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The Sacrifice of Christ 

The Gospel Accounts spend more time showing us the trials of Jesus than His crucifixion

John 18.12–19.16

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 11, In the year of our Lord, 2016


  1. When we think of the sacrifice of Christ, 
    1. we think mostly of His crucifixion, and
    2. we should because He died for our sins.
      1. Paul told the Corinthians that he preached,

        2 …determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1Co 2.2).
      2. Therefore, we preach the crucifixion, which we should do.
  2. However, when you read the Gospel Accounts, 
    1. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
    2. the first four Books of the New Testament,
      1. you discover that all four of those preachers
      2. wrote more on the trials of Christ than on His crucifixion.
        1. In the New King James Version, Matthew wrote
          1. 481 words on the crucifixion (Matt 27.35–58), but
          2. 915 words on the trials (Matt 26.59–27.26).
        2. Mark wrote
          1. 310 words on the crucifixion (Mark 15.24–39), but
          2. 714 words on the trials (Mark 14.53–15.15).
        3. Luke wrote
          1. 278 words on the crucifixion (Luke 23.33–46), but
          2. 838 words on the trials (Luke 2.54–23.25).
        4. John wrote
          1. 446 words on the crucifixion (John 19.17–34), but
          2. 1098 words on the trials (John 18.12–19.16)!


  1. Therefore, let us see Jesus at His trials in the Gospel According to John 
    1. that we might see
    2. He sacrificed more than just what He experienced on the cross, and
      1. I certainly do not mean to minimize the cross, but
      2. to add to its weightiness.


  1. John 18.12–23 – First Jewish Trial

    18.12 Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. 13 And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. 14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. 15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. 16 But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in. 17 Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself. 19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. 20 Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. 21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.” 22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?”

    1. They brought Jesus before Annas first out of respect for him.
      1. However, the official high priest was Caiaphas, son-in-law to Annas.
      2. Caiaphas had unknowingly prophesied of the death of Jesus,

        49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad (John 11.49–52).
    2. While Jesus stood before Annas, Peter stood with the spectators.
      1. Peter could enter the courtyard, but John helped Peter get in.
      2. Then people started recognizing Peter.
        1. First, the servant girl who kept the door recognized him.
        2. Peter went and stood by the fire, for it was cold.
    3. The high priest questioned Jesus about His followers and His teachings.
      1. Jesus told the high priest that He spoke publicly.
      2. Therefore, the high priest should ask someone who listened to Jesus.
    4. An officer did not like the tone of Jesus, and
      1. slapped Him and
      2. rebuked Him.
    5. Jesus challenged the officer
      1. to bear witness of the evil that Jesus had allegedly spoken, but
      2. that if Jesus did not speak evil the officer should explain why he hit Jesus.
  2. John 18.24–27 – Second Jewish Trial

    24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. 25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not!” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.

    1. Annas had enough of Jesus,
      1. sending Him bound to Caiaphas.
      2. However, the high priest Annas had no need to bind the true High Priest;
        1. Jesus was performing His duty as the High Priest,
        2. offering Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
    2. Mean while, Peter continued to warm himself, but
      1. Jesus suffered in the cold.
      2. Finally the servants and officers recognized Peter, and
        1. asked if he was a disciple of Jesus.
        2. Peter denied it.
    3. However, a relative of Malchus, recognized Peter, because
      1. this relative saw Peter cut off the right ear of Malchus.
      2. The relative would not forget the man who cut off his relative’s right ear.
        1. Peter denied being in the garden when they arrested Jesus.
        2. Right then a rooster crowed,
          1. fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus
          2. that Peter would deny Jesus thrice before the cocked crowed twice.
  3. John 18.28–40 – First Roman Trial

    28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. 29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” 30 They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.” 31 Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” 32 that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die. 33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all. 39 But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

    1. John did not record the trial with Herod, but
      1. blended together both trials before Pilate.
      2. After a night of kangaroo courts,
        1. the Jews decide to turn Jesus over to the Romans,
        2. who had the authority to carry out the death penalty.
    2. However, look at the hypocrisy of the Jews.
      1. They would not defile themselves by going into the Praetorium
      2. so that they could eat the coming Passover, but
        1. they did not think that conspiring to kill an innocent man
        2. prevented them from eating the Passover!
          1. Little did they know that the Passover typified
          2. the true Passover whom they were handing over to the Romans.
    3. Pilate wanted to know what Jesus had done wrong.
      1. They just merely referred to Him being an evildoer.
      2. Otherwise, they would not have delivered Him to Pilate.
    4. Pilate told them to judge Jesus according to their law, for
      1. they had not brought up any violations of Roman law.
        1. Truly, they had not brought any charges against Him,
        2. just that Jesus was an evildoer.
      2. However, they quickly countered that He deserved the death penalty.
        1. When they did this,
        2. they did not know that they fell into the prophecy that Jesus made
          1. in regard to how He would die,
          2. that He would die by crucifixion,

            14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up…” (John 3.14).

            28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man…” (John 8.28a).

            32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die (John 12.32–33).

