Mockery - By Humiliation - John 19:1-5
March 29, 2022, 9:00 AM

John 19:1-5 “Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.  The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the face.  Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him."  When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"   

Pilate declared Jesus not guilty. Pilate knew that He was innocent of the indictment and tried to get out of making a decision. He had Jesus beaten and let the people see the blood, disfigurement, and showing his willingness to compromise by punishing this innocent man before them.                 

Jesus also bore our sin, not only His death, but also in His suffering. Isaiah 53:5 says “He was bruised for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, by his stripes we are healed. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth.”     

The commentaries reveal that scourging was with leather straps with bits of metal or bone tied to the end so when the lash hit the back it would tear open the flesh. The custom was to have 40 lashes save one. That was all they could take before some would die.                  

John 19:2 revealed, “And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe.” After the scourging, they put a crown of thorns on His head. The thorns referred to here are very long, sometimes even 3½ inches in length, piercing the skin and causing blood to run down His face. In Genesis we are reminded that thorns were a product of the curse that came because of sin.                

The soldiers not only stripped Jesus and beat Him, but put a purple robe on Him. This type of robe was short which came over the shoulders and barely covered the chest. So, being stripped, He was naked from the chest down adding to His shame. Then they put a reed in His hand as a type of mock-scepter. A true scepter symbolizes authority and power, but the reed, (a hollow-stemmed grass) was a symbol of weakness.               

Regardless of the other torture, this scene was mocking the claim that Jesus was the King of the Jews. This was the way the Romans made fun of Jesus and His rulership.                 

The world continues to make fun of Jesus because it does not want to recognize His Lordship. They continue to ridicule our Lord in ways that brings dishonor to Him.   

A few years ago, an artist received government funding for the Arts, produced a figure of Jesus on the cross engulfed in a bottle of urine. Such mocking was not only from an individual, but admired by many. Such humiliation is intentional arising from outward rejection of our Lord’s love.                   

The difficult part of this for me, is the way in which Jesus is subject to humiliating mockery for the sake of our sins.  

Application:  Meditate on these words of scripture today and ask Jesus to give you an understanding of what He has done to secure your salvation.   Pray for those who are mocking and persecuting Christ today.   

Prayer:   O Lord Jesus, when I read this, I am reminded that it was for my sins that you died, it was my sin that brought the scrouging, the thorns and the cross.  You surrendered to the Father's will by willingly laying down your life.   Bring me to my knees in adoration and thanksgiving before you.  I seek to kneel at the foot of the Cross that saved me.   Take my will and make it thine, it shall be no longer mine.   

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