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God had given the Jews His righteous and holy law to bless them as His chosen people by guiding them into all truth.  And yet, just having the truth was no guarantee that they would choose to walk in it, or that not having that truth meant that those without it could never be justified.  For as Paul points out, it is not the hearers of the Law, but the doers of it who are just before God (Rom 2:13).  And while the Jewish religious leaders had deliberately circumvented their own safeguards to violate the Law in order to have Jesus put to death, Pilate, the Gentile Roman governor, who might otherwise have quickly assented to their wishes out of political expedience, was nevertheless being led by his troubled conscience and aided by his wife’s tormented dreams to do what he could to release Jesus in Whom he found no guilt.  For even after his plan backfired to enlist the crowd to turn the political pressure back on the Jewish leaders—who were able to persuade the multitude not only to ask that Barabbas be released to them but to crucify Jesus—he hoped that punishing Jesus might yet appease them so as to spare His life and deliver Him from being crucified.

What punishment does John say that was meted out to Jesus?  See Joh 19:1-3; cf. Mat 27:26-30.  Besides the cruel affliction to His body from the scourging, the crown of thorns, and the beating, in what other way was the punishment meant to afflict His soul?  Cf. Mat 27:28-29,31.  Are we as willing to suffer ridicule for the sake of the truth?  What does the nature of the soldiers’ mockery again indicate about the main charge for which Jesus was on trial, for which He was now being punished, and hence, what was clearly understood, but at the same time misunderstood, about Jesus’ claim to be the Christ?  What does this again remind us about how sin is able to so completely distort the truth into a lie that the truth itself could be used to severely punish and then crucify the very personification of Truth Who came to set us free from that bondage of iniquity?  Do we truly understand the sinfulness of sin, and the great cost that God went to in order to break that bondage of sin for all who would receive it, knowing so many would not receive it?

What did Pilate do after having Jesus punished?  See Joh 19:4.  How many times prior to this had Pilate also communicated that he found Jesus not guilty of the crimes of which He was accused by the Jews?  See Luk 23:4,14-15; cf. Joh 18:38, 19:6.  What is the significance that now for at least the third time Pilate communicated to the Jews that he found no guilt in Jesus, while they on their part continued to press him each time, and more, to crucify Him?  See 2Co 13:1; cf. Luk 23:22, Tit 3:10.  In the courtroom of heaven, could there be any doubt about the Jews’ complete and total rejection of their Messiah?  How does John describe Jesus as presented to the crowd?  See Joh 19:5.  How would Jesus have appeared to the people, bruised and bleeding as He was from the beating He had just received, but with the purple robe of sarcasm to punctuate the silliness of His claim to be Christ, a King?  Again, what did Pilate hope to accomplish by presenting Jesus to the crowd in such a sorry, ridiculed state?  How does this help us to understand the sense of pity he hoped to illicit from the crowd by his words, “Behold the Man”, in order to appease them so he could release Jesus without fear of recrimination from his own superiors?  In presenting Him in this manner, what was the great prophetic significance of his words in relation to what God was accomplishing through the events happening right then to fulfill Jesus’ own words?  See Zec 3:1-9, 6:11-13,15, Isa 11:1, Joh 2:18-22.  Although completely unknowingly, what is both the irony and the significance in light of their reaction in Joh 19:6, that Pilate used a Messianic title to present Jesus to the Jews in hopes that they might allow him to set Him free?  Again, could there be any doubt in the courtroom of heaven what verdict was demanded against the Jewish nation for its vociferous rejection of God’s promised Messiah?  And again, what apologetic effect would these additional details about Pilate’s attempts to free Jesus, but the determination of the Jews to have Him put to death, have had upon both Jews and Gentiles at the time John wrote following the destruction of the Jewish nation and its temple in 70 a.d.?  Cf. Psa 2:8, Isa 2:2-6, 11:10, 49:6, Mat 21:43.

As Jesus in His battered state was presented to the crowd by Pilate in hopes they might be moved by pity to allow him to spare Him, who does John say immediately answered Pilate, in order to lead the crowd, and what did they say?  See Joh 19:6.  What does this again remind us about the power of leaders, and the terrible evil into which bad rulers can lead their followers?  How did Pilate respond, that not only reiterated yet again his own position, but also made clear that he did not want to be responsible for the death of Jesus?  See Joh 19:6; cf. Joh 18:31, Mat 27:24.

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