Grace

1Peter 1:9-12 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 

‘The end of your faith’ the Greek word telos meaning the end of a thing. It could also mean the consummation of being admitted or initiated into religion, marriage, etc. If this is what Peter has in mind it refers to believers being initiated into salvation by their faith (1:8-9). He could also have had in mind the end of salvation itself, which is at the end of a life of faith. 

‘Enquired’ [Greek: ekzeteo] to search out. They carefully and diligently sought and examined the truth of the things they were prophesying.

‘Grace that should come unto you’ they had salvation, grace, fillings, and gifts of the Spirit. It was the fullness of grace they predicted (John 1:16-17). Remember that the receiving of the fullness of grace is conditional.

God cannot give grace to men who disobey the gospel. If so, then God is under obligation to save all, even sinners who disobey if He saves even one (Rom. 2:11). God is under obligation to saints only when they walk in the light and remain true to the gospel (1John 1:7). He is not under obligation to sinners until they come to full obedience of the gospel. Grace teaches men to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, righteously, and godly here and now (Tit. 2:11-12). If people do not obey its teaching grace can go no further.

Anyone may: Receive grace in vain (2 Cor. 6:1); frustrate the grace of God in his life (Gal. 2:21); fall from it (Gal. 1:6-8; 5:4); fail of the grace of God (Heb. 12:15); turn it into lasciviousness (Jude 1:4); sin in spite of it (Rom. 6:1); continue or discontinue in it (Acts 13:43); minister it to others (1Pet. 4:10); grow or not grow in it (2Pet. 3:18); receive or reject it (John 3:16; Heb. 12:15; Jas. 4:6; Rev. 22:17).

‘Searching’ [Greek: ereunao] to search for; examine (1:11; John 5:39; 7:52; Rom. 8:27; 1Cor. 2:10; Rev. 2:23). They did not know the time of the sufferings of Christ or by whom, neither the glory to follow the sufferings.

‘Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven’ it was the new covenant – that is the New Testament that was established with Christ’s crucifixion, (Heb. 9:15-18) and its full blessings that the prophets foretold. The fullness of grace (John 1:16-17), the fullness of the Holy Spirit anointing upon believers (Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; Acts 1:4-8), the full gifts and fruit of the Spirit (1Cor. 12:4-11; Gal. 5:22-23), and the complete redemptive acts and processes of which the law was a shadow (Heb. 10:1) were all predicted by the prophets in the Old Testament. The way into the holiest by the blood of Christ (Heb. 10:19), power and authority of every believer to do the works of Christ (John 14:12), and many other truths and experiences were unknown to the prophets. ‘Desire to look into’ angels are no doubt amazed at the wonderful plan of redemption and of the eternal exaltation of the redeemed. Even now they are being taught by the body of Christ the manifold wisdom of God (Eph. 3:9-11). They observe saints constantly (1Cor. 4:9) and desire to look into the wonderful truths of the gospel.

Agree in One

1John 5:8-12 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he has testified of his Son. He that believes on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believes not God has made him a liar; because he believes not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life. 

‘Three’ there are three witnesses of humanity and sonship: The Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus at His water baptism (Matt. 3:13-17). The water – a threefold witness: (1) Water baptism symbolizing His own death, burial, and resurrection (Matt. 3:13-17); (2) Water of the Word bearing witness to the incarnation (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:34-35); (3) Water and blood at the crucifixion testifying of His humanity (John 19:34). The third witness is the blood, testifying not only the humanity and sonship of Jesus Christ but guaranteeing redemption from sin (Matt. 26:28; Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:14; Col. 1:20-22; Heb. 9:14-26; 10:1-23; 1Jn. 1:7).

‘Agree in one’ agree to the one point of the humanity and sonship of Jesus (4:1-6; 5:5-9).

‘If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which he has testified of his Son’ if we receive witness of sinful men who can so easily deceive, we should gladly receive the witness of God who cannot possibly deceive. God’s witness of His Son is greater than all men.

‘He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself’ every believer has a personal witness from God to his faith (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 5:6; 2Cor. 5:17).

‘He that believes not God has made him a liar; because he believes not the record that God gave of his Son’ every unbeliever receives the fruit of his own rejection of God (John 3:36).

‘And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life’ – eternal life in Jesus Christ is the great truth of which the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the water, and the blood bear testimony.

‘This life is in his Son’ eternal life is only in Jesus. All who are in Him have this eternal life and all out of Him do not have it. Blessings in Jesus Christ: No condemnation (Rom. 8:1); freedom from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2); the love of God (Rom. 8:39); truth (Rom. 9:1); union in one body (Rom. 12:5); wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1Cor. 1:30; Rom. 3:24); resurrection of the body (1Cor. 15:22); triumph (2Cor. 2:14); abolishment of the Old Testament law; new creation (2Cor. 5:17); simplicity (2Cor. 11:3); liberty (Gal. 2:4); sonship (Gal. 3:26); brought close to God (Eph. 2:13); high calling (Php. 3:14); faith and love (1Tim. 1:14; 3:13); grace (2Tim. 2:1); salvation (2Tim. 2:10); eternal life (5:11; 2Tim. 1:1); preservation (Jude 1:1).

