This is the Passion Week. This is the week we remember the last Passover that Jesus would celebrate with his disciples. We remember the establishment of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. We remember Jesus' betrayal by a friend, his arrest, the illegal trial, and his appearances before the priests, Pilate, Herod, and the crowds. It's hard to know what was going on in Pilate's thinking, but the biblical text certainly suggests that Pilate saw no reason for execution and perhaps hoped that after a flogging the crowds would have thought the same. And so Pilate invites: "Ecce Homo" (Latin, "Behold the man").
"So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, 'Behold the man!'" (John 19:5, ESV).
Antonio Ciseri depicted this petition of Pilate in 1871 with the following painting. Although mild in his treatment of the painful flagellation Jesus would have received, the painting is nevertheless gripping. Note the shame and remorse that Pilate's wife seems to reflect as she slowly walks away from this travesty.
Who did Pilate think was standing beside him? Who did Pilate's wife think she was walking away from? Who did the people think they were looking at? Who do you see wearing the crown of thorns and a purple robe?
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV).
This is Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, and the redeemer of my sinful and lost soul! He died for you; he died for me in order to impute God's righteousness on our lives.
This week take some time to quietly worship in humility and contrition and yet, with gratitude for what we have in Christ and who we have with Christ.
With humble faith,