“…Behold the Man!” John 19:1-5

Text:  “Behold My Servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.  As many were astonied at Thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.  So shall He sprinkle (with His Blood) many nations…”

Isaiah 52:13-15.

          “I (the prophesied Christ) gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not My face from shame and spitting.”

Isaiah 50:6.

Good morning, comfortable Christian!  You and I sit Eternally comfortable today, hidden in Christ Jesus - for the Saviour has paid the full Price for our sins.  Hallelujah!  Thank you, dear and loving Lord Jesus, for suffering in my place - the Just for the unjust; the pure for the vile; the sinless for sinners such as we!  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!  Bless the Lord, Oh my soul!

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth (trusts and continues to trust) in Him should not perish (Eternally), but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16)

In verse five of our Bible reading for this lesson, Pilate admonishes all concerned to ‘…Behold the Man (Christ Jesus)’.  But, what does this mean?

Dictionary definition: Behold - (verb transitive) to look at; to view; see; to contemplate; to observe closely and understand. (The Chambers Dictionary page 145)

Look At Jesus:  Pilate commanded the gathered people to look at the Man Jesus.  At this point in time, the Lord Jesus stood before the crowd resembling a piece of bloody meat.  He had been brutally interrogated; He had been physically buffeted, and mentally humiliated; He had been rejected by Jewish rulers, Herodian politicians - his very disciples had fled and left Him alone!

Then, He was cruelly tortured:  a crown of spiked, Middle-Eastern, thorns was platted into a wreath and plunged down into the soft scalp of His Holy brow. 

Christ was wickedly scourged:  His back and upper body flayed with leather cords entwined with sharp bones and twisted metal, until He was left raw and bleeding.  (The majority of people scourged very quickly bled to death.)

He was mocked by the Roman soldiers; farcically robed in a purple robe; and punched viciously by the entire troop of soldiers on duty that day.

With these facts in mind, dear reader - let each of us once more, ‘Behold the Man.’, and realise afresh the meaning of these words: ‘…His visage was so marred more than any man…I (the prophesied Christ) gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not My face from shame and spitting.’  Let us try for a moment to ’Behold…’ this dear dear Man.

All the full horror of Hell and the extreme violence of man was suffered by the Lord Jesus that day.  Our hearts should melt in shame and pity for Him - for He undertook all this pain and suffering in our place!

Look At His Suffering:  The suffering of Christ Jesus on that day only gives a physical glimpse of what the Master was suffering at that time.  Like the iceberg, this physical suffering was merely the visible tip of His suffering.  All the hordes of Hell were rallied against Him as He suffered the full penalty of your black sins and of mine.  The price was infinite, the depth of suffering incapable of measure.  Every sin sinned since Adam, had to be punished by our Holy Lord God, and every sin-debt paid.  Jesus paid it ALL!

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.  Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  BUT He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed (from our sins).”  (Isaiah 53:3-5)

The sin-question plunged mankind into chaos and death - Christ Jesus took that sin upon Himself and was nailed to the Cross to pay for it.

If only Pilate, the Roman Governor, had realised the fact that Christ Jesus was the Lamb of God, sent to us by God His Father, to be a Sacrifice for sin - surely he would have cast himself down at Christ’s feet, in abject repentance.

With the above grim but Scriptural facts in mind therefore, let us obey the command of Pilate.  Let us ’behold the Man’ of Calvary afresh, and worship Him.  There is life for a look at the Crucified One - Christ Jesus.

Thought: “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none beside Me.”  (Isaiah 45:22)

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