I am one month away from completing my current read through the Bible in a year plan. For this plan I read everything 1x and then Luke, Isaiah, Romans, and Psalms 2x. That means I have to read the Passion Narrative 5x. Today was my final day of reading about the crucifixion.
It struck me hard.
It made me think about if I am proclaiming this truth with my life.
Jesus died for my sins
It was my sins that caused the flogging. It was my sins that caused that cruel crown of thorns to be mashed upon his head. It was my sins that drove those nails into his body. It was my sins that caused that spear to pierce his side.
His death says I no longer need to be a slave to my sins (Romans 6 beautifully explains this!)
But there is a majestic splendor in today’s reading that I must also share.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers also twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on his head, and clothed him in a purple robe. And they kept coming up to him and saying, “Hail, King of the Jews! ” and were slapping his face.
Pilate went outside again and said to them, “Look, I’m bringing him out to you to let you know I find no grounds for charging him.” Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man! ”
John 19:1-5 (Christian Standard Bible translation)
Four things I want you to notice
- His Crown
- His Clothing
- His Kingdom
- His Identity
The soldiers thought that they were showing great cruelty by mocking Jesus. They thought the crown showed a cruel irony that because his accusation was being “King of the Jews” they would add insult to injury by putting a crown upon his head. A crown that would rip off skin and scrape his sacred skull.
Little did they know that the irony was upon them. They thought they were mocking his accusation, but there will come a day when Jesus will receive every crown. These crowns were given to those who were faithful and true to God in their lives (2 Tim 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10). Why are they cast down before Jesus? Scripture answers this in Revelation 4, where it records the worship of Christ by angelic beings and his followers
Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God, the Almighty,
who was, who is, and who is coming
Our Lord and God,
You are worthy to receive
glory and honor and power,
because You have created all things,
and because of Your will
they exist and were created.
Revelation 4:8b, 11
When the soldiers wrapped Jesus in a purple robe, they thought they were showing a cruel irony that He would be wrapped in a regal color just before his death. They did not realize that this robe is a pale reflection of his true garments
This is the One whose “clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them” (Mark (9:3) for a moment during his ministry, but one day will be sitting on a throne with “the appearance of Jasper and ruby” with a glorious rainbow which shines like an emerald encircling his throne (Revelation 4:4).
The soldiers mocked Jesus by declaring Him “King of the Jews,” thinking that this was a man with zero power, authority, or kingdom. Little did they know that one day every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is not only a king – but Lord! When He does so, this is what it will look like.
Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True and He judges and makes war in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on His head. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. Asharp sword came from His mouth, so that He might strike the nations with it. He will shepherd them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh:
KING OF KINGS
AND LORD OF LORDS
Pilate knew nothing of this theology. He knew nothing of this irony. He was simply a Roman official who was tired of riots, rebellions, and insurrections. He feared Jesus. He was in awe of Jesus (John 19:12). He found zero grounds for the vile and putrid hate being waged against Jesus. Which is why it is amazing that he declared one of the most joyous theological truths found in Scripture.
“When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, ‘Here is the man!‘
Jesus took on our flesh. He became a man. In this proclamation, Pilate uses the general word for mankind (ανθροπος -anthropos) instead of the technical word for male/ man (ανηρ- an’-ayr). This is the most glorious irony of all. Pilate did not know that he was proclaiming the truth of the incarnation of the Creator God. He did not know he was declaring the reality that God became man.
Why did Jesus become human? In order to become our substitute. The God of all the Universe- The Omnipotent Creator- became a man in order to take our place. He did this in order to take our place of condemnation and punishment (Romans 5 spells this out). Only a human could take the place of another human and bear the punishment for our sins. But only a perfect, blameless, guilt free human. The kind of man where you hear the statements “I find no basis for a charge against Him” (John 19:6).
Jesus, “The Man,” was the one who took his royal garments, put them aside, and instead wrapped himself in our filthy, sick, weak, and broken flesh.
Jesus, “The King of Kings and Lord of Lords,” took his garments off and washed the feet of his disciples (John 13:1-17).
Christmas is the celebration of the glorious mystery that the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” became “The Man” and was born in this world.
God dwelt with the World. Emmanuel was here.
But the truth does not end there. Jesus will come again. The question is, do you view Him as just a man, or do you view Him as your Saviour? When He comes back, He will judge the living and the dead. Choose now to follow Him and declare Him King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Jesus calls us to repent of our sins – to call them what they are- and to live lives as his servants. I suggest we do this. It is the best and most blessed decision we can make. Because when we call Him Lord, He then calls us friends, beloved, and co-heirs. What a glorious and blessed hope and peace we can have.