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THEN therefore, Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him.

Ver. 1.  Pilate's motive, for ordering our Saviour to be scourged, was no other than this; that the Jews might be satisfied with these his numerous sufferings, and might no longer seek his death.  For the same reason, likewise, he permitted his soldiers to inflict those unheard of cruelties, related in the sequel.  S. Aug.  tract. 110. in Joan.



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2 And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head; and they put on him a purple garment.

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The Crown Of Thorns

The Crown Of Thorns

And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head; and they put on him a purple garment.

3 And they came to him, and said: Hail, king of the Jews; and they gave him blows. 4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith to them: Behold, I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him.

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5 (Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he saith to them: Behold the Man. 6 When the chief priests, therefore, and the servants, had seen him, they cried out, saying: Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Take him you, and crucify him: for I find no cause in him. 7 The Jews answered him: We have a law; and according to the law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 8 When Pilate therefore had heard this saying, he feared the more. 9 And he entered into the hall again, and he said to Jesus: Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest thou not to me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thee? 11 Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin.

Ver. 11.  Unless it were given, or permitted thee from above.  Therefore, he that delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin.  Some expound this of Judas; others, rather of the high priest Caiphas, with the Jewish council: for they could not be ignorant that Jesus was their Messias, having seen the miracles Jesus did, and knowing the predictions of the prophets.  Wi.

 

--- Lest any should think, from what our Saviour had said, that Pilate was not in fault, in this place, he here adds, that he that had delivered him up, had the greater sin: God, indeed, had permitted it; but still these instruments of his death were not without fault.  S. Chrys. hom. lxxxiii. in Joan.

 

--- Christ had been delivered into the power of Pilate through envy, and Pilate was about to exercise that power through fear.  But though this last motive of fear can never justify any one, who condemns the innocent, yet still it is much more pardonable than the motive of envy, which was the incentive of the Jewish multitude.  S. Aug. tract. 116. in Joan.

 

--- Judas delivered Jesus into the hands of the priests, but both the priests and the people delivered him up to Pontius Pilate.


12 And from henceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar's friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar.
13 Now when Pilate had heard these words, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha.


14 And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king.

Ver. 14.  The Parasceve of the Pasch; that is, the day before the paschal sabbath.  The eve of every sabbath was called the Parasceve, or day of preparation.  But this was the eve of a high sabbath, viz. that which fell in the paschal week.  Ch.

 

--- It was about the sixth hour when they crucified him.  S. Mark, in his gospel, says, it was at the third hour that Jesus was crucified.  These two evangelists are easily reconciled, if we consider that according to the custom of the Jews, all that took place between the third hour and the sixth hour of their day, was said to have happened in the third hour: their days being divided into four parts of three hours each, in the same manner as the nights were into four watches, of three hours each.  S. Mark, therefore, might say very well, that the crucifixion of our Saviour took place in the third hour: though it might have been towards the conclusion of this general division of the day: whilst S. John, with a reason equally as good, says that it happened about the sixth hour.  John Nicolaus, in his marginal notes on S. Thomas' Aurea Catena.



Jesus Is Presented To The People

Jesus Is Presented To The People

And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king.

15 But they cried out: Away with him; away with him; crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.

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Christ Presented To The People

Christ Presented To The People

But they cried out: Away with him; away with him; crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.

16 Then therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him forth. 17 And bearing his own cross, he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha.

Ver. 17.  S. John makes no mention of what took place on the way to Calvary, when Jesus, being worn out by fatigue, could not proceed any farther, and they were obliged to relieve him of his burden, and to give it to a man, named Simon, of Cyrene, to carry for him, as is related in S. Matt. xxvii. 32. and S. Mark, xv. 21.  Calmet.

 

--- For the honour paid in the early ages to the holy cross see S. Cyril, l. vi. cont. Julian.  S. Jer. ep. xvii.  S. Paulin. ep. xi.



