Sermon: The Sinless Son of God John 19:1-9

The Sinless Son of God

John 19:1-9

Truth Taught- Jesus Christ is the sinless Son of God who takes away the sin of His people.

Introduction

1 Peter 1:18–19 (ESV)

18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

When it comes to reporting faults, frailties, and even sin the gospel writers are very honest even when it is their own sin or the sin of a close friend.  They confess their sin and while it greatly grieves them they report it honestly.  John and the others wrote about, as an example, Peter’s denial of Christ.

When it comes to Jesus, there is no sin to report.  Our Lord is perfectly innocent and righteous.  He alone is the Lamb of God without spot or blemish.

Jesus is also the Son of God being of the same substance as God.  He is God the Son, not created but eternal.  Because Jesus is God He has always existed as the Son of God.

Human Need

Pilate closed with the question in John 18, What is truth?  Here, John answers the question for us.  Truth is found in Jesus Christ 100% man and 100% God.  Contained within the Person of Christ is all human wisdom and understanding.  We need to understand who the Jesus of the Bible really is.  In this Jesus we will have life.

Father, You have Gathered Your people that You may let us hear Your words, so that we may learn to fear You all the days that we live on the earth, and that we may also teach our children…amen

John 19:1–9 (ESV)

19 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.

  1. Behold the Sinless Man!

Those who were citizens of Rome knew of Jesus’ sinless perfection…

Matthew 27:19 (ESV)

19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.”

Luke 23:41 (ESV)

41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”

At least 7 times in all the Gospels combined it is recorded that Pilate declares Him innocent with no fault at all.
John 18:38 (ESV)

38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.

John 19:4 (ESV)

Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”

John 19:6 (ESV)

When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.”

The Apostles who had been with Jesus knew He was sinless…
1 Peter 2:22 (ESV)

22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.

1 John 3:5 (ESV)

You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)

21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

19 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”

In the events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus we see, unmistakably the sovereignty of God.  Here in today’s text over and over again Pilate declared Jesus innocent of all charges, I find no fault in Him was his reoccurring testimony concerning the Lord Jesus.  Pilate sought to release Him, desired to release Him, determined to release Him, and determined to let Him go.
Acts 3:13 (ESV)

13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.

Pilate was urged by his wife not to sentence Him (Matthew 27:19).  He sent Him to Herod for judgment only to be sent back.  He pleaded with the Jews to release Jesus as a Passover gift but they chose Barabbas but that didn’t work either.  In spite of all this in the end Pilate did give the order to crucify Jesus.

Man’s will means nothing when it goes in opposition to God’s will.  It was God who was behind the crucifixion.  That’s why I say that if it wasn’t God’s will to have Jesus crucified the cross event would not have happened.
Acts 2:23 (ESV)

23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

The Roman scourging or flogging as the ESV renders it was perhaps Pilate’s last attempt to release Jesus.  He no doubt believed that the scourging would be punishment enough for the Jews to relent their determination to have Jesus killed.  Because Jesus was Jewish he probably thought that seeing Him after the scourging would elicit some sympathy from them and they would be satisfied with that.

These events raise our curiosity with one timeless question…How could it be that Jesus is declared innocent of all charges and still suffer a Roman scourging?  How can it be that the sinless One could die a death so brutal as to be hung on a cross?  How can it be that our Lord could ever have been put to death at all?
Beloved this was Satan’s hour was it not?  Jesus speaking to Satan in the garden earlier that evening said
Luke 22:53 (ESV)

53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

We also realize that this is the hour when Satan should bruise His heal.
Genesis 3:15 (ESV)

15    I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and her offspring;

       he shall bruise your head,

and you shall bruise his heel.”

These Jews and Gentiles alike were of their father the devil and they did his bidding.

Our Lord was also at the very hour of making atonement for sin.  Sin would be revealed in all its magnitude.

Sin is lawlessness- Therefore the Innocent was scourged
Sin is transgression- Pilate set aside all principles of Roman jurisprudence

Sin is iniquity (Injustice) therefore the soldiers beat the One who never harmed a living soul

Sin is rebellion against God- therefore men mistreated and abused the Son of God.

Christ was to die for sinners.  The brutal nature of His torments were rightfully and justly to be ours because of our sin against the holy and eternal God.

Oh what payment had to be made to redeem God’s lost people.

