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By late-morning on Thursday of Passion Week the last of Jesus’ six inquisitions and trials that began in the dark of night just hours earlier had come to an end.  Whereas the Jews had found Him guilty of contrived charges and delivered Him up from envy, Pilate quickly determined He was not guilty of their charges and made extraordinary efforts to release Him.  But in the end he succumbed to their relentless pressure and surrendered Him to their will, feeling the need to appease them on their feast day, as well as fearing their recriminations of him not being a “friend of Caesar” if he were to release Jesus, whom they made out to be a king in opposition to Caesar; Joh 19:12.  In addition to releasing the insurrectionist Barabbas according to the will of the people, what actions does Matthew record that Pilate did concerning Jesus?  See Mat 27:26.  Whereas John’s description of Jesus’ scourging is presented as more remedial in the sense of Pilate’s desire to placate the crowd in hopes of releasing Him (Joh 19:1-5), in what way is Matthew’s description more penal in the sense of a punishment inflicted upon a convicted criminal?  See Mat 27:26.  How do these two senses reflect the two senses also presented in Scripture of Christ’s sufferings as both remedial in some way for His own benefit and penal for ours?  See Heb 5:7-9 as well as Isa 53:5, 1Pe 2:24.  In what way are those same two aspects of suffering experienced by those who would follow Christ to glory by furthering His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven?  See Heb 12:6-11, Rev 3:19 as well as Joh 12:24-26, Col 1:24, 2Ti 2:8-10, 3:12.

What additional punishment does Matthew record that was inflicted upon Jesus?  See Mat 27:27-30.  What one word describes the purpose of putting a scarlet robe and crown of thorns upon Jesus and hailing Him King of the Jews?  See Mat 27:29,31.  How many were involved in the mockery?  See Mat 27:27 and note that a Roman cohort is a tenth of a legion, consisting of 500-600 soldiers, so that Jesus as a lone person would have been completely surrounded by their overwhelming force.  As Rome was the undisputed world power of that day, in what way does such mockery represent the way that the god of this age, whose spirit fills the kingdoms of this world, mocks the servant nature of the true God by which He establishes His kingdom upon the earth?  In what way does Jesus standing alone in the midst of such an overwhelming force subjecting Himself to such suffering and mockery actually represent the much greater strength by which He ultimately overcame not only the formidable force of soldiers arrayed against Him, but the very god of this age, to become the King of kings and Lord of lords?  With this understanding, in what way was the crown of thorns with which the powers of this world thought to mock Him actually a real crown of glory for Him, that for all eternity will bear testimony of the much greater glory He obtained by willingly suffering and laying down His life than all the glory that the kings of the earth have obtained by their strivings for wealth and power?  In this way, how did the Most High God actually turn the mockery by the world of Him and His Christ around to make a mockery of this world and its prince?  Cf. Psa 2:1-6, 1Co 1:26-29, Gal 6:7.

After stripping Jesus of His clothes, what does Matthew say the soldiers put on Him?  See Mat 27:28.  How is his description different from Mark and John’s?  See Mar 15:17, Joh 19:2 and note that Matthew’s scarlet robe is synonymous with their purple one, referring to a royal purple that was a shade of red.  What was the significance of the scarlet / purple robe to their mocking?  Cf. Est 8:15, Jer 10:9, Dan 5:7, Rev 17:4, 18:16.  What was the much greater significance of the scarlet / purple robe to the salvation that God was accomplishing through Jesus’ suffering and death?  See Exo 26:30-33, 27:16, 28:4-8, 39:1, 2Ch 3:14, Mat 27:51, Joh 10:7,9, Heb 5:9-10, 8:1-2.  What is the special significance to Matthew’s description of the robe being scarlet that identified Him especially to the Jews as the source of their salvation from sin?  See Lev 14:4-7,49-52, Num 19:6,9, Jos 2:18, Isa 1:18, Heb 9:19-23.

What was the significance to their mocking of the reed the soldiers put in Jesus’ right hand?  Cf. Est 5:2, Eze 19:11, 29:6, Isa 36:6.  What was the even greater significance to the reed they put in His right hand of the sort of rule that marks Jesus’ reign as King in the kingdom of God, that through humility and weakness is actually a rod of iron that breaks the scepters of the kingdoms of this world?  See Isa 14:5-7, Jer 48:17, Mic 7:14, Mat 12:20, Heb 1:8.  See also Rev 21:15 and note that such reeds were also used as a measuring rod (cf. Eze 40:3, Rev 11:1), thar reminds us of the word of God that is the righteous scepter of His kingdom by which He reigns and the gold standard to which we strive to measure up; cf. Psa 45:6-7, Eph 4:13.

What do thorns represent throughout Scripture?  See Gen 3:18, Isa 5:6, 7:23-25, Jer 12:13, Mat 7:16, 13:22, Heb 6:8.  As thorns are the fruit of the curse from man’s sin, what is the spiritual significance that a crown of thorns was beaten down upon Jesus’ head?  Think: although man’s sin has beaten him down with a curse of thorns, who actually bore a crown of thorns to deliver him from that curse?  Cf. Eze 28:24, Gal 3:13.  So then, again, although the soldiers who were full of the spirit of this world and its god mocked Jesus as not being a real king, in fact, how did their mocking and even the crown of thorns demonstrate that in fact He was a king on an entirely different level, a much greater level, even the King of kings, whose magnificent glory was actually manifested through such sufferings for the sake of His people?  In what way then is it that the kings of this world who seek its vain glory can never share the much greater glory of God, but only those who follow Christ in the way of the cross?  See Isa 48:11, 49:3, Rom 8:16-17, 1Pe 4:12-14.

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