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Calvary

Golgotha, i.e. the place of Calvary,of heads and skulls: perhaps, says S. Jerom, from the skulls of persons executed, and buried there. Several ancient writers would have it so called, from Adam's skull, whom they guess to have been buried there. Some also say that a part of this mountain was called Moria, the place where Abraham was ready to have sacrificed his son Isaac. Wi. --- Calvary. A place at a small distance from Jerusalem, where condemned malefactors were beheaded. So Christ, as a malefactor, dies on Calvary for the redemption of all: that where sin abounded, grace might more abound. Ven. Bede. --- In this mountain, according to the Hebrew doctors, were interred the remains of our protoparent, Adam. Athana.

18 Where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst.

Nailing Christ To The Cross

Nailing Christ To The Cross

Where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst.

19 And Pilate wrote a title also, and he put it upon the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Ver. 19.  He is the king, not of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles also.  But it is not without reason, that he is called king of the Jews.  For they were the true olive (Rom. xi.); and we, the wild olive, have been ingrafted, and made partakers of the virtue of the true olive.  Christ, therefore, is the king of the Jews, circumcised, not in the flesh, but in the heart, not according to the letter, but the spirit.  S. Aug. tract. 118. in Joan.


20 This title therefore many of the Jews did read: because the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin.

Ver. 20.  As there were probably many Gentiles at Jerusalem at this time, on account of the festival day, this inscription was written in three different languages, that all might be able to read it.  S. Chrys. hom. lxxxiv. in Joan.

 

--- It was written in Hebrew, on account of the Jews, who glorified in the law of God; in Greek, on account of the wise men of all nations; and in Latin, because of the Romans, who at that time commanded almost every nation of the earth.  S. Aug. tract. 118. in Joan.


21 Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate: Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am the King of the Jews. 22 Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written. 23 The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

Ver. 23.  They made four parts.  Christ's upper garment had seams, which the four executioners could easily divide; but his under garment, or vest, was without seam, so that being cut, it would have been of no use.  Wi.

 

--- This coat without seam is a figure of the unity of the Church.  S. Cyp. de unit. Eccles.

 

--- The Rev. Fred. Nolan, of Woodford, in Essex, in his late work, entitled, Objections of a Churchman to uniting with the Bible Society, after quoting 2 Pet. iii. 15, 16, says: "That the Bible may, therefore, prove the remote, but innocent cause of harm, is not, I apprehend, to be disputed, if we are to admit of its own authority:" p. 23, and again, p. 24, "that the present mode of circulating the Scriptures must prove a most effectual specific for multiplying sects and schisms; and consequently, for increasing, to an infinite degree, the greatest evil, under which Christianity has suffered, from the time of its promulgation, down to the memorable epoch of this happy invention, for the establishment of Christian faith, and the extension of Christian unanimity."  P. 62 ibid.  "That the Bible is the foundation of our religion, is new doctrine, unless in the divinity of the conventicle.  We are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.  Eph. ii. 20.  On this foundation others still build, who are labourers together with God; (1 Cor. xi. 9. 10.) of which divine co-operation the successors of the apostles have an express promise, to the end of the world.  Matt. xxviii. 20.  And by persons thus authorized (John xx. 21.) apostolical tradition has been delivered down to the present day, p. 63.  The one body, of which our Lord was resolved his Church should consist, was to have one faith, (Eph. iv. 4, 5.) it was to contain no schism, (1 Cor. xii. 25.) but the present confederacy is formed on the principle of combining every sect and party, and this, while we have received an express prohibition against associating with those, who reject apostolical traditions, committed to the Church."  2 Thess. iii. 6. 14.  In a foot-note on the above, the learned divine very appositely cites S. Ignatius, in which quotation we find these emphatic words: Mh planasqe adelfoi mou, ei tiV scizonti akolouqei, Basileian qeou ou Klhronomei.  Be not deceived, my brethren, not only acknowledged schismatics, but whoever shall join with a schismatic, shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  The same apostolic Father, in another part, adds: he who corrupts the faith of God, for which Christ suffered, shall go into unquenchable fire: eiV to pur to asbeston cwrhsei.  S. Alexander, in the fourth century, says of the Arians: that seamless garment, which the murderers of Jesus Christ would not divide, these men have dared to rip asunder.  Tou arrhkton citwna scisai eiolmhsan.



