Morning Bible Study
arrested the night before in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He’s already had various “trials” before Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod, and now He’s standing again before
Pilate as the Jewish leaders have demanded that Pilate put Jesus to death.
This is taking place at the Antonia Fortress, known as the Praetorium, located behind a side
wall of the Temple Mount. Pilate has been questioning Jesus inside the
Praetorium while the Jewish accusers have been waiting outside the Praetorium
so they don’t defile themselves by going into a Gentile place before
celebrating the Passover.
While Pilate has been interviewing Jesus, he has had a hard time seeing
what this man has done that’s worthy of death. (Warning: Today is a
little bit graphic)
:1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.
– mastigoo – to beat with a flagrum
Scourging was a
form of whipping used by the Romans for several things.
was meant to be the punishment for a crime.
was used to make a criminal confess to a crime. As long as you continued to
claim to be innocent, the lashing got harder and harder until you ultimately
confessed to whatever the examiner wanted you to confess to.
It has been
suggested (Wiersbe) that Pilate is having Jesus scourged in order to gain the
sympathy of the crowd to have Jesus released. If Jesus looks miserable enough,
perhaps the crowd will be done asking for His death.
The condemned person would be led out to the front of the Praetorium, where
the crowd was.
whipped their prisoners with a device called a “flagrum”, a handle with long
leather straps of various lengths attached. Imbedded in the straps were pieces of bone and
lead designed to tear the flesh.
Origen (third century) records that the soldiers in Pilate’s charge weren’t
from Rome, but recruits
from the nearby province of Syria, and were especially hostile of the Jews. This
would mean that the beating may have been more severe than normal. (from footnote in Edersheim’s
“Life and Times …”, pg.579)
Eusebius, a third-century historian, writes: “The sufferer’s veins were laid bare, and the very
muscles, sinews, and bowels of the victim were open to exposure.”
beating, Jesus would have been brought back into the Praetorium.
Scourged for me
During communion, we hand out the little pieces of bread and talk about them
representing the body of Christ.
When Paul taught about communion, he wrote,
(1 Co 11:24 NKJV) and
when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body
which is broken for
you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself when Christ’s body
was broken? Remember that on the cross He died before they could get around to
breaking His legs. No bones were broken.
I think you could make a case that the place His body was
broken was during the scourging.
Isaiah wrote about the scourging of Jesus.
(Is 53:5 NKJV) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our
iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
The “stripes” speak of the scourging.
is a sense in which the “healing” refers to a spiritual healing, a restoration
between us and God.
wonder sometimes if there isn’t a sense in which physical healing is
part of this as well.
He has provided for our healing through His scourging.
:2 And the
soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him
a purple robe.
:2 purple robe
– Purple was the color of royalty.
:2 a crown of
The thorns in Israel
can grow kind of large.
sinned in the Garden of Eden, one of the consequences was that thorns and
thistles would grow on the earth. (Gen. 3:17-19)
appropriate that the Creator would wear a crown of thorns as He is about to
bear the sins of the world on a cross.
:3 Then they
said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands.
:3 struck Him with
their hands – rhapisma – a
blow with a rod; a blow with the hand
The Greek is literally, “they gave
Him blows” (no mention of hands). Mark tells us…
(Mk 15:19 NKJV) Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and
bowing the knee, they worshiped Him.
The Greek verb tense (imperfect) in our passage tells us “they kept on hitting Him”
Isaiah prophesied of this time, giving us a clue to Jesus’ appearance:
(Is 52:14 NLT) But
many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly
human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.
:4 Pilate then
went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that
you may know that I find no fault in Him.”
:5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.
And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”
:5 Behold the Man
In Latin, the
words are “Ecce Homo”
In the art world, there
have been dozens of
done with this title,
depicting this moment when Jesus is brought out by Pilate.
when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify
Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I
find no fault in Him.”
:6 You take Him
You get the sense that Pilate is reluctant to put Jesus to death.
A few months later, after the resurrection, Peter said to a Jewish crowd at
(Ac 3:13 NKJV) The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers,
glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence
of Pilate, when he was
determined to let Him go.
:7 The Jews
answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because
He made Himself the Son of God.”
:7 We have a law
(Le 24:16 NKJV) And whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death…
If Jesus claims to be the Son of God, and He’s not, then He is guilty of
blasphemy. On the other hand, if Jesus IS the Son of God, then He’s simply
telling the truth.
when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid,
:9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You
from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.
