Fellowship at Cross Creek
Intro… This particular passage seems to cry out for a bit more context. It is interesting observing both the religious leaders and Pilate’s responses, as well as, Jesus’ words…and how all this culminates in Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection. It’a a great study in mob rule, injustice, peer pressure, appeasement, restrained obedience and suffering…all things that are very much a part of life, whether we like it or not—it just is. And yet, it’s all a part of the plan…the plan of God’s salvation of the world, from its SIN, through the giving of His Son to atone for the sins of the world. Thus, similar to what we have been studying within the life of Joseph, God mysteriously, uniquely, divinely orchestrates man and man’s willful, sinful, imperfect choices to accomplish a greater purpose. Amazing. God is in control, and yet man chooses. Indeed a great paradox, and yet somehow true.
God be gracious to you as you seek to honor him.
Read Passage several times… (optional: if more than 12 verses, I would read only twice).
John 19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.
Why did he have him flogged? To buy off or appease the religious leaders? Did he think, if I flog him, maybe that will be enough and they stop insisting that I put him to death? Was it like the movie? How many times did they strike him? Did they use the cat-o-nine-tails? Did his mother or family or friends witness him being flogged?
2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe
Why did they do this? Was this a joke? Why were they allowed to taunt him? Did they get a laugh or rise out of making sport of him?
3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they struck him in the face.
Obviously, they do not believe he is the king of the Jews. Why again and again? Why rub it in? Because he is vulnerable? Where is the accountability? Obviously there were witnesses to all of this. Life has a funny way of being so surreal. Here the soldiers are actually stating the truth, only they think that it is not the truth. What an irony. They think he is a weak nobody. How could they have known they were dealing with the Creator of the Universe. And he allows them to do all this—unbelievable! What self-restraint! What self-control! What discipline! I would have wanted to defend myself and reveal the truth, but he chose not to. He chose to not play his trump card here, contented to fulfill his purpose to die for the sins of mankind. Wow!