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24 They said then one to another: Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: They have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lot. And the soldiers indeed did these things.

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25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.

Ver. 25.  There stood by the cross . . . his mother.  And so near to him, that from the cross he both spoke to her, and also to S. John.  Wi.


26 When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.

Ver. 26.  Though there were other holy women standing by the cross, he takes notice of none but his mother, teaching us, by this, what we owe to our parents.  For although it is our duty to disown them, when they place obstacles in our way to salvation; yet when they do not thus impede us, we owe every thing to them, and must prefer them to all.  S. Chrys. hom. lxxxiv. in Joan.

 

--- We learn also here, what should be our respect and confidence in this Virgin Mother, so highly honoured by her divine Son.


27 After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.

Ver. 27.  The disciple took her to his own† home, or into his own are, not for his mother, by the Greek expression.  See S. Chrys. and S. Aug.  Wi.

 

[†]  V. 27.  Accepit eam discipulus in sua.  Not in suam. eiV ta idia.

28 Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst.

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29 Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar about hyssop, put it to his mouth. 30 Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.

Crucifixion

Crucifixion

Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.

31 Then the Jews, (because it was the parasceve,) that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that was a great sabbath day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Ver. 31.  Because it was the Parasceve.  It is also called, (v. 14.) the day of preparation of the Pasch.  Lit. the Parasceve of the Pasch.  And (v. 31.) the Jews, because it was the preparation, that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for that was a great sabbath day, &c.  Some pretend, by these expressions, to prove that Friday, the year Christ suffered, was not the first and great day of the feast of Azyms, but only the day of preparation, and that on Friday night the Jews eat the paschal lamb, and not the night before, or Thursday night, as Christ had done with his disciples.  But according to the common exposition, Friday is here called the day of preparation, for the great and solemn sabbath, which happened in the paschal week.  See Tillemont on the 5th passage out of John, p. 698. § 11. and 12.  Wi.


32 The soldiers therefore came; and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him. 33 But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water.

Ver. 34.  There came out blood and water, which naturally could not come from a dead body.  Wi.

 

--- Hence it is, that the sacred mysteries flow; as often, therefore, as thou approachest the awful cup, approach it as if thou wert going to drink from thy Saviour's sacred side.  S. Chrys. hom. lxxxiv. in Joan.

 

--- The holy Fathers say, that the spouse of Jesus Christ was here taken out of his side, whilst sleeping on the cross, as Eve was from Adam's side, when he was cast asleep in Paradise.


35 And he that saw it, hath given testimony, and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true; that you also may believe. 36 For these things were done, that the scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him.

Ver. 36.  You shall not break a bone of him.  This, which was literally spoken of the paschal lamb, (Exod. xii. 46.) the evangelist applies to Christ, of whom the lamb was a figure.  Wi.

 

--- This had been said of the paschal lamb, which was a figure of Jesus Christ.  Exod. xii. 46. and Numb. ix. 12.



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37 And again another scripture saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced.

Ver. 37.  This text is from Zachary, xii. 10. and seems to refer most literally to Jesus Christ.



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38 And after these things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews) besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

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Arimathea

The town of Arimathea is placed on the maps about eighteen or twenty miles north-west of Jerusalem. --- Arimathea. In other parts of Scripture it is called Ramatha, a city of Judea, where Samuel, the prophet, was born. Ven. Bede.

39 And Nicodemus also came, (he who at the first came to Jesus by night,) bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

Ver. 39.  About a hundred pound.  This seems a great quantity.  It may be, they did not use it all.  And besides, it was the custom of the Jews, at their great burials, to cover the body with spices and perfumes.  Wi.



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40 They took therefore the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now there was in the place where he was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid.

Ver. 41.  This is added, lest it should be said, that it was not Christ, but some other, that rose from the dead; or at least, that he rose by the virtue of some other person reposing there.  Calmet.



Jesus Buried

Jesus Buried

Now there was in the place where he was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid.

42 There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
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