross. Right before Christ dies He cries out, Teleo![24] It is a financial term meaning paid in full. What is paid in full? The sin of the world.

Our loving Father gave His Son, Who willingly became an Innocent Substitute taking on our sin debt and paying it off with His eternal blood.

Listen to Paul’s letter to the Romans:

Romans 3:23-26

What does Christ’s death mean for your life? I want to first address the non-believer and self-righteous that may be gathered among us:

1.) Christ’s death declares you are dead in sin separated from God, because He is Holy and you are not.

2.) Christ’s death shows you cannot work your way to God. If people could be made right with God any other way we would not have read this text today.

3.) Christ’s death displays the love of God for you beckoning you to trust entirely in His work.

If you have trusted in the shed blood of Christ this morning please come tell us. Also, this next part now pertains to you. What does the death of Christ mean for the believer?

1.) Christ’s death shows us what dedication to God in our lives ought to look like.[25] A sacrificial life for God’s glory!

2.) Christ’s death demonstrates the unconditional love of God we are to display.[26] Within all relationships we are to forgive as God in Christ has forgiven, and within marriage husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church.[27]

3.) Christ’s death emphasizes the severity of sin in our lives.[28]

4.) Christ’s death shows us that sin and death no longer have power over us.[29]

5.) Christ’s death completely satisfied The Father meaning there is now nothing that will ever separate us from Him.

“…I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[30]

[1] Acts 2:22-23; Ephesians 1:4

[2] Genesis 2:17

[3] Systematic Theology: Christology; Lewis Sperry Chafer: Page 178

[4] Genesis 21:12

[5] Hebrews 11;17-19

[6] Unger’s Bible Dictionary; Page 565

[7] Genesis 22:12

[8] John 3:16a

[9] Job 35:7; 41:11; Isaiah 40:13; Romans 11:33-36

[10] Thru The Bible With J. Vernon Mcgee, J. Vernon Mcgee; Page 490

[11] Isaiah 52:14

[12] Psalm 94:20-21

[13] Psalm 2:1-2; Acts 4:25-27

[14] Thru The Bible With J. Vernon Mcgee, J. Vernon Mcgee; Page 492

[15] John 3:14

[16] John 12:32

[17] Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:23

[18] Luke 2:31b-33

[19] Matthew 27:40

[20] Matthew 27:42-43

[21] Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34

[22] Luke 22:42

[23] 2 Corinthians 5:21

[24] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; NT Number: 5055

[25] Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 12:1-3

[26] Ephesians 4:32-5:2

[27] Ephesians 5:25

[28] Colossians 3:3-6

[29] Romans 6

[30] Romans 8:38-39

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