Three Roman Soldiers John 19:23-24

Text:  “Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?  They all say unto him, Let Him be Crucified.”

Matthew 27:22.

Good morning, Christian soldier!  When your heart heard the universal call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it made you think, but did nothing for your Eternal soul.  When your heart and mine heard the effectual call of God the Holy Spirit - we could not resist that call to repentance and full Salvation.  We immediately became soldiers of the Cross of Christ Jesus.  Hallelujah!

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No man/woman that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he/she may please Him who hath chosen him/her to be a soldier.”  (2 Timothy 2:3-4)

Not all are called to be soldiers of the Living Lord Jesus Christ, some are merely called upon by human Governments to be soldiers in a temporal army.  This was the lot of three Roman soldiers, the subject of my Bible Lesson for today.

There is no Spiritual Salvation given as merit for being in a temporal army!  Belonging to ‘the military’ does not make one fit for Heaven.

Five brutal verses of Scripture prove the truth of what I have written thus far today.  Let us reproduce them in full so as no one will be in any doubt.

“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto Him the whole band of soldiers.  And they stripped Him, and put on Him a scarlet robe.  And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!  And they spit upon Him, and took the reed, and smote Him on the head.  And after that they had mocked Him, they took the robe off from Him, and put His own raiment on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.”                   (Matthew 27:27-31)

‘The whole band of soldiers’ on duty that day were openly guilty of the cruellest torture and abuse of the Man, Christ Jesus - all willingly sinned.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23)

Soldiers Present Day:  Gamblers - Gashers - and Gazers.

Soldier 1 - The Gambler:  The first type of Roman soldier in our study today is obviously a gambler - one of a squad of four who cast lots for Christ’s seamless robe.

“Then the soldiers, when they had Crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also His coat; now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.  They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend (tear) it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the Scriptures might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted My raiment among them, and for My vesture they did cast lots.  These things therefore the soldiers did.”  (John 19:23-24) (Psalm 22:18)

The Gambler won the toss - but lost his soul on that Crucifixion Day.

Soldier 2 - The Gasher:  The second type of Roman soldier in our study today was a gasher - one who would gash and stab another person without hesitation or conscience.  He plunged his spear, cruelly, into the Saviour’s side.

“But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out Blood and water.”  (John 19:34)

The Gasher, no doubt, got Blood on his hands, but had none to cover His sins, and lost his immortal soul on that Crucifixion Day.

Soldier 3 - The Gazer:  The third type of Roman soldier relevant to our study today was a gazer - one who took part in the brutal proceedings, and as a centurion, was responsible for every torturous action.  However, having watched intently how Christ Jesus had endured their cruel brutalities - something Divine happened to the gazer that day that would have Eternal consequences for his soul.

“Now when the centurion…watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, (he) feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:54)  (Isaiah 45:22)

The Gazer was lost in his sin, yet looked to Christ Jesus, owned Him as the Son of God, and Eternally lived! There is Eternal Life for a look, by faith, to Jesus.

Thought:  I’m glad I’m a soldier in the army of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Are you?

Jesus, Universal King! John 19:19-22

Text:  “And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords.

Revelation 19:16.

          “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.  Who is this King of glory?  The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle…the Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.”

Psalm 24:7-10.

Good morning, Christian subject of the King!  In a political and national sense, you and I are political and national subjects of many various sovereigns - be it a Queen, or a King, or a President, etc.  However, in the Spiritual realm, we can only be subject to ONE KING - King Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living Lord God.  Hallelujah!  Praise and glory to His Name!

“Thine, O lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the Heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the Kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as Head above all.  Both riches and honour come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.”  (1 Chronicles 29:11-12)

As Bible-believing Christians - we fully endorse the full separation of church and State.  There can be only ONE Head of the Christian church - King Jesus Christ!  All true Christians owe our full allegiance to Him alone.  Christ is Lord of the Christian.  Christ is our Holy King!

“But I would have you to know, that the Head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the Head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3)

“And hath put all things under His (Christ’s) feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.”  (Ephesians 1:22-23)

“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the church; and He is the Saviour of the Body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”  (Ephesians 5:22-25)

These three verses quoted, are a threefold authority from God’s infallible Word that, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, was, is, and will always be, just as Pilate wrote according to our Bible reading for today - “Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.”  He is King of all kings and Lord of all.