    5. The Jews must have stated that Jesus claimed to be their King, because
      1. Pilate asked Jesus whether He was the King of the Jews.
      2. Jesus did not answer, but
        1. wanted to know whether Pilate had come to this conclusion, or
        2. did someone say this about Jesus to Pilate.
    6. Pilate denied being a Jew,
      1. so he would not have concluded that Jesus was the King of the Jews.
      2. No, the nation of Jesus had delivered Him up.
        1. Therefore, Pilate asked Jesus,
          1. not the Jews anymore,
          2. what Jesus had done.
        2. Perhaps the Jews did not state their accusation against Him, because
          1. they wanted Pilate to be unbiased, and
          2. they knew that if he asked the right questions,
            1. Jesus would reveal who He was, and
            2. Pilate would conclude that he had to execute Jesus.
    7. Then in verse 36, Jesus acknowledged
      1. that He was a king, for He had a kingdom, but
      2. that His kingdom was not of this world, for
        1. if it was, His servants would fight,
        2. to prevent Him from being delivered to the Jews.
          1. Translation: the kingdom of Jesus did not threaten Rome.
          2. Pilate picked up on the implication and
            1. asked Jesus if He was a king,
            2. just to hear straight from Jesus Himself.
    8. Jesus affirmed that He was king,
      1. having been born for that very purpose, and
      2. He would bear witness to the truth.
        1. Who is of the truth,
        2. will listen to Jesus.
          1. Pilate did not have much to say, and
          2. simply asked, “What is truth?”
            1. Pilate had a hard time finding out the truth of Jesus.
            2. Yet, he had become governor for this very purpose,
              1. to handle Jesus,
              2. to declare His innocence, but
              3. to turn Jesus over to the Jews.
    9. Pilate reported to the Jews that he did not find Jesus violating any Roman law.
      1. For Pilate, that should have settled the matter, and
      2. he should have sent the Jews away.
        1. Yet, verse 39 shows that he tried to appease the Jews,
        2. suggesting that he release a prisoner
          1. according to an agreement that the Romans had with the Jews
          2. of releasing a prisoner during the Passover.
            1. Kind of like a goodwill gesture, and
            2. he offered to release their King.
              1. They resisted the offer and
              2. asked for a robber,
                1. a taker of life rather than
                2. a giver of life like Jesus.
  4. John 19.1–16 – The Sentencing of Jesus

    19.1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3 Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands. 4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.” 5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” 6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” 8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.” 13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.

    1. Wanting still to appease the Jews,
      1. Pilate allowed his soldiers to humiliate Jesus,
      2. hoping that would satisfy the bloodlust of the Jews.
        1. They scourged Jesus.
        2. They put a crown of thorns on His head.
        3. They put a purple robe on Him.
        4. They mockingly hailed Him as the King of the Jews.
        5. Finally, they beat Him up.
    2. Pilate then brought Jesus out to the Jews
      1. that they might see Him humiliated, and
      2. that Pilate had not killed Jesus,
        1. showing that He did not believe
        2. that Jesus had done anything worthy of death.
    3. They yelled for Pilate to crucify the carpenter turned teacher/preacher.
      1. Pilate was even willing to let the Jews crucify Him, but
      2. they would have none of that, for
        1. the Roman government forbid them from doing such a thing,
        2. otherwise, the Romans would have a reason for punishing the Jews.
          1. Nevertheless, they said Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and
          2. that frightened Pilate because this was a greater accusation.
    4. Pilate went back to question Jesus more.
      1. However, Jesus remained silent,
      2. knowing that it would do no good, and
      3. that it was God’s will for Him to die.
        1. Pilate said that he had the power to release Jesus or to crucify Him.
        2. Jesus acknowledged that Pilate did indeed have such power, but
          1. that he had received it from above, Heaven,
          2. not from across the Mediterranean, Rome.
            1. Therefore, the Jews had greater sin than Pilate did, for
            2. they should have recognized Jesus as coming from above.
    5. Yet again, Pilate tried to release Jesus,
      1. forgetting the words that he had just spoken to Jesus
      2. that Pilate had the authority to release Jesus.
        1. Okay, release Him, Pilate!
        2. Escort Him out of the country under Roman guard.
    6. The Jews could see that they had influence with Pilate because he was weak,
      1. so they stated that if he let Jesus go,
      2. he was not Caesar’s friend, because
        1. Jesus made Himself out to be a king, and
        2. whoever does such speaks against Caesar.
    7. Pilate tried one more time to release himself of Jesus,
      1. bringing Jesus out to the judgment seat,
      2. declaring Jesus as their King.
        1. The Jews demanded the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.
        2. Pilate wanted to know why they wanted their King crucified.
          1. The chief priests could only say that their king was Caesar.
    8. Then Pilate made the sad decision to give in to their demands, and
      1. turned Jesus over to their wishes, and
      2. his soldiers took Jesus and led Him away to crucify Him.


  1. Why did He submit Himself to such humiliating treatment? 
    1. We know that He could have easily avoided it, or
    2. stopped it in progress.
      1. Truly, He asked the Father if it was possible
      2. to avoid the cross,
        1. wanting to avoid separation from His Father, and
        2. wanting to avoid the torture of the cross.
  2. Yet, Jesus went through it 
    1. without complaining,
    2. without arguing, but
      1. out of obedient love to His Father, and
      2. out of saving love for us,
        1. He died for our sins,
        2. taking our place for the punishment of our sins.
  3. Now we do not have to suffer eternal separation in hell from the Father. 
    1. Now we can be a child of the Father.
    2. We can be a brother or sister of Jesus Christ.
    3. We can have the Spirit dwelling within us.