Behold the Man
John 19:5 - 5th Midweek Lent - April 2, 2014

John 19:5 “Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!”

May the details of the Passion History continue to strengthen you and keep you in the true saving faith.

How is it possible that the one Man who never did anything wrong, is so despised, and condemned? Why? What exactly did Jesus do wrong?

When the crowd shouts to crucify Him, Pilate wants to know too, “Why? What evil hath He done? I have found no cause of death in Him.” Yet somehow the voices of the chief priests prevail. And in the end, Pilate is willing to content them. But still, that doesn’t really answer the question, Why?

What’s really amazing is that the Judge of all, the Son of God who has all the power– subjects Himself to the judment of a man who questions what truth is. - A judge who although finds Jesus to be innocent, still ends up sending Him to the cross. Why?

It wasn’t a just verdict by any means. It was a kangaroo court. There were the false witneses who lied – There were the officers of the High Priest who struck Jesus before the verdict is even reached. Both Pilate and Herod find Him to be innocent, but are not willing to let Him go either. There is the crowd that can’t be appeased unless the innocent is crucified.

Isn’t everyone supposed to get a fair trial? Where was Christ’s?

It wasn’t a just verdict by any means – Jesus was innocent.

Even Christ Himself asked Why? From the cross, that mysterious question, Why? “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Mysterious because it was God’s own Son asking His own Father, why? When surely Jesus knew the plan of salvation. He spoke of it many times before, that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be killed, and rise again the third day.

But it’s not so mysterious when we consider that He fell on His face, in the garden, and prayed, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

It wasn’t easy for Him. It certainly wasn’t fun, when “The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. It wasn’t just physical suffering. It was the weight of the whole world’s sin, on His soul. The perfect, spotless, Lamb of God, the one Man who never did anything wrong, is sent to the cross. Behold the Man.

Even for a governor who had probably presided over countless trials and crucifixions, even for Pilate, this must have been one of the most unique trials he had ever seen. No matter how hard he tried, he could not convince the people that Jesus should be set free. No matter how much he struggled with that lingering question, “Why? What evil hath He done?” No one seemed to be able to give him a straight answer.

So he had Jesus scourged - that’s a very severe whipping – in hopes that it would content the people. “Look He’s been punished, now, let’s let Him go!” And Pilate presents Jesus to them again, saying, “Behold the Man!” And their response is? Crucify Him!

But, we too, must behold the Man – the only Man – the only real Man – real human being, who lived the way we were supposed to live – who lived without the slightest thought of lust, or hatred, or greed, or pride in His heart. Behold the Man. The only one who never did anything wrong, is sent to the cross.

We notice how many times Pilate examines Jesus. How many opportunities, how many details the Scripture provides, for all the world to see: it wasn’t a guilty man. It was an innocent Man who goes to the cross. Pilate, Pilate’s wife, Herod – all find Jesus to be innocent. Yet, He still goes to the cross….In order to bear our sin.

That’s your assurance, your comfort. He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquites. And with His stripes we are healed. That means God is at peace with us. Because “We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.” And His resurrection proves God accepted His sacrifice. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.

As hard as Pilate tried, he had a breaking point. He gave in. It was more important for him to content the people, than to stand for truth and justice.

Yet, it was no accident that Jesus was judged by Pilate. God had a plan for you and me. Even before the foundation of the world, He planned to provide eternal salvation for our eternal soul. He did not want to see us suffer the true punishment for our sin. That’s where Jesus comes into the picture. The one Man who never did anything wrong, is sent to the cross to bear our sin. Behold the Man.

It wasn’t an accidental injustice. It wasn’t a trial gone wrong. It was the will of God, full of forgiveness toward sinners. It was His plan before the world existed. He knew we would fall into sin, and He knew He would provide His very best to save us from our sins.

Whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.

Behold the Man. The very best, sent by God, goes to the cross for me, and He rises again. Just as surely as He rose, you too, will rise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.