The Trinity

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

‘Three are one’ the only sense three can be one is in unity, as is clear in John 17:11, 17:21-23. See other scriptural uses of the word one (Gen. 2:24; 11:6; 1Cor. 3:6-8; 12:13; Eph. 2:14; Heb. 2:11). Three persons cannot be one person in number in any sense, but the three can be one in unity.

There are over 500 plain scriptures that refer to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as being Three Separate and Distinct Persons, each with His own personal body, soul, and spirit in the sense that all other persons have them. Plural pronouns are used of God (Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Ps. 2:3; Isa. 6:8). Elohim, the Hebrew word for God in 2,700 places, is a uni-plural noun, meaning Gods and is so translated 239 times.

Two persons called God are referred to in the Old Testament in: the Pentateuch (Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; 19:24; Exodus 14:19; 23:20-23; 32:34; 33:1-3; Numbers 20:16; Deuteronomy 18:15-19). The historical books (Joshua 5:13-15; Judges 2:1-5). The term, “the angel of the Lord” means “the angel from the Lord.” The Lord is one person and the angel that comes from Him is another person. Both persons are divine, for the angel proves to be God in many of these passages, and certainly, the Lord who sends the angel is another divine person. Also, “the Spirit of the Lord” means “the Spirit from the Lord.” The Lord is one divine person and the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, from the Lord is another divine person (Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6, 19; 15:14; 1 Samuel 10:6; 16:13-14; 2 Samuel 23:2; etc.). The same is true of the “Spirit of God” which is the Holy Spirit who was the agent of God and spoke by the mouths of the prophets since the world began (Acts. 3:21; Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Pet. 1:21). The poetical books (Psalms 2:1-12; 8:3-6 with 2:5-8; 16:8-11; 22:1-31; 34:20; 45:6-7; 68:18; 69:8-9; 89:27; 110:1-5; 118:26; 119:97-104; 132:11, 17; Proverbs 30:4). The prophetical books (Isaiah 7:14; 8:18 with 2:12-13; 9:6-7; 11:1-5; 42:1-7; 49:1-12; 50:4-11; 52:13-15; 53:1-12; 55:4-5; 63:1-10; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Ezekiel 33:15-18; 34:29; Daniel 7:9-14; Hosea 11:1; Micah 5:1-6; Habakkuk 2:7; Zechariah 6:12-13; 12:10; 13:6, 7; Malachi 3:1-3).

Two persons called God are referred to in the New Testament in: The Gospels (Matthew 1:18-20; 2:6, 15, 22; 5:44-48; 6:1-18; 7:21; 9:38; 10:32-33, 40; 11:10, 25-27; 12:18, 28, 31-32, 50; 14:33; 15:13; 16:27; 17:5; 18:10, 19, 35; 19:17; 20:23; 21:9, 16; 22:21, 42; 23:8-10, 39; 26:29, 39, 42, 44, 53, 63-64; 27:43, 46; Mark 1:2, 8, 12, 24; 2:7; 3:11; 5:7; 8:38; 9:7; 11:25-26; 12:27; 14:36, 62, 15:34, 39; 16:19; Luke 1:32-33; 2:11-14, 22, 38, 40, 49-52; 3:16; 4:1-14, 18, 41; 7:27; 10:21-22; 11:13; 12:5-10, 32; 13:55; 16:13; 19:38; 20:35, 38, 39-44; 22:29; John 1:1-3, 5, 14, 18, 29, 36; 2:16-17; 3:2, 16-17; 4:10; 5:17-45; 6:27-65; 7:16-18, 28-29, 33-39; 8:14-56; 9:3-5, 33; 10:15-18, 25-38; 11:4, 22, 27, 41-42; 12:26-28, 44-50; 13:1-3, 20, 31-32; 4:1-31; 15:1-25; 16:3-32; 17:1-26; 18:11; 20:17-23, 31). The book of Acts (1:16; 2:22-39; 3:7-26; 7:59-60; 9:3; 13:17-41; 16:6-34; 17:18-31; 18:5, 24-28; 19:1-7; 22:14; 26:8-9, 18-23; 28:23-31). The Pauline Epistles (Romans 1:7-10, 16; 2:16; 3:22-26; 4:24; 5:1-21; 6:3-23; 7:25; 8:29-34; 14:10-12; 15:5-7; 16:20-27; 1Corinthians 1:1-9, 14-30; 3:9-15; 4:1-21; 5:1-13; 8:4-6; 10:4-31; 11:3; 14:2-33; 15:15, 24-28, 57; 2Corinthians 1:1-23; 2:17; 4:2-15, 5:18-21, 8:1-19; 9:7-15; 10:1-14; 11:1-11, 31; 12:1-12, 19-21; 13:4-7; Gal. 1:1-12, 15-24; 2:16-21; 3:13-29; 5:1-6; 6:14-18; Ephesians 1:1-2; Philippians 1:26-30; 2:12-16; 3:3, 14; 4:5-23; Colossians 1:1-2, 12-28; 2:2-3:17; 4:3-12; 1Thessalonians 2:1-18; 3:8-13; 4:13-18; 2Thessalonians 1:1-12; 2:1-12; 3:1-18; 1Timothy 1:1-2, 11-17; 2:3-7; 5:21; 6:1-17; 2Timothy 1:1-2; 2:1-26; 3:12-17; 4:1-2, 8-22; Titus 1:1-4, 7-16; 2:1-13; Philemon 1-25; Hebrews 1:1-14, 2:5-18; 4:4-16; 5:1-14; 6:7-20; 7:1-26; 8:1-13; 9:24; 10:5-9, 19-23; 10:5-9, 19-23; 11:25-26; 12:2-3, 22-24; 13:4-21). The General Epistles (James 1:1; 2:1-5; 1Peter 1:5-9; 2:3-25; 4:1-11; 5:1-14; 2Peter 1:1-2, 2:1-4; 1John 1:1-7; 2:1-2, 22-25; 3:1-3, 8-10; 4:9-10; 5:1, 20-21; 2John 2; Jude 1, 4). Revelation (1:1-2; 2:7, 10-11, 16-18, 28-29; 3:14-16; 4:5-8; 5:1-11; 6:16-17; 7:9-17; 11:15; 12:10, 14-19; 15:1-4; 17:14-17; 19:1-21; 20:4-6; 21:2-14, 22-23; 22:1-21).

