John 19:1-16- Crucify Him!
Explanation- The intensity of this passage cannot be missed. We picture Pilate franticly seeking to excuse Jesus from judgement but the crowds are nearly in uproar. They spew their false allegations toward Christ and will not cease until blood is shed. In what seems like an attempt to please the crowd without having to crucify Jesus, Pilate has Him beaten by Roman soldiers. These soldiers mock Christ and seek to put Him to shame by garbing Him in royal robes and twisting a crown of thorns to place on His head. Scripture was being fulfilled before the people’s eyes and they were utterly blinded from seeing it.
In all of this we must remember that Christ’s greatest agony was not at the hand of these soldiers, nor was it through the death cries of the Jewish crowd. It was through all of this that Christ was spiritually bearing the sin, shame, and guilt of all those who would ever believe in His name. His Father’s wrath was being poured out in ways that we are unable to provide physical description of. The weight that Christ carried to the cross and held while on the cross is unimaginable!
When Pilate presents Jesus before the crowd He says, ‘Behold your King’, to this the people cry out again that they desire Him to be put to death. In a desperate attempt to see to it that Christ is indeed crucified they swear by the sovereign kingship of Caesar and even back Pilate’s loyalties to Caesar into a corner. With his hand now pushed by the Jew’s revolting, Pilate succumbs to their wishes and sends Christ off to be crucified.
Application- Christ’s words to Pilate in this section are of great importance. When Pilate speaks of his own authority to either release or crucify Him, Jesus responds by saying that, ‘You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given to you from above.’ It is here that we see explicit proof of the power of God at work behind all human authority. Men may inhabit thrones or sit in oval offices, but the all sovereign will of Almighty God reigns supreme in every facet of existence. Not one thing happens apart from His will. It is not our purpose to always know why things are the way that they are but we are called to trust in God’s perfect wisdom and guidance of all events. Certainly we have responsibilities to maintain in all of this, but even these prove to be means of God’s greater plan. Christ was turned over to the ill intent of men because it was His will for it to be done. If this was not part of the plan, or if it was not the right time (as we have seen before), then all of what we see written before us would not have come to pass. In light of this let us pray for a deeper trust of the sovereign will of God and the providential means that He uses to work all things together according to His good and perfect will.