Tom: We’re continuing with the gospel. We’re in the Gospel of John:18:28: “Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment, and it was early, and they themselves went not into the judgment hall lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.”
Dave, before we continue, this brings to mind some timing issues with regard to…if they haven’t eaten the Passover yet, what day might this be?
Dave: It’s the day after the Last Supper. The Last Supper was eaten, Judas went out—that was back in chapter 13, “Judas went out into the night. Jesus said, Whatever thou doest, do quickly.” And it says there that the disciples thought He meant for Judas, since he was the treasurer—he had the moneybag—that he was going out to buy those things that they needed for the feast, because when the feast is coming, there’s no stores open…
Tom: So the Last Supper was not the feast?
Dave: Could not have been. Could not have been. The stores wouldn’t have been open. If the Last Supper were the first day of the Unleavened Bread, it would be a high holiday. That is the day that is actually coming up at sunset at this point. So, the Last Supper could not have been the Passover. And that causes problems—some people disagree with that.
Well, but the Pharisees, the rabbis, had not eaten the Passover. They didn’t want to defile themselves. These are the times—the days of unleavened bread. The first day of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Passover has not yet come, but it’s coming up, and they’re purging themselves and preparing for it.
So that’s an interesting thing, and, Tom, if we just go back for a minute and look at what it says: John 13, it says, “Now before the Feast of Passover…” This is the Last Supper. It was before the Feast of Passover. And if we go back to John:12:1: “Then Jesus, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.” Now, if there were a Friday crucifixion, and if what we’re talking about, the Last Supper, was on a Friday, and so forth, a Thursday night, actually, you could count back six days, and six days before the Passover, the Passover was when they actually killed the lambs and ate them. And if that occurred on a Friday, count back six days and that brings you to a Saturday, the Sabbath. And Jesus did not make this kind of a journey on the Sabbath Day. But if the crucifixion occurred on a Thursday, which I believe it did from what we’re now reading, then you count back six days and He came to Bethany on Friday, He rested on the Sabbath; they had a supper for Him on Saturday evening, apparently, after sunset, which is after the Sabbath, and then Sunday, the next day, He rode into Jerusalem on that donkey, which we now celebrate as Palm Sunday.
Tom: Dave, it’s even simpler if—you went backwards, what happens if you go forward? You start with the day of resurrection and then come back three days and three nights. It doesn’t come back to Friday.
Dave: Well, you could make it three days, but you can’t make three nights.
Tom: That’s my point…
Dave: You’ve got Saturday night, Friday night, and then Thursday night. He had to be in the grave Thursday night.
Well, Pilate then went out unto them, because they’re—they don’t come in; they won’t come in—and said, “What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor [that means, you know, he’s worthy of death], we would not have delivered him up unto thee…” Why would that be? Because it was no longer lawful for Jews to put anyone to death. This is an important passage here, Tom. “Then said Pilate to them, Take ye him and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.” That’s interesting, because Genesis:49:10, Jacob is prophesying to his sons, verse 1 says, “Gather together unto me and I’ll tell you what will befall you in the last days.” Obviously they wouldn’t be there, but their descendants would be. So that tells us that the Jews will still be around in the last days.
And then he says, Genesis:49:10, he says: “The scepter will not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come. And unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” So Shiloh is the Messiah, so the Messiah had to come before the scepter departed from Judah. Well, the historians tell us that happened about 7 AD when the Jews lost the right to exact the death penalty. They were under the heel of Rome. They still had much liberty, however, in the practice of their religion.
Tom: But Dave, what about stoning? They did that. If it was unlawful…
Dave: Well, it was unlawful when they stoned Stephen. They tried to stone Jesus, but that was not lawful.
Tom: Well, but again, the woman caught in adultery…
Tom: They were attempting to do that.
Dave: They were going to stone her…well, they were not sticklers for obeying Roman law, but they are now acknowledging, “The scepter has departed from Judah. It’s not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” Verse 32: “That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake signifying what death he should die.” Well, you got that in chapter 12.
Tom: Dave, if they would have just taken it upon themselves to stone Him, the Scriptures would not have been fulfilled. That’s interesting.
Dave: And, of course, they couldn’t have done it. They took up stones to stone Him in John 8 and in John 10, and it says, “He, passing through the midst of them, went his way.” Whether He blinded their eyes so they couldn’t see Him, or just there was something so powerful about Him that they were afraid, I don’t know. But there were times, as you said, when they wanted to stone Him. But, as you pointed out, no, He had to be pierced—His hands and His feet had to be pierced, Psalm 22. There had to be a sword or a spear, the Bible doesn’t designate. Zechariah:12:10: “They will look on me whom they have pierced…” But the Hebrew word there is not “nails in hands and feet,” but it’s a piercing of the side—a piercing to the death. So that had to be done. So He was not going to be stoned. Furthermore, stoning breaks bones, and the scripture said, “A bone of him shall not be broken.” And, again, that’s amazing, because they always broke the legs, but the scripture said, “They’re not going to do to him what they always do to the crucified.”
Tom: Dave, prophecy is just totally stunning. When we think about crucifixion, certainly the Romans were doing it then, but this is predicted before, as you mention, the Psalms, David, the time of David, way before this was even used—this was common among men.
Dave: Several centuries—at least three or four hundred years. Amazing prophecy. Well, Tom, the Bible is God’s Word, and this is—of course, we’ve mentioned this many times; it bears mentioning again—one of the things that separates the Bible from so-called “holy books” of various religions, is prophecy. I mean, there are many things that separate it. There are no prophecies in the Hindu Vedas, in the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana Mahabharata, Book of…Sayings of Buddha or Confucius, or the Qur’an. But in the Bible, there are, and in fact, the prophecies were so the Jews and the rest of us could identify the Messiah when He came.
Tom: John:18:33: “Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again and called Jesus and said unto him, Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me. What hast thou done?”
Dave: Well, this is an interesting exchange between Jesus and Pilate and I think we’ll have to wait until next week, but Pilate definitely has heard about Jesus, and he is interested in Him, and although John’s gospel doesn’t tell us—other gospels tell us—that his wife warned him. She’d had a dream about “this just man.” Pilate knows Jesus is not a criminal. He knows He has not done anything worthy of death. But he’s going to succumb to the mob and wanting popularity, so that Caesar can’t accuse him of not handling his position intelligently.