Pilate, the Roman Governor must decide what to do with Jesus. The Jewish religious leaders want Jesus crucified. Pilate interrogates him and finds no legitimate reason  for His  death. But to appease the screaming crowd, Pilate has him severely whipped.

After Pilate’s soldiers whip Jesus and mock Him, they bring Him to Pilate again. This time Jesus is covered with blood, a crown of woven thorns pushed into his scalp, and a purple robe draped over his shoulders. As the Lord stands there, Pilate utters these words to the crowd, “Behold the man.” [John 19:5]

Let us gaze upon the calvary scene and behold the man. What can we learn when we behold the crucified Son of God.

First, as we behold the man, we realize the terribleness of our sins. We see what evil, what vileness is produced by sin. Consider the ruin that sin has brought to this world. Consider how sin ruined  the beauty of the Garden, murdered Abel, drowned the ancient world, filled the graves with the death of the unnumerable bodies of the dead. Consider the ruin sin has brought to our own life.

Then gaze upon the calvary vision. Is it not  the site where the most wicked of all of humanities sins finds its culmination? Homicide is indeed a wicked act; but Deicide, the murder of God, must be the vilest sin ever committed. For behold the man, the holy Son of God, who was without any sin, innocent of any crime,  hangs upon the cross, pierced hands and feet, a spear slash in His side. Behold the God-man, dying not for any wrong He did; but dying for all the wrongs and evil that everyone else had committed. How true are the prophet’s words, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our peace fell upon Him. And by His scourging we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5]

Second, as we behold the man, we realize the inflexible justice of God. God is holy. And His holiness demands He maintain His justice without partiality. God’s holy justice demands the guilty will not escape the punishment for their sins. Again the prophet says, “Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him. For what he deserves will be done to him.” [Isaiah 3:11] Behold the man on the cross and we see God’s justice, inflexible, unwavering, and impartial. Yet we understand that God placed the sins of humanity, even our sins, upon His innocent and sinless Son. The justice sinful mankind deserved was laid upon the whipped, bloody body of His Son. The prophet Isaiah declares,  “The Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon Him. Yet He Himself bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors.” [Isaiah 53:6c & 12e]

Third, as we behold the man, we realize the depth of God’s love for us. Without the death of the Christ, we would not know the great love the Father and the Son have for us. Is it love to see a person fallen into a pit and  callously walk by and give no help? God and His Son did not walk by us who were trapped in the pit of sin and death. They loved us with a depth of love we cannot understand. For while we were helpless the Son of God died for us. For while we were sinners God visibly displayed His own love towards us in Christ’s  dying for us. And while we were God’s enemies, He hung His Son on the cross, placed our sins on Him, so we may not die eternally. “By this is the love of God manifested to us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the satisfactory sacrifice for our sins.” [1 John 4:9-10]

Behold the man and be grateful for what He did for you! Behold the man and give Him your faithfulness! Behold the man, who loved  you, and give him your love. Behold the man who died so you can live and live for Him! — Tom