John 19:35
The one who saw it has testified to this, and his testimony is true. He knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.
Testimony Dependent on the Character of the WitnessJohn 19:35
The Evidences of TruthJ. Caird, D. D.John 19:35
The Gospel WitnessJ. W. Burn.John 19:35
A Fragment of a Wonderful HistoryD. Thomas, D. D.John 19:31-37
Profanity of FanaticismW. H. Van Doren, D. D.John 19:31-37
The Dead ChristT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 19:31-37

To this solemn, awful moment Jesus had been looking forward during the whole of his ministry. As the ministry drew to a close he felt the approach of its consummation, and again and again gave utterance to his feelings. He knew that the hour had come, that he was about to leave the world; he had looked up to the Father and had said, "I come to thee." And now the reason for living was over, and nothing remained for him but to die. The end was marked by the brief, momentous exclamation, "It is finished!"

I. THE PREDICTIONS REFERRING TO THE MESSIAH WERE NOW ALL FULFILLED. It had been written, "The Seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head;" "Thou hast brought me into the dust of death;" "It pleased the Lord to bruise him;" "The Messiah shall be cut off;" "I will smite the Shepherd." These predictions of the sufferings of the Anointed of God were now verified in the experience completed by the Son of man.

II. THE OBEDIENCE AND HUMILIATION OF THE SON OF GOD WERE NOW COMPLETED. His humiliation had been apparent in his taking the form of a servant, and enduring poverty and privation, anguish and contempt. His obedience had commenced with his childhood, had been continued during his ministry, and was now perfected in death, even the death of the cross. His active service was one long act of obedience, and his patient endurance now made that obedience complete. He "learned obedience by the things which he suffered." Nothing had been left undone which could prove Christ's unhesitating submission to the will of God his Father. When he had endured the cross, despising the shame, his offering of filial obedience, subjection, and consecration was ready to be presented to the Father by whose will he had come, and had endured all the consequences of coming, into this world of sin and misery.

III. THE TERM OF CHRIST'S SUFFERING AND SORROW WAS AT AN END. He had shrunk from no trial; he had drained the cup to the dregs. Now there was no more humiliation, subjection, conflict. He was about to exchange the mock robes of royalty, the reed-scepter, the crown of thorns, for the symbols and the reality of universal empire. The period of agony was past; the period of triumph was at hand.

IV. THE SACRIFICE OF THE LAMB OF GOD WAS ACCOMPLISHED. The one offering appointed by Divine righteousness and love was now to fulfill its purpose, to supersede the prophetic and anticipatory sacrifices of the dispensation which was passing away. The economy of shadows was to give place to that of substance. Reconciliation, not merely legal, but moral, not for Israel only, but for mankind, was now brought about by the work of the Divine Mediator. The veil of the temple was rent, the way into the holiest was opened. Provision was made for the inflowing of mercy like a mighty stream. The means were now introduced to secure the end dear to the Divine heart - the everlasting salvation of sinful men.


1. In this language we have an appeal to the Father's approval. It is to us a matter of infinite importance to know that the will of God was fulfilled to the very utmost by our Substitute and Representative.

2. We have also in this cry an exclamation expressive of Christ's own satisfaction and joy. To him it could not but be a relief to feel that the experience of pain and bitter woe to which he had submitted was now at an end. It is our privilege to suffer with him, and with him to die unto sin.

3. The hearer of the gospel may in these words welcome an assurance that redemption has been wrought, that the ransom has been paid, that salvation may now be published to all mankind through the once crucified and now glorified Redeemer. - T.

And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true.
I. THE SIGHT — the whole crucifixion, but especially what constituted its essence as an evangelical fact, viz., the issue of blood and water, an emphatic testimony to the Redeemer's death. This is one of the most important texts of the Bible. If no one saw Christ die, how can we be sure that He did die; and unless we are sure of His death we are left in uncertainty as to His atonement and resurrection, and consequently as to our salvation and futurity. John saw a sight —

1. Most wonderful. Great is the mystery of godliness all through — nowhere more than here. That God should become incarnate is inexplicable, no less so that being incarnate He should die. Learn here —

(1)The limits of human reason.

(2)The very manhood of Christ.

2. Most painful — to all whose feelings are not utterly brutalized. The death-bed of an ordinary friend, or even a stranger, under the best circumstances, is sufficiently painful; but what must such a man as John have felt as he saw such a Friend nailed to the cruel tree? Learn here —

(1)The inhumanity of man.

(2)The feelings with which we should contemplate Christ crucified.

3. Most beneficent. Such a mysterious scene enacted, and such dreadful sufferings endured voluntarily, must have been for some adequate purpose. Martyrdom for truth falls far short of it. The only adequate motive is John 3:16; 1 John 2:2. God incarnate was crucified to save a world.


1. Such an event actually took place.

(1)John could not have been mistaken; if the senses were deceptive here, when all was so striking, then they are trustworthy nowhere.

(2)John was not a madman — his Gospel and Epistles are a sufficient proof of that.

(3)John was not a deceiver; he suffered the loss of all things, and imperilled his life for the sheer sake of recording what he saw.

2. What took place John was bound to record.

(1)Not simply as an important historical fact, although he had responsibilities here.

(2)But as a display of Divine mercy, and the sole means of human salvation. "Woe is me," he might have said, "if I write not the gospel."

3. This record he knew to be true. Because —

(1)He saw what he recorded.

(2)He knew that he was a truthful man.

(3)Reading what he had written he was sure that it was in accordance with the whole of the facts. Nothing essential was omitted; nothing false or superfluous was included.


1. Not personal display. John was a deep thinker and a graphic writer; but it was the furthest from his intention to pose as a philosopher, or to excite admiration as a rhetorician.

2. Not to excite emotion. How different the narrative from the scenic and heart-harrowing descriptions in books of devotion and pulpit declamations.

3. But to create belief. Hence the record is clear, earnest, tender, and full of subtle spiritual influence.Learn the qualifications of a true Gospel witness.

1. He must have actually seen what he endeavours to describe. Theory and hearsay are worthless here. There must be clear, positive experience of Christ crucified.

2. Fidelity. He must confine himself to what he has seen — not his fancies or speculations, but what he knows of Christ's love and salvation.

3. A sense of responsibility. He has a medicine that has cured him, and can cure every one. He is wicked therefore to keep it to himself.

4. A sincere and self-abnegating motive — not to court admirers but to win believers.

(J. W. Burn.)

The truth we receive from another may either derive its authority from the teacher, or reflect on him the authority it contains. As the receiver of money may argue, either that money is good because it is an honest man who pays it, or that the man is honest because he pays good money, so in the communication of truth, it may be a valid inference, either that the doctrine is true because it is a trustworthy man who teaches it, or that the man who teaches it is a veracious and trustworthy because his doctrine is true.

(J. Caird, D. D.)

Dr. Weyland was once lecturing on the weight of evidence furnished by human testimony, and was illustrating its sufficiency for establishing the truth of miracles. "But," said one of his students, "what would you say, doctor, if I stated that as I was coming up College Street, I saw the lamp-post at the corner dance?" "I should ask you where you had been, my son," was the quiet reply.

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