Behold The Man
Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! John 19:1-5
From Pilate's Standpoint
Pilate is a type of a vast multitude. Like the compilers of an encyclopedia, they cannot avoid becoming acquainted with the titles of religious subjects, parties, men of every rank. Yet each if pressed, would deliver themselves very much after Pilate’s fashion. To offer Christ to men of this character is to “cast pearls before swine.” What is the “truth in Christ” to them? He may be “chief among ten thousand,” and able to give pardon, and righteousness, and grace, and glory. But He is not money, or business. His only property was the robe they took, and replaced it with the bloodstained one he now wore. He cannot give social rank, political success; and so they spurn the offer. This man is a sample of Satan’s workmanship—the devil’s masterpiece. But “what shall it profit a man,”
He was a Roman, and apart from the interests of the empire, cared little for the creed or worship of the Hebrews. It was not part of his duty to interfere with the religion of the people he was ruling. Provided it did not lead to sedition he was content to let it contemptuously alone. “What is truth?” he asks, “What is it worth? What has it done? Is it worth any one’s while risking anything for it? It is power, and not truth we need. Let us have something practical, tangible, and not vain and idle discussions about abstract questions.”
Behold The Man
JESUS ENDURES CONTEMPT
Pilate was convinced of our Lord’s innocence, and he adopted several expedients to save His life; he did everything, indeed, except to act with absolute justice and discharge the case. If he had promptly and firmly refused to be a party to the unrighteous act to which the Jewish leaders were goading him, before they could further inflame the popular sentiment, the whole matter would have come to an end. But he let the golden moment slip, and every succeeding hour made it more impossible to retrieve it. The proposal to chastise Jesus; the endeavor to induce the people to ask for Him rather than Barabbas; the scourging as an appeal to their pity-all such expedients failed to turn them from their purpose. The governor became more and more afraid. Whence art thou? Of human birth or more? Our Lord’s silence was His answer. Had He been only of earth, He would never have let Pilate suppose that He might be of heaven. Devotion from F.B. Meyer
FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE JEWS
The guilt of Pilate was great, but it is not for a moment to be compared with that of the high priest. “He that delivereth Me unto thee hath the greater sin.” They saw the light and hated it. They knew the truth and rejected it. They could not resist the evidence that Jesus was the Christ; but He was a Christ so different from Him whom they desired that they cried, “Crucify Him!”
Here is another and far more perilous standpoint: to look upon Christ and His religion as something to be hated and banished. Let me speak faithfully of the danger of this class. The sin that will banish the perpetrators from the presence of the Lord at His coming is not the sin of Adam. That has been atoned for by the second Adam. It will not be the sin of ignorance. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” It will not be any word or deed too heinous to be forgiven; for there is no exception to the gracious offer: “If we confess our sins,”. But it will be that of rejecting—calmly, willfully, and persistently—the greatest offer which God has made to us: His Son as our personal Savior.
WHAT THE ACTORS IN THAT TRAGEDY BEHELD
All the world was in that crowd
Pilate; or what worldliness beheld. A mysterious man—no ordinary criminal.
The priests; or what bigotry beheld. Jesus has not respected their traditions and echoed their dogmas; therefore, He is an imposter and blasphemer. There is no hate like priestly hate. Bigotry in the midst of revealed religion is farther from God than heathen worldliness.
The masses; or what ignorant resentment beheld. The Christ of their desire was only a more vulgar rendering of the political Messiah of the infuriated priests. Scarcely a week ago, they greeted Him as their King. But there is Jesus, weak, bound, silent, and trampled upon. They saw one who raised their expectations to the highest, and disappointed them. A mob is never so savage as when it conceives itself to be imposed upon by one whom it has made its idol. They therefore join ix the cry, “Crucify Him!”
The soldiers; or what heathen brutality beheld. A hardened Roman in the ranks could feel nothing but contempt for a Jewish criminal. Such men could admire and adore a Caesar who could lead them through fields of slaughter to the fame of a Roman victory.
Nicodemus; or what unavowed discipleship beheld. Lack of courage and decision brought no consolation in this dread hour. Little has he risked to avert this tragedy, and he is beginning to feel it.
Peter; or what the unfaithful apostle beheld. Jesus cast one look on him, but the apostle could not encounter those eyes of piercing discernment, pity, and love.
Judas; or what the traitor and apostate beheld. From that eye, so downcast, unable to look upon that gaze coming forth, the pure love of God. The memory of that sight is fire unquenchable, the writhing of the worm that never dies.
John; or what the disciple whom Jesus loved beheld. He could not look for his tears; but yet he saw what few eyes there witnessed, but what we need to see today—our Incarnate and Redeeming God.
When I read this account in my bible, I put myself there, because I'm among them. My sins are represented there, and the price of my redemption. I'm flung once again into that angry mob of humanity, and can hear them crying out to Pilate for his slaughter. What Jesus willingly, silently, endured for my redemption and salvation, no words can really describe. There is no way to repay the price he paid.
All I can give Him is my life, my surrender, my love. It will take eternity-to begin to express this love.
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The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
But this is that which was spoken by the
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: