January 11, 2022

The Best of the Portals of Prayer

Read: John 19:1–7

Behold the Man!

Whether or not Pilate witnessed any part of the merciless scourging and the blasphemous mockery, Scripture does not record. However, he now saw Christ enduring excruciating pain and wearing the mock regalia. Undoubtedly, Pilate felt satisfied that Christ’s appearance was sufficiently pathetic to serve the purpose he had in mind. He still wanted to release Christ. He led Him out before the multitude and, perhaps pointing at Him, said to the people: “Behold the man!” (John 19:5). There we have the picture of the thorn-crowned Christ with blood trickling down His cheeks and the purple robe on Him, the well-known painting – “Behold the Man.” Pilate sought to arouse the sympathy of the Jews. A mere glance should have sufficed. Jesus must have been a pathetic sight. The Roman governor called Christ “the man.” That is all Jesus meant to him. Pilate also intended his words to be a stinging rebuke to the Jews. He meant to say: “Look at your King, such a disfigured man is your King.” The Jews had no sympathy. The view of Christ enraged them all the more, and they cried the more fiercely: “Crucify Him!” We thank God that we are permitted to behold Christ as He appeared before Pilate and the multitude. By God’s grace, we know He was crowned with thorns that we might be crowned with glory. He wore the scarlet robe that we might be clad in the royal wedding garment, the robe of Christ’s righteousness

January 11, 1943

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