136: Jesus' humiliation
Who could ever describe Jesus' suffering on that horrible day? They took Him into the hall of justice, tore off His clothes, and tied Him. Then they whipped Him. Unmerciful lashes rained down on His bare back.
No cry came to Jesus' lips. Silently He withstood the cutting pain that He did not deserve. Many deserved to be punished, but He wanted to bear the punishment for them.
The Lord let the unrighteousness of us all fall upon Jesus. He was beaten and abused, but He suffered it all willingly and did not open His mouth.
Who can possibly understand the depth of the humiliation and scorn Jesus faced?
Pilate's men were not satisfied with whipping Jesus. They took a purple cloak, which had been used by a soldier, and threw it over His shoulders.
"There is His royal robe," they scoffed. "Didn't He say He was a king?"
They made Him a crown of thorns and pressed it on His head. "There is His crown," they laughed.
They shoved a cane into His right hand.
"That's His scepter," they said, laughing.
They played a cruel game with Him. They walked up to Him one by one as if they were approaching the throne of a mighty ruler. They bowed and kneeled before Him and scoffed at Him. "Greetings, King of the Jews!" Their scornful laughter echoed through the hall of justice.
Suddenly they decided they had had enough of that game. They showed only contempt for this man who let them abuse Him without saying a word. They struck Him with their fists.
They took the cane out of His hands and hit Him on the head with it. The crown of tho'rn worked its way into His flesh. They spit in His face to get Him to curse them, as other victims always did.
Suddenly their frenzy was halted. They stood at attention as the governor walked in.
Pilate saw Jesus standing there, bleeding from many wounds. He was pale and exhausted. Pilate could see from Jesus' costume that the soldiers had been mocking Him. He did not rebuke them.
Pilate had not defended Jesus out of love or mercy. He had done so out of a sense of justice, and because he was annoyed with the Jews. Even then he still thought he could save Jesus.
The unruly mob outside had demanded Jesus' life. They wanted to see His blood. Fine, they would see it. Maybe then they would be satisfied.
He walked out of the hall of justice and said to the people, "Look, I will bring Him out before you so you will know that I find no guilt in Him."
Jesus was brought outside with His crown of thorns and His purple garment.
There He stood—the one on whom the people had fixed their hopes. Had they really thought that He could save them?
Now they despised Him. They wanted nothing to do with that sort of messiah. A suffering Christ was not what they had in mind.
Pilate said, "Behold the man."
There was no mercy in their hearts. Their hearts were filled with hatred and loathing. Again they screamed, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"
Pilate saw that he had made another mistake in his guess of how the people would react. But he was not yet ready to give in.
"Take Him and crucify Him yourselves," he said to them, "for I find no crime in Him."
Pilate knew perfectly well that the Jews would not crucify Jesus themselves. That was not within their rights. They didn't want to do it themselves either. Again they demanded that the governor and the Roman authorities sentence Jesus to death on the cross.
Finaly they named the real reason why they had condemned Him. "We have a law," they said. "According to that law He must die, for he called Himself God's Son."
When Pilate heard that, He decided that he would question Jesus once more. He wanted to find out what this charge meant.