We cannot fathom the depth of our sin.  We cannot understand just what torture Jesus endured to remove the vile and putrid stench of sin that had become who we are.  When the Bible tells us that we are dead in trespasses and sin it also indicated the rot of the soul that is included as we slowly rot away.

So the Sinless was treated as a sinner, the Innocent as guilty, the Son of God as Barabbas.
Behold the Man! He declared.  Behold the sinless man in whom I find no guilt whatsoever.  Behold the sinless man beaten almost to death.  Behold the Man!

  1. Behold the Sinless Son of God!

When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.

Here, the Jews refer to a law.  This comes from

Leviticus 24:16 (ESV)

16 Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

I think we can look into the text and see that John indicates that there is some curiosity within Pilate.  He is wondering, perhaps, if Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God could be true.  Pilate has never interrogated a Man who possessed such royal character.  He knows first hand that Jesus is not a sinner.  He knows also that the Jews’ charge of sedition is unfounded.  Could this man really be the Son of God?
Where are you from?

Jesus has already told Pilate that His kingdom is not of this world.  He has already admitted to being a King.  Now, because Pilate has found no fault in Jesus, it seems, he may be starting to even believe that He’s telling the truth in everything.

He’s at least curious enough to be afraid.
I think we should investigate for a moment this title SON of GOD

God the Father, the angel Gabriel, His own disciples, the Apostle Paul, and even the demons acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. Although Adam, angels, Israel, peacemakers, and Christians are all called “sons of God” the Scripture designates Jesus as the unique Son of God. He possesses the same nature as the Father – God. However He is not a literal offspring for He has existed for all eternity. The Bible often uses the word “son” in the sense of “possessing the nature of.” Jesus is the “Son” of God in this sense- possessing the nature of God. The title “Son” does not, in any way, suggest the Son if inferior to the Father.[1]

I think it’s necessary to walk through a number of texts, like we did to establish that Jesus is sinless.  Here, we need to prove that what the Jews were claiming was actually true.  You see they thought Jesus was a blasphemer because He claimed to be God’s Son.  Under normal circumstances that would be true.  Here it was absolutely true.  Jesus is God’s Son.
Angel Gabriel-

Luke 1:35 (ESV)

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

Peter with Jesus’ affirmation-

Matthew 16:16–17 (ESV)

16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

Paul-

Romans 1:1–3 (ESV)

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh

John-

1 John 5:20 (ESV)

20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

John 1:14 (ESV)

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus-

John 5:25 (ESV)

25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

John 11:4 (ESV)

But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Demons-

Matthew 8:29 (ESV)

29 And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”

The title Son of God for Jesus means that He possesses all of the characteristics that God does.  All divine attributes that God has, Jesus also has as His Son.

John 1:1 (ESV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Luke 1:30–33 (ESV)

30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Colossians 2:9 (ESV)

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

Application

What does it mean for us that Jesus the Man was sinless and Jesus the Son of God possesses the fullness of deity?
Jesus was man-

He had to be human in order to live a perfect life for us…to give us His righteousness and to die for us…to pay our sin debt.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)

21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

He had to be God…

Because He is God, “he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him” (Heb. 7:25)

Because He is God, His payment is an eternal payment.  As God He is our Mediator.

This knowledge should not stop with our heads but be applied through our lives and our worship.
Our affections for Christ must be raised as we learn of His greatness and goodness.  As we realize that He came to seek and save us…the lost.  All He endured to save us, all he went through to justify us.  All He went through to come to us.

All this and much more should warm our hearts to worship the true and living God in Christ Jesus.

I pray our hearts and affections are fixed on Jesus Christ…

Matthew 15:7–9 (ESV)

You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:

    “ ‘This people honors me with their lips,

but their heart is far from me;

    in vain do they worship me,

teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

Behold the Sinless Son of God…who died for our sin.

As we think about the outflowing of these truths I believe an analogy by John Piper is very appropriate here.  He has likened biblical worship to a flaming furnace.

I agree with the Theologian/pastor, Jonathan Edwards when he said, “I should think myself in the way of my duty, to raise the affections of my hearers as high as I possibly can, provided they are affected with nothing but truth, and with affections that are not disagreeable to the nature of what they are affected with.” I think of it something like this: The fuel of worship is the truth of a gracious, sovereign God; the furnace of worship is your soul; and

There has to be fire, which I think is the Holy Spirit.

the heat of worship is the vital affections of reverence, fear, adoration, contrition, trust, joy, gratitude, and hope. [2]

[1] http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_220.cfm

[2] John Piper

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