I can remember when I was only 11 years old, one Good Friday, reading this chapter for the first time with understanding, how appalled I was.
Firstly I was apalled at how weak Pilate was. He had a whole battalion or more of Roman soldiers to back him up. In addition he knew Jesus was innocent (verses 6 and 12) but still condemned Him ! Did Pilot have the last word though ? (verse 22) “What I have written, I have written”. NO! The last word was to be Sundays a-comin!
Then I was appalled at the flippancy and humiliation in the way Jesus’ clothes were divided up among the soldiers at the crucifixion (verse 23). How could they ? But then Psalm 18:22 prophesied this would happen ! Then wonder of wonders most of Psalm 22 describes the death on the cross over 900 years before such an execution was devised ! But on contemplation, I could be comforted because, Sundays a-comin !
In contrast we love the way that Jesus, in spite of His sufferings, asked John to look after His Mother Mary. This implies that Jesus’ earthly Father Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, had already passed away. Also, how wondrous it was that when Jesus died on the cross, verses 28 to 29, says “He gave up the spirit”. We recall John 10:18, “No one takes my life from me”. “I have authority to lay it down and take it up again”. That’s why Sundays a-comin.
When I read verses 31 to 37 I was also appalled at the way Jesus body was brutalised and His side and heart were pierced with a Roman spear, a wound His resurrected body was to retain. It was prophesied in Zechariah 12:10 “they will look on Him whom they pierced…and mourn”. Isaiah 53:5 says “ ..but He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him and by His wounds we are healed”. Sundays a-comin. So in retrospect the apostle Paul could write, “ He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification“. Romans 4:25.
But then, even at 11 years old, I was pleased that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus (from chapter three) came out of the woodwork, asked for the body of Jesus, and hurriedly laid Him in a tomb that had never been used. No funeral, no family mourners, just a lonely stone cold grave. But, be comforted, Sundays a-comin.
We know, and rejoice, because we see in retrospect.
So for each one of us, whatever our need is today, take heart , be helped and Blessed !