:8 he was the more
Apparently Pilate was already a little bit uneasy about Jesus as it was.
Earlier in the morning, Pilate had received a disturbing message from his
(Mt 27:19 NKJV) While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him,
saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things
today in a dream because of Him.”
And now he hears that Jesus has claimed to be the Son of God.
:9 Jesus gave him
(Is 53:7 NKJV) He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His
mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its
shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
Shhhh! Follow the footsteps
Sometimes we find ourselves going through persecution and suffering and we
don’t always know what to do.
Sometimes the right thing to do is to speak up. Maybe even take revenge
A watermelon farmer was determined to scare off the local kids who went into
his watermelon patch every night to eat their fill. After some thought, he made
a sign that read, “WARNING!
ONE OF THESE WATERMELONS HAS BEEN INJECTED WITH CYANIDE!” He smiled smugly as he watched the
kids run off the next night without eating any of his melons. A week later, the
farmer was surveying his field. To his satisfaction, no watermelons were
missing, but now there was a new sign next to his that read, “NOW THERE ARE TWO!”
Sometimes it’s better not to take revenge and just be quiet.
Pe 2:21–23 NKJV) —21 For to
this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an
example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in
His mouth”; 23 who, when
He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not
threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
Sometimes we do more harm when we complain so much, or even
worse when we try to get even.
Sometimes the people that are hurting us will be impacted
more by our silence than with our anger and harsh words.
Robert E. Lee was asked what he thought of a fellow officer in the Confederate
Army who had made some derogatory remarks about him. Lee rated him as being
very satisfactory. The person who asked the question seemed perplexed. “General,” he said, “I guess you don’t know
what he’s been saying about you.” “I
know,” answered Lee. “But I was asked my opinion of him, not his opinion of me!”
Perhaps we ought to keep our mouths shut a little more, and learn to trust
God to work it out.
:10 Then Pilate
said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to
crucify You, and power to release You?”
:11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it
had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has
the greater sin.”
:11 given you from
God is the ultimate authority
(Ro 13:1 NKJV) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there
is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed
The Bible consistently teaches that we need to learn respect for our
government leaders, and that includes presidents and governors, even the ones
that are democrats.
(1 Ti 2:1–2 NKJV) —1 Therefore I exhort first of all that
supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all
men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and
peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
Romans and 1Timothy during the reign of crazy Caesar Nero who was known for
Note: This doesn’t mean you can’t vote a man
out of office, but while he’s in office you and I need to respect and lovingly pray
:11 the one who
delivered Me to you
high priest knew the Scriptures. He knew the prophecies about the coming
Yet he willingly ignored the evidence about Jesus being the Messiah.
He still chose to have Jesus put to death. He stirred up the people to ask
for Jesus to be put to death. He pressured Pilate into putting Jesus to death.
Caiaphas had a sin greater than Pilate’s.
And yet it’s also strangely ironic that the Chief Priest (Caiaphas) is the one responsible for
making the sacrifice of the Lamb of God (Jesus) who would take away the sins of
:12 From then
on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let
this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks
:12 you are not
Pilate was not going to be convinced to put Jesus to death by hearing about
Jewish laws. The Jewish leaders now appeal to Pilate’s political
:13 When Pilate
therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment
seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
:13 the judgment
seat – bema – the official
seat of a judge
:13 The Pavement
– lithostrotos – stones laid together
to form a pavement
:13 Gabbatha – gabbatha
– “elevated or a platform”
Pilate had his “throne” on a paved area elevated above the people.
:14 Now it was
the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to
the Jews, “Behold your King!”
:15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate
said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have
no king but Caesar!”
:16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and
led Him away.
:14 Preparation Day
It’s Friday morning. The Passover
would begin at sundown on that Friday.
:14 about the sixth
There were different ways of telling time (Jewish and Roman). John is
probably using Roman
time, which would mean that the sentencing took place “about” 6:00a.m.
:14 Behold your
It’s no longer “Behold the man”, but now “Behold your King”.
Play “Gospel of
Who is my King?
Perhaps Pilate is simply mocking the Jews about their “King”.
But they respond that they don’t want Jesus to be their king.
Your “king” is the one who ultimately makes the decisions in your life.
For some, their
friends are their “king” – all they care about is doing what their friends tell
them to do.
For some of us,
we’re our own “king”. We don’t want
anyone telling us what to do. “I am
letting Jesus be your “king”?