You successfully added to your cart! You can either continue shopping, or checkout now if you'd like.

Note: If you'd like to continue shopping, you can always access your cart from the icon at the upper-right of every page.



The Gospel of John: Manifesting God’s Glory Book 5

Jesus manifested God's glory through 8 miraculous signs in the gospel of John. These are a revelation of the feast of tabernacles.

Category - Bible Commentaries

Chapter 9

The Crucifixion Scene

The phrase, “Behold Your King,” as written in the Hebrew text of Zech. 9:9, carries a numeric value of 6,000. Because six is the number of man, and a thousand is the number of glory, we see in this the presentation of the glorified Man, Jesus Christ, who was about to be glorified (John 17:5).

From a chronological standpoint, this also prophesied of the second appearance of Christ after 6,000 years, as Adamic history enters its Great Sabbath.

Pilate’s inscription on the cross was also a legal act and therefore prophetic as well, because the law prophesies of things to come. When Pilate declared in John 19:22, “What I have written, I have written,” he declared in typical Hebrew idiomatic language “that which is done is done and cannot be recalled.”

In other words, Pilate said, “What I have written shall stand, and you will not have any other King Messiah than this.” Hence, Pilate prophesied of the King even as Caiaphas had prophesied earlier of Christ, whose ministry was to die on behalf of the nation.

Casting Lots for his Garment

John 19:23, 24 says,

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture [Psalm 22:18]: “They divided My clothing, they cast lots.”

The “tunic” was not the royal robe that Herod had given Jesus, for Matt. 27:31 says,

31 After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him and led Him away to crucify Him.

Thus, Psalm 22:18 was fulfilled, saying,

18 They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

Psalm 22, of course, is one of the great messianic passages about the sufferings of David and of Jesus Christ. No doubt Absalom’s army, which overthrew David, ransacked David’s house and divided his garments among them. The entire psalm was quoted by Jesus on the cross, beginning with “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1; Matt. 27:46).

David was “a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4); Jesus was the High Priest of the same order (Heb. 5:5, 6). Thus, their garments were priestly garments, though not the same as what was worn by Aaron and his sons. To divide the garments among the soldiers signified that they were usurping the priesthood for themselves.

This is another indication, from a prophetic standpoint, that the soldiers were not Roman but the temple guards and were priests of the Aaronic order.

John omits many details which are covered by the other gospel writers. I gave a fuller account in my commentary, Dr. Luke: Healing the Breaches, Book VIII, and will not repeat the full story here.

The Witnesses of His Crucifixion

John 19:25 says,

25 Therefore the soldiers did these things. But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

Jesus’ mother, Mary, and “Mary the wife of Clopas” were “sisters,” because Joseph and Clopas (or Cleopas) were brothers. Cleopas was accompanying Luke on the road to Emmaus when Jesus walked with them shortly after His resurrection (Luke 24:18). Mary Magdalene is the third “Mary” to provide the triple witness of His death. Mary means “bitter,” showing the meaning and purpose of the bitter herbs that were to be eaten at Passover (Exodus 12:8). Mary Magdalene was no doubt Mary of Bethany, as I have shown elsewhere.

We are not told when these women came onto the crucifixion scene, whether they were present at the Last Supper and the Garden or if they arrived on the morning of Jesus’ trial before Pilate. Yet we know that they were in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and they followed Jesus to the Mount of Olives, where Jesus was crucified.

Here the prophecy of Simeon came to pass, recorded in Luke 2:34, 35,

34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

This mysterious prophecy speaks of “the fall and rise of many in Israel,” which seems to suggest a sequence of death and resurrection, both literally and spiritually. Christ would “be opposed” as well, which became evident throughout His ministry and finally in His condemnation. There was yet another Simon to “bear His cross” (Matt. 27:32). Both of these men did as their name prophesied, because Simon or Simeon means “hearing.” Both heard the word of God.

Our focus, however, falls upon Mary herself, for a “sword” was to pierce her soul as well. The purpose of this sword was to reveal “thoughts” from the heart. It is an early prophesy of the function of the word of God, as seen in Heb. 4:12,

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The word of God is a sword, a sharp knife in the hands of the priest who uses it in cutting up a sacrifice. The priest not only cut apart the portions of meat but also separated bone from bone at the joint and cut into the bone to expose the marrow itself. This prophetically pictured the division of soul and spirit. The bone itself represents the soul; the marrow represents the spirit.

Those who do not know the difference between soul and spirit ought to learn how to better wield the sword of the Spirit, for there is a difference between bone and marrow. The marrow is within the bone, even as the Most Holy Place is within the Sanctuary. To enter the Holy Place (soul), one must go through the outer court (body). To enter the Most Holy Place one must go through the Holy Place. So also, to expose the spirit, one must go beyond the soul which encases it.

Cutting through the soul (bone), reveals “the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” This goes beyond the facades of the soul, our psychological defense mechanisms which give the appearance of righteousness but not the reality that is in the heart.

So the sword was to pierce the souls of many in Israel, exposing the bitterness of the heart. So Mary herself—and the other two Marys—remained at the cross as types and signs of the exposure of heart bitterness, which could be cured only by the cross itself. Hence, the bitter herbs eaten at the Passover meal prophesied not only of the bitter experience itself but also of the three Marys; and their presence manifested the sharp sword of the word that was cutting up the Sacrifice and exposing also the bitterness of men’s hearts.

Behold Your Son

John 19:26 says,

26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”

This essentially fulfilled Zechariah 12:10,

10 … they will look on Me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, they will weep bitterly [marar] over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”

The Hebrew word translated “bitterly” is marar, which is the root word of the name Miriam, or Mary. Mary was standing in for the entire nation and for the world which, on different levels, had “pierced” Him. It shows that the solution for heart bitterness, anger, and rebellion against God is remedied by the command, “Behold your Son.”

Behold Your Mother

John 19:27 continues,

27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

John the Beloved became Mary’s guardian, taking responsibility for her. Hence, in the years to come, when John moved to Ephesus, Mary went with him, at least for a season. Prophetically speaking, “Behold your mother” ties in with the previous command, in that it shows that those whose hearts find the remedy of the cross are the ones who join the household of love. They move from bitterness to love. This is similar to the equivalent of joining “the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10), which is, in turn, becoming part of the household of Abraham.

John’s name in Hebrew is Johanan, “whom God has graced.” Hence, there is also an element of grace here as well.

We see, then, how the three Marys played a vital prophetic role in the story of the crucifixion, which teaches us how we are all to apply the proper grace-remedy to the condition of heart bitterness. In so doing, we are able to join the household of love and faith and, as Jesus said earlier, “abide in My love” (John 15:9).