Tuesday, 9 March 2021
Title: Behold the Man!
By: Cecilia Tan 陈俊芳
John 19:4-5 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing Him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”
Shortly before His crucifixion, our Lord Jesus was charged with sedition and insurrection and was brought to appear before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. Pilate had Jesus savagely flogged, crowned with thorns, dressed in a purple robe and then paraded before the crowd, instructing them to “Behold the man!”
The Man stood before the hostile crowd, a pitiful figure, enduring excruciating physical pain and emotional torment. For three years He had performed countless acts of mercy and kindness via miracles no one else could do – astounding supernatural works performed effortlessly with His spoken word or touch. He had changed water into wine, healed every disease, sickness and physical disability among the people, fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes, calmed the storm, walked on water and even raised the dead!
So who was this Man whom Pilate instructed the crowd to “behold”? What more do the Scriptures tell us about Him? What do we know about Him that Pilate did not know?
This Man was the Word of God and has the power to create, to bring something into being from nothing, a power possessed by only the Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth. John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” And so He was with God from eternity past and was present at the beginning of creation when God created all things. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
This Man claimed to be God! In John 8:58 He declared, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” This was exactly how the great God of the universe called Himself when communicating with Moses in Exodus 3:14. God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Jesus did not describe Himself as “I WAS” but deliberately used exactly the same words God used to call Himself, “I AM.” By doing so, He claimed to be timeless! Only one Being in the universe is timeless… the timeless God, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob Who existed before time began, Who is still existing and Who will continue to exist after time as we know it, is no more!
This Man had the authority to forgive sins! When a paralytic was lowered through the roof of a house and placed before Jesus, Jesus first forgave his sins and then healed him (Luke 5:17-26). Jesus pronounced forgiveness upon a sinful woman who anointed His feet by telling her “your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:36-50). Jesus forgave the sins of a thief crucified beside Him in Luke 23:39-43. The repentant thief asked Jesus to remember him to which Jesus answered, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” By these acts of forgiveness, Jesus proclaimed to the world that He was God come in the flesh and that He has come to forgive sinners like you and me.
This Man not only claimed to have authority to forgive sins but also claimed to have the power of God. In Matthew 25:31-46 He declared He has the authority to judge the nations. In John 5:25-29 He claimed the authority to raise people from the dead – a feat only God can achieve. In Matthew 28:18 He declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” This Man has an authority unmatched by anyone else so much so that apostle Paul in Philippians 2:9-11 described His status thus: “Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
This Man was crucified, died to pay the penalty for mankind’s sins and was buried. But He resurrected from the dead after three days in the tomb. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Paul states that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus are the most important things to believe:
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”. For without the resurrection, Jesus would have been just another human being and we would still be in our sins, helplessly separated from God for all eternity. But Jesus did rise from the dead to prove that He is indeed the Son of God who has defeated death and sin as He had promised earlier to His disciples.
And so we should “BEHOLD THE MAN”…and seriously reflect on Who He really is! The word “behold” is a solemn invitation to look closely and intently upon our Lord Jesus, the Saviour on the cross, and then to receive Him with a penitent heart, so that we may be His redeemed people, restored, spiritually renewed and bound for eternal existence and joy in heaven!
Our Heavenly Father, we give You thanks that we are far more privileged than Pontius Pilate who had no access to Scriptures. From the Scriptures we are able to know so much more about Your Son, our Lord Jesus. That He was the God-man. That He was the eternal God in human flesh Who bore our sins and sorrows on the cross and died so that we can live. That those who receive Him as Lord and Saviour, God will give them the power to become God’s children. And so we pray earnestly for those in our midst who have yet to trust in Jesus, that they will soon trust in Him and rely exclusively on Him for salvation, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we can be saved. We ask in Jesus’ mighty name! Amen.
这个人站在充满敌意的人群面前，一个可怜的人物，忍受着身体上极度的痛苦和情感上的折磨。三年来，祂透过没人能做到的神迹奇事行了无数的怜悯和仁慈的之举 － 以祂的言语或触摸毫不费力地作了令人惊叹的超自然的事迹。祂把水变成酒、医治了人的一切疾病和身体的残缺、以几个饼和几条鱼喂饱了几千人、平静了风浪、在水上行走，甚至使人从死里复活！
彼拉多吩咐众人 “看” 的这个人是谁呢？圣经还告诉了我们什么关于祂的事？关于祂，我们知道什么是彼拉多所不知道的？
这个人是上帝的道并有能力创造，使无变为有，这是一种只有全能的上帝、天地的创造主才拥有的能力。约翰福音1:1-3 “太初有道，道与神同在，道就是神。这道太初与神同在。万物是藉着祂造的；凡被造的，没有一样不是藉着祂造的。” 所以，祂从永恒的过去就与上帝同在，并在上帝创造万物之始就已存在了。创世记1:1 “起初，上帝创造了天地。”
这个人宣称自己是上帝！在约翰福音8:58，祂宣告：“还没有亚伯拉罕，就有了我（I AM ）。” 在出埃及记3:14，宇宙中伟大的上帝在与摩西说话时正是这样称呼自己的。上帝对摩西说：“我是自有永有的（I AM WHO I AM）；又说：你要对以色列人这样说：那自有的（I AM）打发我到你们这里来。” 耶稣没有描述自己为 “我曾是”（I WAS），而是刻意地使用与上帝用来称呼自己 “我是”（I AM） 完全相同的字眼。祂这么做是称自己为永恒的！宇宙中只有一个存在是永恒的……那位永恒的上帝，亚伯拉罕、以撒、雅各的上帝，在时间开始之前就存在的那位，祂现在仍然存在，并且在我们所知道的时间不复存在之后，祂还是继续地存在！
这个人有赦罪的权柄！当一个瘫子被人从屋顶缒下并放在耶稣面前时，耶稣首先赦免他的罪，然后治愈了他(路加福音5:17-26)。耶稣宣布宽恕那位用油抹祂的脚的有罪的女人，向她说 “你的罪赦免了”（路加福音7:36-50）。在路加福音23:39-43，耶稣赦免了那位在祂旁边同钉十字架的强盗。痛悔的强盗求耶稣记念他，耶稣回答，“今日你要同我在乐园里了。” 通过这些赦罪的行动，耶稣向世人宣告，祂是道成肉身的上帝，并且祂来赦免像您和我这样的罪人。
这个人不只是声称自己有赦罪的权柄，而且宣称自己有上帝的能力。在马太福音25:31-46 祂宣告自己有审判万国万民的权柄。在约翰福音5:25-29 祂宣称有权柄使人从死里复活 – 这是只有上帝才能做到的壮举。在马太福音28:18 祂宣告：“天上地下所有的权柄都赐给我了。” 这个人的权柄是任何人都无法比拟的，以至于使徒保罗在腓立比书2:9-11中如此描述祂的名分：“所以，神将祂升为至高，又赐给祂那超乎万名之上的名，叫一切在天上的、地上的，和地底下的，因耶稣的名无不屈膝，无不口称 ‘耶稣基督为主’，使荣耀归与父神。”
所以我们应该 “看这个人”……认真地思考祂到底是谁！“看” 这个词是一个庄严的邀请，让我们仔细和专注地看我们的主耶稣，十字架上的救主，然后带着悔改的心接受祂，以使我们可以成为祂救赎的子民、得以恢复、心灵更新，开往在天堂里的永恒存在和喜乐！