Three persons are clearly referred to in Psalm 45:6-17; Isaiah 10:20 – 12:6; 42:1-7; 48:16; 59:15-21; 61:1-3 with Luke 4:18-21; 63:9-10; Zechariah 3:8-9, 12:10 – 13:1. Three persons called God are referred to in the New Testament in: The Gospels (Matthew 1:20-25; 3:9-17; 4:1-11; 12:18-21; 22:42-46; 28:19-20; Mark 1:10-11; 12:35-37; Luke 1:32-35, 67-80; 2:25-35, 38; 3:22; 11:9-13; 24:49; John 1:31-34; 3:34-36; 14:16-21, 23-26; 15:26; 16:7-17; 20:21-23). The book of Acts (1:1-8; 2:17-21, 33-39; 4:8-12, 24-31; 5:30-32; 6:1-15; 7:1-53; 7:54-56; 8:5-23, 29-39; 9:5-20; 10:2-48; 11:15-25; 13:2-12, 46-52; 15:7-29; 18:24-28; 20:21-35). The Pauline Epistles (Romans 4:1-4; 5:1-5; 8:1-27; 9:1-5; 14:17-18; 15:8-30; 1Corinthians 2:1-15; 3:16-23; 6:9-19; 7:22-24, 40; 12:1-29; 2Corinthians 1:18-23; 3:3-18; 5: 1-10; 6:1-18; 13:14; Galatians 3:1-11; 4:7; 5:16-26; 6:2-8; Eph. 1:3-21; 4:3-32; 5:1-21, 6:6-24; Philippians 1:1-19; 2:1-11; Colossians 1:3-8; 1Thessalonians 1:1-10; 4:1-18; 5:9-28; 2Thessalonians 2:13-17; 1Timothy 3:15-16; 4:1-10; 2Timothy 1:6-14; Titus 3:4-7; Hebrews 2:1-14; 3:1-12; 6:1-6; 9:6-14; 10:10-18, 26-31). The General Epistles (1Peter 1:1-4, 10-25; 3:15-22; 4:13-19; 2Peter 1:16-21; 1John 3:23-24; 4:2-3, 12-16; 5:5-11; Jude 20-21). Revelation (1:4-6, 9-10; 3:1-13, 21-22; 4:1-3; 5:1-10; 11:3-13; 14:12-13; 19:1-10; 22:16-21).

Thus the whole Bible abundantly proves that there are three separate persons in the Godhead, or in the “one Lord” and “one God” or Deity; that these three are in absolute unity and “are one” as believers are supposed to be (John 17:11, 21-23); and that all three persons have their proper place in the creation and redemption of all things, and to each, we owe honour and respect in all our worship and service to the Godhead.

