Behold the Man!!

 
 
The serving up of Jesus to be crucified.  We have the odd exchanges here between the crowd and Pilate, Pilate obviously having his conscience bothered by the whole affair.  But, having come this far, there was no turning back.  
Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”  Pilate certainly knew Jesus had committed no crime against Rome.  And it was Roman law that the Jewish authorities were appealing to in order to get that done which they wanted done – the elimination of this troublesome rabbi who embarrassed them so easily and so often.  
So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”   Yes, Behold the man!!  While today we might use these words to show our admiration and love for Christ, here Pilate is using the words for something else.  We usually think Pilate is mocking Jesus, making fun of his claims at divinity.  But I think what Pilate is really trying to do us stir sympathy for Jesus here.  He is being manipulated here by the Jewish authorities, and he snd the Jewish authorities are simply not friendly with each other.  Pilate hated the Jews he was in charge of, but he had to work with them in order to fulfill his duties as governor of his province.  He knows Jesus has no real guilt, and is bothered by all the claims Jesus has made.  Plus, in the book of Matthew, we read that his wife had had a very disturbing dream about Jesus the night before.  “Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.””‭‭Matthew‬ ‭27:19‬ ‭ESV.   So, behold the man.  Pilate is not trying to mock Jesus.  If he is mocking anyone, it is the Jewish authorities with whom he has had such a contentious relationship.  Pilate is trying here to stir sympathy for Jesus.  Behold the man, hasn’t he suffered enough??  He was trying to stir pity for Jesus, so maybe he could turn the hearts of this crowd.
 
When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.”   No guilt in him.  Exactly!!

“Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”   I love this little line.  Take Him yourselves and crucify Him!!  Notice his accusers.  They have failed completely in proving their case that Jesus was breaking any Roman law, so now they fall back into begging Pilate to enforce their own religious laws, which would have no bearing in the Roman courts.

When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?”   Pilate is just getting more afraid of this situation by the minute!!   He asks Jesus where he is from, very simply puzzled by the claims Jesus has made.  But, ultimately Pilates downfall here the same as it is for all humanity – personal pride.  Don’t you know who I am??   When all else fails, appeal to emotion, and what stronger emotions to appeal to than fear and hope?

Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”   Jesus just lays it out, even if Pilate still had no real idea what he was saying.  The guilt in this exchange does not lie with Pilate, but with Caiaphas the high priest and all the Jewish authorities.  Make no mistake, Pilate was not a good man, but he is not the main culprit in the death of Jesus.

From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha.   This is very simply the Jewish authorities bullying Pilate into doing what they want done.  Pilate had no stomach for opposing Caesar, and this statement has undertones of a threat of impeachment from position or worse, which a man like Pilate would likely fear above all else.

Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus,”
“Behold your King.”  “Shall I crucify your King?”  Pilate mocking the Jewish leaders.  They are the ones calling for the death of Christ, not he.  In the end, he gets what he wants from them.  These “religious” leaders, whose primary allegiance is supposed to be the Lord their God, openly and publicly announce  their allegiance the to Caesar.   Whatever they must do to kill Jesus of Nazareth…





 “Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus,”
‭‭John‬ ‭19:1-16‬ ‭ESV‬‬
 
 
 

John Lewis

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s