“Pilate therefore said unto Him, Art Thou a King then?  Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a King.  To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.  Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice.”          (John 18:37)

However, not accepting Christ Jesus as their King, and not desiring such a title to even be nailed to His Cross of Crucifixion - the chief priests of the Jews petitioned Pilate to write instead, “He said I AM King of the Jews.”

Pilate refused the change in the wording already written in the three main languages of the time - Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

Yet, unknown to the unbelieving Jewish religious leadership, or to the Roman Governor occupying the land of Palestine - the wording the Jewish religious leaders desired was even more authentic in nature!  For Jesus had indeed said ‘I AM King of the Jews.’

He was, is and always shall be the great Lord Almighty, and King of all kings - I AM, the all-sufficient Creator Lord God Almighty!  Glory to His Name!     (Hebrews 13:8)

“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His Name?  What shall I say unto them?  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”  (Exodus 3:13-14)

“So Christ was once offered (upon the Cross) to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto Salvation.”  (Hebrews 9:28)

Thought:  The Lord Jesus Christ is our universal and exclusive King - but I wonder, are you and I willingly and truly subjected to His will?  I hope so.

Golgotha: ‘The Place of A Skull’? 1 Samuel 17:41-58

Text:  And He (Christ Jesus) bearing His Cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called Golgotha; where they Crucified Him…”

John 19:17-18.

Good morning, deeper-thinking Christian!  The Lord God has blessed thee and me with His Salvation; wisdom outside the realm of human reasoning; faith and Spiritual discernment - and it is a joy for us to exercise every whit of His gift to us.  Praise God for thinking Christians!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  (2 Timothy 1:7)

If therefore, the Lord God has blessed us with ‘…a sound mind…’, let us seek to use this blessing as we think through the Scripture accounts to make sense of what we read and, by Gods good grace, enhance our knowledge of Christ and the nature of the Divine Lord God.  (2 Timothy 2:15)

Let us look for a while at this place of a skull, called Golgotha - the place where our dear Saviour was Crucified for our vile sins.  Praise His Name!

The place of a skull - Golgotha - was, and is by all accounts, positioned outside the city walls of Jerusalem.  It was a place of obvious notoriety, a place closely associated with death; with dead bodies; a place to which ritually unclean people and things were exiled, ‘…outside the camp…’

Touching unclean things: Uncleanness conveyed by touch usually lasted until evening, though touching a human corpse made one unclean for seven days (Numbers 19:11).  A priest was not to be involved in the burial of any corpse except that of an immediate relative (mother, father, son, daughter, brother; Lev. 21:1012), since touching the corpse would lead to defilement and exclusion from his duties in the sanctuary.  (Joe M. Sprinkle, The Rationale Of The Laws Of Clean And Unclean In The Old Testament, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 43.4 (2000): 637-657.)


"This hill was discovered by British General Gordon on a visit to Jerusalem in 1883. The Scriptures tell us that Christ was crucified at Golgotha, which means "place of the skull" which accurately describes a skull-shaped hill less than a hundred metres from the site of the tomb outside the old city walls.

Both the skull-shaped hill, known as Gordon's Calvary, and the Garden Tomb are outside the limits of the Old City. Even though the present walls do not follow the same line as those of the first century, both hill and tomb still certainly lie outside the first-century wall, as burial places were considered "unclean" and forbidden within the city walls." (

All that would make people ritually unclean was to be put outside the camp, the city; the social boundary of a given place.  Such a place was Golgotha - outside the city walls of Jerusalem.

“For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy; that He see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.”  (Deuteronomy 23:14)

In the light of this ritual law, and from our Bible reading for today, we understand the fact that the head of the Philistine giant, Goliath of Gath, was severed from him by David and taken up to Jerusalem.      (1 Samuel 17:51; 54;57)

However, because of the Levitical laws concerning touching dead bodies, Goliath’s head would have to be eventually taken outside the city walls and buried - otherwise Jerusalem would have been deemed ritually unclean!

Personal Thought:  Could it be that Goliath’s severed head was buried just outside Jerusalem’s city walls, and the people, knowing the social, political, historical, and symbolic significance of that event, called it Golgotha - ’…the place of a skull…’?  I wonder?  Was ’..the skull…’ that of the giant, Goliath?  (1 Samuel 17:54; 57)

However, no matter what other significance the name Golgotha conjures up in our all too fallible minds; one thing is completely certain to all true regenerate Christians: OUR HEAD, our only Head, Christ Jesus, took our vile sins upon His Holy Self; bore our sins to Golgotha’s Hill; was nailed to a cruel Roman Cross in our place; suffered the full penalty of our sins; and made an Eternal Sacrifice of total Redemption for us there. 

Now, that is good news for any saved sinner to get excited about.  Hallelujah!   “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp…!”  (Hebrews 13:11-15)

Spread the news, beloved Christian, Christ has wrought Victory for repentant sinners.  His Sword cuts off the Serpent’s head, and sets the captives free!

Thought: ‘There is a green Hill far away, outside a city’s walls…’: Mount Calvary!  There the Eternal Battle was finished for us by Christ Jesus.  Hallelujah!

Personal Responsibility for Sin John 19:6-16

Text:  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, Whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in the heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Acts 2:36-37.

For every man/woman shall bear his/her own burden.”  

Galatians 6:5.

Good morning, responsible Christian!  Having been quickened by God the Holy Spirit to be convinced of your sins; Christs righteousness; and the condemnation of all sin that our Holy Lord God will bring at the final judgement - you and I have taken personal responsibility for our sin; repented; and by faith trusted Christs Atonement Sacrifice for sin and been saved.  Praise God for His matchless grace to us!  (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Therefore, we fully realise that, Eternal Salvation is a very personal thing; and as such, those being Eternally saved must necessarily exercise a deep personal responsibility for our sins. Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!

Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come.  (John 16:13)

And when He (the Spirit of truth) is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement.  (John 16:8)

There can be no Eternal Salvation of the soul, without the exercise of that souls personal responsibility for sin.  Lets face it, who will ever seek to be found, if they refuse to first acknowledge the fact that they are personally lost? The Lord Jesus only came to save lost sinners!

For the Son of man (Christ Jesus) is come to seek and to save that which was lost.  (Luke 19:10)

Todays Bible reading reveals a number of moral and religious people who went to Hell for not facing up to their own personal responsibilities.

Pilate:  Pilate, the Roman Governor, was probably quite a moral man, in fact, he comes out of this Satanic conspiracy to kill Christ as the lest dastardly in the vile action.  He at least acknowledged that he found, ‘…no fault in Him. (V.4)  Yet did so AFTER having the Lord Jesus brutally scourged and beaten.  His irresponsible actions condemned him to Hell.

The Chief Priests: The religious rulers of the Jewish nation had first envied Jesus and His Divine miracles; plotted to bring Him down; then demanded no lesser penalty for Him but a slow and cruel death upon a Cross.  Yet, they wanted to take no personal responsibility for their sinful actions!  In fact, they would not even enter into the judgement hall in case the plot to kill Jesus in some manner ritually ’…defiled…’ them during the Passover period!  They loved their religion, but they hated the Christ.        (John 18:28)

There is no sin more condemned in Scripture than the sin of hypocrisy!  Beware!

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For ye shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer (allow) ye them that are entering to go in.  (Matthew 23:13)

The denial of personal responsibilities by both the Roman Governor and the chief priests eventually came to a head as Pilate began to realise his folly and sought to shift responsibility for Christs death to the chief priests and the Jewish crowd. This cunning move only caused the hypocritical chief priests to expose their true motivation for bringing Jesus before Pilate.  They openly cried out, Crucify Him, crucify Him!  (V.12)  Their irresponsible actions condemned the high priests of Jerusalem to a Hell that is hot indeed.

For every man/woman shall bear his/her own burden.                  (Galatians 6:5)

Now let us personally apply our Scripture lesson and what we have gleaned from Gods Word to our own current circumstances, Christian friend:

Are you and I taking personal responsibility for our failings; faults; and sins daily?  Or are we, like Pilate, seeking to shift the blame for our sins onto another party?  Are we seeking to hide our sins, from God and our fellow man, with a covering of religious fig leaves - as Adam/Eve did in Eden?  

Sin must be admitted to, repented from, and washed clean - before we can seek to actually serve the risen and Holy Christ Jesus.  Let us do so right now?  Amen.

Thought:  If our conscience is now pricked by this Bible Lesson, let us take it as a convicting Word from God - and start to put away our sins.  God is gracious to forgive and to cleanse all Christians who seek to personally repent of sin.  We have God Word on it!  (1 John 1:6-10)