The Spirit is Truth

1 John 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 

‘By water and blood’ (1John 5:8) the water is a threefold witness: (1) Water baptism symbolizing Jesus own death, burial, and resurrection (Matt. 3:13-17); (2) The water of the Word bearing witness to the incarnation (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:34-35); (3) Water and blood at the crucifixion testifying of His humanity (John 19:34). The blood, testifying not only the humanity and sonship of Jesus Christ but guaranteeing redemption from sin (Matt. 26:28; Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:14; Col. 1:20-22; Heb. 9:14-26; 10:1-23; 1Jn. 1:7).

‘And it is the Spirit that bears witness’ many examples are given in Scripture that the Spirit witnesses of Jesus: By guiding Simeon to Jesus to declare His Messiahship when He was still a babe (Luke 2:27-32). By training Jesus in His growth to maturity (Luke 2:40-52; Isa. 50:4-5). By descending upon Him, confirming His Messiahship (Matt. 3:16; John 1:31-33). By anointing Him to fulfil the prophets (Matt. 12:18 with Isa. 11:2; 42:1-7; Luke 4:16-21 and Acts 10:38 with Isa. 61:1-2). By the transfiguration of Christ, demonstrating His earthly kingship (Matt. 16:28; 17:1-9; 2Pet. 1:16-21). By enabling Christ to offer Himself as a ransom for all (Heb. 9:14). By the resurrection of Jesus and His triumph over death, hell, and the grave (1Pet. 3:18-19; Acts 2:24-32; Rom. 1:4). By the Spirit’s descent at Pentecost, confirming the ascension and exaltation of Jesus Christ (John 7:37-39; Acts 2:33-36). By fulfilling the prophecies of Jesus in men chosen to represent the Messiah (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15; Acts 2:1-47; Heb. 2:1-4; Mark 16:15-20). By giving personal witness to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Rom. 8:9-16; Gal. 4:6). By a written record of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and of the new covenant that all believers should adhere to (Acts 1:1-2; 1Cor. 2:10; 2Tim. 3:16-17; 2Pet. 3:16).

‘The Spirit that bears witness … is truth’ the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17; 15:26) because He testifies of Jesus (John 15:26), who is the Truth (John 1:17; 5:33; 8:32; 14:6).

The true manifestation of the Holy Spirit will be earmarked by the following clear-cut rules and Christian principles: A Christ-like spirit of love, patience, and faith in God (Gal. 5:21-22). Soberness and a lion-like keenness of spirit (2 Tim. 1:7; 1 Cor. 12:1-11). Deep humility of heart and meekness of spirit, with courage against sin, sickness, poverty, disease, discouragement, failure, and every other thing that could cause defeat in the Christian life (Acts 1:8; 10:38; Rom. 8:1-13; Gal. 5:16-26). An absolute clearness of the mental faculties in intelligent action to carry out Biblical instructions concerning known duty in the personal life as a Christian (1 Cor. 14:32; 2 Tim. 1:7). Freedom from all fault-finding, surmising, whispering, or slander to anyone, and freedom from all the works of the flesh that are listed in Romans 1:29-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Mark 7:19-21. The lack of any condemning and judging spirit, or seeking to hurt anyone by thought, word, or deed. All divine readings will be for the edification and betterment of all concerned and will be in accord with the golden rule (1 Cor. 13; Eph. 4:22-32; 5:1-18). Freedom from any ignorance concerning the divine will at the moment. All acts of God will be primarily for the liberation of men from sin, for the deliverance of the body from pain, sickness, and want, or for some other good thing that someone needs to have done for him (Acts 10:38). All work of the devil tends to blind, cause sin, discouragement, lack of faith, and failure in life (John 10:10).

Overcome the World

1John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcome the world: and this is the victory that overcome the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 

‘Born of God’ many Scriptures say that when one is born again and in Christ, he “receives power to become a son of God” (1:12); he has “crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24); “his sins are blotted out” (Acts 3:19); “he is washed, sanctified, and justified” (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Rev. 1:5); “he has turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to the power of God” (Acts 26:18); “he has salvation” (Rom. 1:16; 2 Thess. 2:13); “he is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24); “he is God’s elect” (Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:2-4; Col. 3:12); and “he departs from all iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:4, 19-22).

‘Overcome the world’ eight blessings of the new birth in 1 John: Power to do righteousness (2:29); actual sonship (3:1-3; 1 John 8:10); freedom from sin (2:9; 5:18); love for the brethren (3:14-18; 4:7-8; 5:1); love for God (4:19; 5:1-3); power to keep the New Testament commandments (John 1:12; 14:15; 15:14); power to overcome the world (5:4-5); freedom from satan (5:18).

