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The IVP New Testament Commentary Series – Enemies and Friends Attend to Jesus' Body (19:31-42)
Enemies and Friends Attend to Jesus' Body (19:31-42)

John finds the events immediately following Jesus' death to be highly significant. He begins with Pilate and the Jewish opponents (v. 31), then the soldiers (vv. 32-37) and finally Jesus' friends (vv. 38-42). This is the same sequence he followed in the previous section (cf. vv. 19-27). The opponents are still trying to discredit Jesus even after his death; the soldiers unwittingly produce a witness to Jesus through their actions, as do Jesus' friends. The striking new feature is the witness of Jesus himself. The way in which he died was a witness to the truth about himself (see comment on v. 30), but now, even after he has died, his body produces a witness both to the truth about his identity and to the truth about what his death has accomplished (vv. 34-37).

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