Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the Man!
It was Pilate who uttered these words that are so impregnated with mystery. He presented a Man: scourged; mocked, bleeding; torn and crowned with thorns.. but there was a depth of meaning enveloping these words: BEHOLD, THE MAN! Priests and people alike recognised these words, written in their scriptures. They were words from God, spoken by a prophet, about their future Saviour. They were prophetic words, given to the people, about the coming Man.
This was no ordinary Man, for He was the coming Seed, Who was to redeem His people. This Man was the Word of God, Who in the beginning flung galaxies into space. This was the incarnate Son of God, made flesh – indeed He was the Man. This was the Man, Who entreated, “come to Me”, throughout His earthly ministry. This was the anointed One the Christ, of whom Zachariah prophesied, saying: this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘BEHOLD THE MAN whose name is the Branch, and He will branch out from His place and build the temple of the LORD.
Israel beheld the Man Who was their Messiah, yet screamed: away with Him. The nation beheld that One for Whom they had waited for so long, yet crucified Him. Little did Pilate understand the deep pathos of his eternally shattering words: Behold, The Man – Behold the Son of God Who taketh away the sin of the world. Jesus put Himself to open shame so the world could behold the Man.
Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so that all could behold it and live, and now Jesus was lifted up on the cross – so that ALL could look and live. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up – for all that look will live. But His cruel rejection by man, enabled humanity to make peace with God. Had He not been rejected by humanity, man would have remained rejected by God.
Those who love Jesus, behold Him as precious saviour; glorious Lord; gracious God – commanding rapt admiration, profound thanks and eternal praise and worship. Those who hate Him are to be pitied for they are proud fools who are lost and blind – commanding the condemnation of God upon themselves. For He alone is the Man that can bring mankind into fellowship with God, and it was for all that He suffered and died, Jew and Gentile – for me and for you.
The Jews were to purpose and plan the death of their final Passover Lamb. The Gentiles were to execute this resolution and crucify the Saviour of the world.. for God in the eternal council chambers of His Divine Wisdom ordained it to be so – so that whosoever believes on this Man should not perish but have everlasting life – so that whosoever will “behold the Man” – will live.
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