‘Our faith’ blessings of faith are given as follow: Physical healing (Matt. 8:10; Acts 3:16); protection (Matt. 8:26; 14:31); daily food (Matt. 16:8-10); forgiveness (Luke 7:50; Rom. 3:25); miracles (Acts 6:8; Gal. 3:5); heart purity (Acts 15:9); sanctification (Acts 26:18); righteousness (Rom. 3:22; 9:30); justification (Rom. 3:28-31; 4:1-25; 5:1; Gal. 2:16; 3:8, 24); sonship (Gal. 3:26); salvation (Acts 4:12; Eph. 2:8-9); renewal of youth (Rom. 4:17-20); stability (1Cor. 16:13; 2Cor. 1:24); Christian living (2Cor. 5:7; Heb. 10:1-39); Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:2, 14); works of power (1Thess. 1:3; 2Thess. 1:11); Christ indwelling (Eph. 3:17); baptism into Christ (Col. 2:12); Godly edifying (1Tim. 1:4); boldness (1Tim. 3:13); assurance (Heb. 10:22); good profession (Heb. 10:23); patience (Jas. 1:3; 1Pet. 1:7); inheritance (Jas. 2:5); power to resist satan (1Pet. 5:9); victory over the world (1Jn. 5:4); edification (Jude 1:20); many faith exploits (Heb. 11).

Ten faith promises are for those who choose to live by faith: Nothing impossible (Matt. 17:20); all things (Matt. 21:21); whatever we say (Mark 11:22-24); salvation (Acts 4:12; 1Pet. 1:5-13); daily necessities (Matt. 6:1-34; Luke 12:28); victory in Christian living (Rom. 1:17); access to God (Rom. 5:2); Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14); promises fulfilled (Heb. 6:12) and physical healing (Jas. 5:14-16).

‘He that believes that Jesus is the Son of God’ let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity and contend for the fullness of power and faith that is promised those who believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.

Follow Me

John 21:15-19 So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me more than these? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; thou know that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my lambs. He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; thou know that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my sheep. He said unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Love thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou know all things; thou know that I love thee. Jesus said unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou was young, thou girded thyself, and walked whither thou would: but when thou shall be old, thou shall stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou would not. This spoke he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he said unto him, Follow me. 

‘Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me more than these?’ Peter is always addressed as “Simon” except in Luke 22:34. The question from Jesus to Peter was if he really loves Jesus more than the rest of the disciples, as he boasted (Matt. 26:33-35)? He had boasted of greater love than the rest and yet, no one (except Judas) had treated Him so basely. Peter in his reconverted state gave a most modest reply.

‘Love’ Jesus used the Greek verb agapao in the first two questions, which means ardently, supremely, perfectly, while Peter answered with the verb phileo to like, be fond of, feel friendship for another. The third time the Lord used phileo which deeply humbled Peter.

‘Feed’ the Greek word bosko, to feed, tend a flock, provide pasture for, take care of, guide, lead, defend, govern, and shepherd His lambs. ‘Lambs’ the Greek word arnion. Only here and 27 times in Revelation, and always of Christ except John 13:11. The other word for lamb is amnos as used in John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32 and 1Pet. 1:19. ‘Sheep’ the Greek word probation for sheep. Used figuratively of Christ (Acts 8:32); lost people (Matt. 9:36; 10:6; 15:24; 1Pet. 2:25); saved people (Matt. 10:16; 26:31; John 10:1-27; 21:16-17; Rom. 8:36; Heb. 13:20); and people in general (Matt. 25:31-46).

‘Third time’ Peter had denied the Lord three times before the cock crowed; now Christ caused him to make a triple confession. ‘Grieved’ the Greek word lupeo, to make sorrowful, to affect with sadness, cause grief, make uneasy. It is translated “grieve;” “sorry” and “sorrowful;” and “be in heaviness.”

‘Lord, thou know all things; thou know that I love thee.’ This might have been the confession and the humility Christ was looking for. A few days before, he knew more about himself than Christ did and was frank enough to say so, but his fall and repentance had greatly humbled him. Now he was not so sure of himself, but he was sure that he loved Jesus.

‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee’ the last of 25 times in John meaning surely, surely or Amen, amen.

‘When thou was young, thou girded thyself, and walked whither thou would: but when thou shall be old, thou shall stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou would not.’ The 43rd and last New Testament prophecy in John fulfilled. A prediction of the kind of death Peter should glorify God with. This was written after his death. Ancient writers say he was crucified head down as per his own request because he thought he was unworthy to die with his head up like his Master.

‘Young’ the Greek word neoteros that means younger. The word neos generally applied to people under thirty. The use of this word and the fact John outran him (20:4) gave rise to the tradition that he was a middle-aged man.

‘Carry’ the Greek word phero means lead, carry, bear, or bring forth. This refers to the time when Peter would die. Another would take him to where he would not desire to go – to death and the grave.

‘Follow’ in Greek is akoloutheo and is used of a servant, soldier, or pupils following their leader even to death (Matt. 8:19; 9:9; 19:27; John 12:26; 21:22). This statement no doubt relieved Peter, showing that Christ was not going to make any more predictions of his weaknesses and failure. Twice he is commanded here to follow (21:19, 22).

