2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
4 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.
5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
Pilate is pulled into the crucifixion unwillingly.
If I had a sword and saw this going on, I think I would cut off a servant’s ear also. What a wonder that the Creator of everything should give Himself for me. In this passage, the soldiers seem to enjoy their job and in other accounts we see them asking Jesus to prophecy and tell who hit them. Reflecting on the omniscience of God, I know that God knows to the least degree those that would slap Him, whether it be figuratively or literally. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.”
I am reading in Philippians today, and there is a famous passage about Christ submitting to death on the cross. (Phil. 2:5-11) There is mercy aplenty now, and the most grievous sinner can be forgiven. We are to follow Jesus in his picture of submission to the most unrighteous of deaths, and hope that some might see and know the great mercy available.
Here they ridiculed Jesus, Pilate perhaps hoping to satisfy the Jews without having to kill Him. The difficulty of the Jewish leaders was twofold. First it was the day before the Passover, and touching unclean things would have put them out of participation. Second, under Roman law, the Romans retained the rights to capital punishment, so what I see here is every pressure applied to Pilate to carry out their will. It is Annas, the high priest, who is the real force behind this mock trial. Jesus refers to Annas later in verse eleven. Yet again, I say that this is a mystery, for the Son of God came to give Himself a ransom for many, and He did just that, but woe to those who participated in the plan to put Him there. Here are the elective purposes of God and the free choices of men working hand in hand together, so that I cannot tell where one leaves off and the other begins. God alone knows, and I trust His judgment.
At the Cross
1. Alas, and did my Savior bleed,
And did my Sov'reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
2. Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown,
And love beyond degree!
3. Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut His glories in,
When Christ the mighty Maker died
For man, the creature's sin.
4. Thus might I hide my blushing face
While Calvary's cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt mine eyes to tears.
5. But drops of grief can ne'er repay
The debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
'Tis all that I can do.
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!
Lyrics: Isaac Watts; Chorus: Ralph Erskine Hudson