“BEHOLD THE MAN!”

Scripture Reading:  John 19:1-7

“So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.  Pilate said to them, ‘Behold the Man?’”  (John 19:5)

After the crowd insisted that Barabbas be released rather than Jesus, Pilate ordered that Jesus be flogged.  Flogging was a painful experience.  Leather straps with small fragments of sharp bone or stones were used to strike the prisoner multiple times on the back.  In fact, many prisoners died from being flogged.  The soldiers made a crown of thorns and thrust it upon Jesus’ head and they put a purple robe on Him.  Pilate, after stating clearly that he found no fault in Jesus, brought Him out and displayed Him before the angry crowd.  He said, “Behold the man!”  Jesus was standing there bloody, weak and humiliated with the crown of thorns on His head and the purple robe wrapped around Him.  He had been disgraced, beaten and mocked.

I am sure that Pilate meant by his words, “Behold the man,”  “look at this poor, pathetic man.  What could he possibly do to be a threat to the Roman Empire.”  But we know God had something else in mind.  There standing before the crowd was none other than the perfect Man, God in the flesh.  Jesus was God incarnate, sinless and perfect.  He was God who took upon Himself humanity; deity and humanity brought together in one Man!

Do you see the irony here?  Jesus, the perfect Man, was standing there after He had been flogged, mocked and humiliated.  Jesus, the perfect Man, had been abused and beaten by imperfect, sinful men.  Pilate made a spectacle of Him before the people.  And Jesus voluntarily submitted to it.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was humiliated so that we could be exalted.  He was bruised, crushed, and abused so that we could be healed, forgiven and restored.  “Behold the Man!”  Do you see His love, His mercy, His grace, His strength, His humility, and His dignity?  “Behold the Man!”

Lord Jesus, I am deeply grieved when I consider what You suffered for me.  You are the Man, the perfect Man, the God-Man.  I bow before You in humble reverence and gratitude.

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