Jesus Is Buried

John 19:38-42 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being 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 him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand. 

‘Joseph of Arimathaea’ – a secret disciple of Jesus and member of the Sanhedrin (Matt. 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56). He was from Ramah, called in the Septuagint Armathaim (1Sam. 1:1, 19).

‘Nicodemus’ – he was one of the Jewish’s rulers and a Rabbi, as well as a member of the Sanhedrin, and one of the three richest men in Jerusalem. He was known as Bartholomew which is a patronymic for Nathaniel. He was the brother of Philip (1:45-51; 21:2) and one of the 12 apostles (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13).

‘By night’ – at first, he came by night, but now openly, proving no shame.

‘Myrrh’ the Greek word smurna meaning a fragrant gum used in anointing oil (Ex. 30:23), perfume (Psa. 45:8), and embalming (Mark 15:23). Myrrh is a gum which comes from the stem of a low, thorny, ragged tree growing in Arabia and East Africa. ‘Aloes’ a perfume of fragrant aromatic wood.

‘Hundred pound weight’ A hundred litre of 12 ounces each would make only 75 of our pounds. It is not known how much it costs per pound, but great quantities were used in embalming the dead body of respected persons. When Herod died 500 servants bearing aromatics attended the funeral (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 15:3:4). The women also brought spices (Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56; 24:1).

‘Wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews’ this was not embalming as practised by Egyptians. Jews simply anointed the body and wrapped it in fine linen, putting the spices and ointments in the folds. In Christ’s case, the operation was not completed due to the coming of the sabbath. As soon as the sabbath was over the women came back to complete the work (Mark 16:1). The linen was bound around each leg and arm and a napkin over the face (11:44; 20:7; Acts 5:6).

‘Sepulchre’ is the Greek word mnemeion translated as the grave. It is never the place of the soul, and is always located on the earth as the place where the body goes. The Bible is clear when it states that man puts bodies into the grave and that graves are made, dug, touched and seen. Thus can the hell [Greek: gehenna] and the grave [Greek: mnemeion] not be the same place because no wrath, sorrow, fire, degrees of torment, consciousness, souls, gates, bars, keys, prayer, conversations, pains, angels, demons, satan, punishment, remorse, feelings, emotions, desires, suffering, memory, comfort, or life is ever mentioned as being in graves; but all these things are mentioned many times as being in hell. Men can put into the grave after killing the body, but God alone can cast into hell (Rev. 20:11-15; Psa. 9:17).

‘Nigh at hand’ – indicating that they had to make haste to bury Him before the special sabbath began at sunset Wednesday to sunset Thursday. Also, it appears that they planned a better tomb and that they had no hopes of Him ever being resurrected, as He had repeatedly said. They considered Him a great prophet and planned on treating Him as such by making a great tomb for Him.

In centuries past, superstition, fraud, and all manner of sinfulness have been carried on in connection with the holy sepulchre. Greeks and Armenians for centuries pretended that divine miracles came through it and even immunity from hellfire would accompany anyone buried in cloth that was singed in the candle fires of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The fire was thought to miraculously come from heaven each Easter which has always been a pagan festival observed long before Christ. It is not a Christian name but is derived from Ishtar, one of the Babylonian titles of an idol goddess, the Queen of Heaven. The Saxon goddess Eastre is the same as the Astarte, the Syrian Venus, called Ashtoreth in the Old Testament. It was the worship of this woman by Israel that was such an abomination to God (1Sam. 7:3; 1Kin. 11:5, 11:33; 2Kin. 23:13; Jer. 7:18; 44:18). This church was burned down Oct. 11, 1808, after 1400 years of idolatrous practises in it.

It is Finished

John 19:28-30 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 

In Matthew 27:45 we read the following of these final moments of Jesus: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.” There was literal darkness between the hours 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. while Jesus hung on the cross. He died at 3 p.m. at the time when the passover lamb was slaughtered and other sacrifices were offered for the feast of Passover of Leviticus 23:4-8. He died after being on the cross for about six hours. In Matthew 27:51 and 54 we read that there was also an earthquake,

‘I thirst’ this is the 13th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in John that was given in Psalm 69:21. It was customary to give a stupefying potion to intoxicate and help alleviate sufferings (Pro. 31:6), but Christ refused it so as to suffer the full penalty for sin, sober and in His right mind. Three drinks were offered to Christ: Upon His arrival at Calvary (Matt. 27:33-34, Mark 15:22-23); when He was on the cross before the criminal cried for mercy (Luke 23:36); and at the end of His life (Matt. 27:48; John 19:29).

