THE SIGN OF THE TITLE WRITTEN IN HEBREW, LATIN, AND GREEK
John 19:19 and 20 say, “Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross. And it was written, JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.…and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.” This also was done according to God’s sovereignty. The chief priests said to Pilate, “Do not write, the King of the Jews, but that that man said, I am King of the Jews” (v. 21). To this Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written” (v. 22). Actually, what Pilate wrote was not of himself, but was of God’s sovereignty. The title written by Pilate declared the fact that the Lord Jesus is the King of the Jews.
It is also significant that this title was written in three languages: Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. Hebrew represents Hebrew religion, Latin represents Roman politics, and Greek represents Greek culture. These three together represent the entire world, all of mankind. This signifies that the Lord Jesus was killed by and for all mankind. Not long after the Lord’s death, certain Jews, Romans, and Greeks were saved. The Lord Jesus was put to death for the entire human race as represented by these three languages. Therefore, the title written by Pilate is a sign.
THE SIGN OF THE TWO CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST
John 19:18 says that “they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on this side and one on that, and Jesus in the middle.” Here we have the sign of the two crucified with Christ, one on each side of Him. The Gospel of Luke also speaks of this, telling us, “There were also two others, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.…they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left” (Luke 23:32-33). The record in Luke regarding this point serves a different purpose from the purpose in John’s record. Luke’s purpose is to show that these malefactors were sinners and that the Lord Jesus is the Savior. But it is not John’s intention to show sinners and the Savior. Instead, his intention is to show the separation of life and death.
The crucified Christ is a dividing factor of death and life. On one side of Him there was death; on the other side there was life. Whether we are in death or in life depends on our relation to this crucified One. This is the significance in John of the Lord Jesus being crucified between two others.
THE SIGN OF THE SEAMLESS TUNIC
In 19:23 and 24 we have the sign of the seamless tunic: “The soldiers then, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, a part for each soldier, and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore to one another, Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, They divided My garments among themselves, and for My clothing they cast lots. The soldiers therefore did these things.” The other Gospels also include a record of the soldiers dividing the Lord’s garments. But only the Gospel of John speaks of the seamless tunic. The seamless tunic signifies that the crucified One was perfect in His conduct. With Him there was no sin, no defect. As indicated by His seamless tunic, His conduct was absolutely perfect.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 57, by Witness Lee)