In Matthew 27:46 we read that about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice and said: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” Controversy still rages as to what language Christ spoke here. Some say Hebrew, others say Syriac, and still, others say Aramaic. One thing is certain – no one near the cross seemed to understand what He said and there were people there who could understand all these languages (Mark 15:35). This was no doubt the hardest part of His sufferings and also the cup to pass Him by [being separated from the Father because of our sin] that He referred to when praying in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39). Having been with the Father from all eternity without the slightest separation, it was hard to be forsaken even for a moment. This was necessary because God could not condone sin even if it were borne by His only begotten Son. This emphasizes the awfulness of sin and that it must be put away if fellowship with God is desired (Isa. 59:2; 1Jn. 1:7; Heb. 12:14; Tit. 2:11-14).

In Matthew 27:51 we see that when He finally died the veil of the temple was rented in two from the top to the bottom. There were two veils: one at the entrance of the Holy Place and the other between this and the Holy of Holies into which the high priest alone went once a year to atone for the sins of the people (Heb. 9:2-9). They were 18 meter high from the ceiling to the floor. The rending of the veil signified that the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles was broken down (Eph. 2:14-18) and that each believer now could have personal access to God (Heb. 9:8; 10:19-23; Eph. 2:14-18).

Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39 and Luke 23:47 mentions the centurion – a Roman officer of 100 men – and they that were with him, that were watching Jesus while all these things happened and he said: “Truly this was the Son of God.”

‘It is finished’ the Greek word teleo meaning to “make an end” (Matt. 11:1); “finish” (Matt. 13:53; 19:1; 26:1; John 19:30; 2Tim. 4:7; Rev. 10:7; 11:7; 20:5) etc. Sixteen things are finished: Fulfilment of all scriptures of the sufferings of Christ (Psa. 22:1-31; Isa. 53:1-12; Luke 24:25-26, 44; John 19:28; 1Pet. 1:11; 3:18). The defeat of satan (John 12:31-32; Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 2:14-15). The breaking down of the middle wall of partition to make Jews and Gentiles one (Eph. 2:14-18; 3:6; 1Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Rom. 10:1-21). Way for personal access to God (Eph. 2:18-19; Heb. 10:19-38). The cancellation of the reign of death (Rom. 5:12-21; 6:9; 8:2; 1Cor. 15:1-58; 2Cor. 3:6-15; Heb. 2:14-15) as well as the cancellation of sin’s power (Rom. 6:1-23; 8:2; 1Cor. 15:54-58). The demonstration of obedience and love to death (Php. 2:8; Heb. 5:8-10; 1Pet. 2:21; 4:1). The perfection of Christ (Heb. 2:10; 5:8-11). Salvation from all sin (Matt. 26:28; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:15; Rev. 1:5; 5:9-10). Making peace between God and man (Rom.5:1-11; 2Cor. 5:14-21; Col. 1:20-22). The death penalty is paid for all (Rom. 5:6-8; 1Cor. 6:19-20; 2Cor. 5:14-21; Heb. 2:9-15; 1Pet. 1:19). The cancellation of the mortgage claim of satan and freeing of man and his dominion from sin and satan (Rom. 8:18-24; 14:7-9; 1Cor. 6:19-20; 2Cor. 5:14-15; 1Thess. 5:10; Heb. 2:9-15; 1Pet. 1:19; Rev. 5:9-10; 21:1-22:5). The satisfaction of the full justice of God (Gen. 2:17; John 3:16; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:1-11). Physical healing for all (Isa. 53:4-5; Matt. 8:17; 13:15; John 10:10; Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24). A way for the full endowment of power and full anointing of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; Acts 1:4-8,33; Gal. 3:13-14). Blotting out of the Old Covenant and making and sealing of the New Covenant (Matt. 26:28; 2Cor. 3:6-15; Gal. 3:13-25; 4:21-31; Eph. 2:14-18; Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 7:11-28; 8:6 – 10:1-18)

‘Gave up the ghost’ gave up His soul and spirit which left the body and went into hell to preach (1Pet. 3:19), and liberate all righteous souls (Psa. 16:10; Matt. 12:40; Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 2:14-15). The soul never goes to the grave with the body nor is it unconscious (Psa. 16:10; Isa. 14:9; 2Cor. 5:8; Php. 1:21-24; Heb. 12:22-23; Jas. 2:26; Rev. 6:9-11; 20:11-15). All souls are immortal (Matt. 10:28; Luke 16:19-31; 1Pet. 3:4; 4:6). Souls go out at death and come back into the bodies in resurrection (1Kin. 17:20-22; 2Sam. 12:19-23; Job 14:10; Luke 8:49-56; 16:22; 23:43-46; 2Cor. 5:8; Php. 1:21-24; Jas. 2:26; 2Pet. 1:13-15; Rev. 6:9-11).

Pilate Defends Jesus

John 19:8-15 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; And went again into the judgment hall, and said unto Jesus, Whence are thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then said Pilate unto him, Speak thou not unto me? know thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou could have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou are not Caesar’s friend: whosoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he said unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 

‘More afraid’ Pilate was torn between two fears: that of offending the Sanhedrin and the populace who would file formal charges against him to Caesar, and perhaps cause immediate rebellion; and that of killing an innocent man, a miracle-worker, a prince and an offspring of Deity, and one whom he had been warned of by his wife (Matt. 27:19) and his own growing conviction not to have a part in His death.

‘Whence are thou? … Speak thou not unto me? know thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?’ The first question concerned whether He was a real offspring of Deity or not. Was this man, who was so different from all others he had ever seen, really a supernatural being? Christ gave no answer, so he threatened boastingly of his power to release or crucify Him.

‘Thou could have no power at all against me, except it was given thee from above’ Jesus answered Pilate that he could not do one thing unless God willed. It was a sin for him to condemn Christ, for he was convinced by his conscience of His innocence; but the Jews have the greater sin, because they wilfully sin against Jesus.

‘Thenceforth Pilate sought to release him’ Pilate sought all the more to release Him, but the Jews now brought up the accusation of high treason to force his decision. They wanted to accuse him to Caesar for preferring another king to his own emperor.

‘Caesar’s friend: whosoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar’ they hated Caesar, but they hated their own Messiah more.

‘When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth’ when Pilate heard their accusation against him of high treason, he brought Jesus out before the Jews again and made his fifth attempt to deliver Him (Luke 23:4, 15, 20, 22; John 18:38; 19:4, 6, 12-14). He knew that Tiberius was one of the most jealous and distrustful rulers in the world and that during his reign accusations and conspiracies were plentiful, being founded on foolish pretences, and being punished with excessive rigour.

‘Judgment’ the Greek word bema, a stone platform in the open court in front of the Praetorium; the place of final sentence (Matt. 27:19; John 19:13; Acts 12:21; 18:12-17; 25:6, 10, 17). Used also of the judgment seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10; 2Cor. 5:10). ‘Gabbatha’ a raised pavement higher than the rest of the pavement. ‘Sixth hour’ about 12:00 midnight.

‘Away’ the Greek word airo, the same word translated “take up” serpents in Mark 16:18. It is never used in the sense of making a side show or demonstration to prove faith, but it means to remove, destroy, and put out of the way by death, as in Matthew 22:13; John 1:29; 19:15; Acts 21:36; 22:22; 1John 3:5.

‘We have no king but Caesar’ deeper and deeper these religious people were going into sin and rebellion – choosing an enemy instead of a friend, satan instead of God, and eternal damnation instead of eternal life.

Jesus Scourged

John 19:1-7 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and said unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that you may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Take you him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 

‘Scourged him’ had Him scourged in the Roman manner which was more severe than the Jewish. It was customary to scourge a person before crucifixion, but Pilate hoped that this punishment would satisfy the Jews so he could release Jesus (Luke 23:16). This did not satisfy the bloodthirsty Jews who wanted Him dead and out of their way.

A scourge was a Roman implement for severe physical punishment. It consisted of a handle with about a dozen leather cords with jagged pieces of bone or metal at each end to make the blow more painful and effective. The victim was tied to a post and the blows were applied to the bareback and loins and sometimes to the face and bowels. The flesh was cut in several places by each blow. So hideous was the punishment that the victim often fainted and some died under it. Flogging was permitted by the law up to 40 stripes (Deut. 25:3). Jews reduced this to 39 stripes (2Cor. 11:23-25). If the scourge used on Jesus had 12 thongs and He was hit even 39 times this would make 468 stripes. If some struck in the same place and cut deeper each time one can see how His body, because of the intense hatred back of each blow, was marred more than any other man’s (Isa. 52:14).

‘Crown of thorns’ for cruelty and mockery, fulfilling His own prophecy spoken in Matthew 20:17-19 in which manner He shall be killed.

‘Hail’ or, Health, success, and prosperity to the King of the Jews!

‘I bring him forth to you’ Pilate made his third appearance from the Praetorium to the Jews outside and brought the scourged, bleeding, crowned, and kingly-clothed Christ of God before them, hoping they would be willing to let Him go after such suffering. But, as ever, religious persecutors have no love and mercy on their victims. They cried for crucifixion until Pilate wanted to turn Him over to them to crucify, declaring the innocence of Christ two more times (19:4, 6).

‘Behold the Man’ Pilate hoped against hope that this awful spectacle would melt their hearts, but it only whetted their appetite for more suffering to the man they considered their rival in religion and power.

‘Because he made himself the Son of God’ this new charge to Pilate was another of ten reasons for condemning Him to die. This new angle made Pilate all the more afraid, so he took Him into the judgment hall again to question Him (19:8-11).